• Japanese Grand Prix

Vettel confident in Red Bull pace

ESPN Staff
October 4, 2012 « Hamilton news helped with decision - Schumacher | Alonso backs Hamilton move »
Sebastian Vettel: "For the next races we have to try and focus on ourselves and whatever happens, happens" © Press Association
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Sebastian Vettel doesn't believe he needs rivals to slip up in order to win a third consecutive world championship.

Fernando Alonso currently leads Vettel by 29 points in the drivers' championship with another 150 points still available. Having taken ten points out of Alonso's lead with victory in Singapore, Vettel feels he can erase that deficit solely due to the performance of his car, and hopes that neither he nor his rivals fail to finish races as a result of bad luck.

"Obviously I don't want any bad fortune to hit others and help us in that regard, we are confident that we can do it on the track," Vettel said. "I was confident and I was believing in the last race for example that we had similar pace to Lewis [Hamilton]. It would have been difficult to overtake him on the track but I felt more happy in the last two stints of the race than the first one so I think we could have had a chance. But you never know, so in that case obviously he retired and we took first position from then onwards.

"For the next races we have to try and focus on ourselves and whatever happens, happens. Obviously for us it's important to finish the races, we are currently behind so if no-one of us scores then we stay behind, so we need to make sure that we finish the races and score a lot of big points."

With only Mark Webber yet to win the championship out of the top six, Vettel said that all of the drivers who have won a title will be using that experience to remind themselves what is required to be successful again.

"I think it definitely helps to win a title, but I think it doesn't mean you are allowed to forget what it takes. Just because you know how to do it or you did it once or twice it's still a big challenge every year to win the championship. Obviously this year has been very much up and down for most of us and there's still a lot of races to come so so far there's nothing that speaks against the fact that it will stay unpredictable and hard to know on the Thursday or the Friday what will happen on Sunday, and hard to know at the beginning of the race what's going to happen in the last ten laps, so it's very exciting for us.

"But like I said it doesn't allow you to forget that it takes these small steps and the attention to detail which maximises your chances at the end. I think it's fairly simple for us, we're not leading the championship right now and our target is to do so after the last race in particular. So up to that point we have to always make sure we get our maximum and then it's not in our hands what other people are doing."