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Vettel: There is more pressure on Alonso, Webber

Sebastian Vettel is heading into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix focusing simply on winning the race and letting fate dictate whether that is enough to lift the F1 world title.
Going into the F1 world title decider third in the standings, Sebastian Vettel reckons that he is carrying less pressure than the two men ahead of him, allowing him to convert a tenth pole position into an unexpected success.

The German needs to win the race with current points leader Fernando Alonso fifth or worse, but will start two places ahead of the Spaniard after claiming a record-equalling 15th pole position of the season for Red Bull Racing. With team-mate Mark Webber back in fifth place, the spectre of team orders may also have lessened for Vettel, who could also receive unexpected assistance from a revitalised McLaren team, which put Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button second and fourth in the qualifying order.

With one last chance to beat Hamilton's achievement and become the youngest world champion in F1 history, Vettel insists that a lot rests on the performance of his rivals, easing the expectations placed on him.

"It is always tight when you know you have the car to put the car on the front row, and ideally on pole, but, pressure-wise, as I've said before, we know which position we are in," he explained, "We are not leading this championship, so probably there is more pressure on Fernando and Mark. We'll do our maximum, but we are in a similar position to Lewis - enjoying the drive here and trying to win. [As for] the rest, we will see.

"The main target is to finish the race - that would be a good start - and, obviously, as high up as possible. As you say, it's not dependent on me, so all I can do is maximise our performance. We have to focus on us and then it's up to the others that have to deliver, so we'll take it step-by-step. It is what it is. We knew that before going to Brazil, before coming here, before starting the race here.

"As usual, we'll focus on a good start and then see what happens. I told you on Thursday that it looks tight here, tighter than other places, with Ferrari strong and McLaren very strong. It will be a long race and then, after the race, there are screens around the track and time enough to see where the others have finished and if there is something to celebrate or not."

Vettel, of course, won the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009, heading a Red Bull 1-2 after Hamilton retired with brake failure mid-race. Alonso, meanwhile, finished only 14th in his final race for Renault and races this year with a Ferrari team that endured an equally trying first appearance at the Yas Marina circuit.

"I'm looking forward to the race," he admitted, buoyed equally by recent victories in Japan and Brazil, "I like this track - last year, I had a very good experience here, [in qualifying this year], the car was fantastic and I think, in the race, the car is even stronger, so we will see. As Fernando and Lewis have said, it is a long race and anything can happen, so we'll have to go step-by-step. Today, we did the best job we could and we are in front of everyone else. If we make sure we stay there tomorrow, I think we'll do our maximum and then see what happens.

"If I win [the title], I will be very happy but, if I don't, then we will see who else wins it. I'm very happy with the result today. Obviously, Mark struggled a lot in Q3, and I don't know yet what happened to him because I think he was fairly close in Q1 and Q2, but we see how quickly things can change. I think the most important thing, as I said over the last couple of days, is to keep our head down and focus on us. We'll try to do what we can and, [as for] the rest, we will see - or not."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 pole position, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 2nd position and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 3rd position
Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 pole position
Saturday Practice, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Friday Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 pole position
Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 pole position
Friday Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid

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The Finger - Unregistered

November 14, 2010 9:22 AM

Oh go Sebby, you are my one fingered bandit....you can win it Sebby, you deserve it, you have told the world you are best and they just won't listen. Maybe team management will finally get right up behind you for once and you can break free with your modesty and truthfulness. So sick of all the support Marco and Christian has shown Mark when you are the star though you would never admit it. Go you one fingered bandit.

The Finger - Unregistered

November 14, 2010 10:11 AM

The modest behavior of Seb this year should be held up as an example of model behavior for all young drivers. Slam a back handed finger in the face of your rivals to show your respect. Veer into other cars holding their line is also sets a wonderful example to other young drivers. Tell the world you are the best and deserve the title....never admit error...just simply outstanding. Michael is just so happy to see another native coming through with such endearing qualities. Go Sebby you can win it...you are a legend in your own mind...just bump the others out of the way...Go pistol finger.



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