Formula One title holder Sebastian Vettel on Thursday said he felt no pressure clinching the world championship in this weekend’s night race in Singapore, despite the prospect that Sunday’s Grand Prix could prove pivotal in his bid to make history.
If all goes his way, the 24—year—old German will be assured of back—to—back world titles in Singapore ahead of the final five races, making him the youngest F1 driver to defend his title.
“This race is as important as all the other ones to be able to win the championship,” said Vettel.
“I don’t feel any extra pressure trying to win the championship here,” he said. “It’s always pressure on me and us.” Vettel said Red Bull’s target going into this F1 year was to defend the title, and “we just have to remind us what was the target for the season.” “We have to race and do our normal job,” said the German.
“So far, we haven’t won anything, we have to race and do our normal job,” said Vettel, remaining modest about his chances for the Singapore race weekend.
Bidding for his ninth win of this season, Vettel enters Sunday’s night GP 112 points ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
Alonso, who won the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix, admitted that he no longer believed to snatch the title from Vettel.
The German was driving fantastic, “he made no mistakes,” said Alonso.
“We know that we cannot fight for the tour,” said the Spaniard, referring to the world’s most famous bicycle race, Tour de France.
However, Alonso appeared determined to at least delay Vettel’s coronation, saying he wanted to win some “stages.” With Vettel having earned 284 points going into the final six races compared to Alonso’s 172, the 30—year—old Spaniard would have to win at least four races and pick up 13 points from the other two races to win a third championship.
In addition, Vettel, who stole the title in the final race from Alonso last year, would also have to finish outside the points in six consecutive races.
Behind Alonso, Vettel’s Australian teammate Mark Webber and McLaren’s Button of Britain are currently level on 167 points in the drivers’ championship, with Briton Lewis Hamilton in the second McLaren another 9 points adrift.
Sunday’s fight for a place on the podium was set to be a hot one, Webber told the official F1 website.
“Four of us, me, Fernando, Jenson and Lewis, are separated by just 14 points, and none of us is going to give an inch,” said the Australian.
Rainstorms are likely to spice up the race at Singapore’s Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Singapore’s National Environment Agency in its three—day—outlook predicted cloudy weather for Friday and showers with thunder for both Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday’s 61—lap Singapore floodlight race on the 5.073—km—circuit with 23 corners is one of the longest in duration in the Formula One and, given the island state’s heat and humidity, pushes drivers to their limits.
Wet conditions might add to the attraction for fans, but would take an extra toll on the drivers as their cars slip and slide across the asphalt.
Keywords: Sebastian Vettel