• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Vettel wary of reliability issues

ESPN Staff
November 1, 2012 « McLaren confident it has left soft tyre struggle in India | Leaving Force India wasn't easy - Hulkenberg »
Sebastian Vettel: © Sutton Images
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Sebastian Vettel admits he is wary that a reliability issue could harm his championship hopes over the remaining three races of the season.

Having won the last four grands prix in a row, Vettel is the clear favourite to secure a third consecutive championship. However, following a scare with the floor of his Red Bull towards the end of the Indian Grand Prix and only holding a 13-point advantage over Fernando Alonso caused Vettel to say he is "vulnerable" to a failure.

"If you just look back, India was a great race for us," Vettel said. "A couple of laps from the end we had some sparks, obviously it was not a problem but it doesn't take much of an imagination if something like this comes up it shows you how vulnerable you are no matter in which position you are. If you are in the lead with a big gap or you are just somewhere in the midfield fighting for position, it doesn't take much and you might end the race not scoring the points that you were hoping for and then the whole picture looks different again.

"I think we've learnt this year again, especially with the points system we have had since 2010. In 2010 in particular when various people got written off in the championship and then back on depending on the latest results, but I think that's something we mustn't forget."

While Vettel can't win the drivers' championship until the United States Grand Prix, Red Bull can become constructors' champions this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Vettel said it would be a "very special" achievement but added that it is far from a foregone conclusion.

"I think it would be a great success for us. I didn't know until Mark [Webber] told me on the way back from India. We spoke very shortly about the constructors' because we were both on the same plane and Mark said it would be quite bad for the constructors' if this plane were to go down!

"Obviously it would be very special for us to win the championship here but in order to do so we have to have a strong weekend, strong performance and score more points than the others."