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'Perfect' Vettel 'deserves' crown, say rivals

Two of Sebastian Vettel's chief rivals - Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton - have conceded that the Red Bull Racing star has been 'the best driver' in F1 2011 and fully 'deserves' the world championship crown
F1 2011 World Champion-elect Sebastian Vettel has been warmly praised by two of his title rivals, with Fernando Alonso lauding him as 'the best driver' of the season and the architect of some 'perfect' performances, and Lewis Hamilton conceding that the Red Bull Racing ace 'has really driven very, very well' and that 'his persona, his attitude have been very professional'.

Vettel is making a big point of refusing to count his chickens before they are hatched on the eve of this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, even though – should the cards fall his way – he could clinch the crown under the Marina Bay spotlights [to see how, click here]. The 24-year-old is adamant that he will be approaching the race just like any other – and insists he does not feel under any extra pressure in view of the fact that the laurels can be mathematically put beyond reach in three days' time.

“So far, we haven't won anything,” he is quoted as having said by BBC Sport. “[There is] still some way to go; we have to race and do our best. It is a long way to the chequered flag. Certain things have to happen, and it reminds me a little bit of the situation we had in Abu Dhabi last year, when people came up and gave me another option [as to how he could win the title] every five minutes. The target is to optimise our performance. The target has been to defend our title; there is no reason why the target should change.

“There is always pressure on us because we want to achieve our best every weekend – and if there is a chance to win, we want to go for it. I don't feel any extra pressure trying to win the championship here or [in] any one particular place. The target going into the season was not to win the championship by Singapore or any other race – it was to win the championship. This race is as important as anywhere else.”

Vettel took a solid step towards a successful defence of his hard-fought F1 2010 drivers' trophy with a superb Italian Grand Prix triumph at Monza a fortnight ago – his eighth from just 13 starts this year – and along the way, he silenced those who said he cannot overtake or fight his way through the field with a gutsy pass on Alonso during which he put two wheels on the grass at over 200mph on the outside of Curva Grande after the Ferrari star 'squeezed' him. The incident prompted a brief post-race discussion between the pair.

“He didn't expect me to go on the left, to try the inside for the second chicane, so initially he didn't see me,” reflected Vettel, denying that he had asked Monza stewards to investigate Alonso's driving, “but as soon as he saw me, he pulled to the right and gave me enough room. It was borderline, but I knew if I wanted to get past, I needed to try something.

“Actually, it was more critical the lap before when I was on the right on the outside at the second chicane and he moved a little bit under braking to the right and there wasn't much room for me, but we talked about it after the race and I think it's fine. Generally, if you race people like Fernando, people with a lot of experience and who you respect a lot, you can really push the limits and really go wheel-to-wheel without thinking about it, and know the guy will know you are there and give you just enough room – not a lot, but enough.”

Vettel and Alonso raced in similarly close company in last year's Singapore Grand Prix, with the Spaniard narrowly holding the German off en route to his fourth victory of the campaign. Twelve months on and at 112 points adrift of the defending world champion in the drivers' standings, Alonso could find himself knocked out of the title hunt in the far-eastern city-state – but if Vettel wins, he muses, then he will fully merit his success.

“He's been the best driver, [with] the best team,” acknowledged the 30-year-old, pipped to world championship honours by Vettel in the 2010 Abu Dhabi finale. “They deserve to be where they are. This year, he has made no mistakes or very few mistakes. Last year, we had a [few] more chances. Red Bull were also very dominant last year, but they had some trouble in some races. I remember in Turkey they crashed together, and in some other races they had mechanical failures, engine problems...





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
22.09.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
22.05.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 2nd position
27.03.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 2nd position
22.05.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 2nd position
22.09.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
11.09.2011- Race, Press conference, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
10.07.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 2nd position and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia race winner
09.07.2011- Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
22.09.2011- Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
11.09.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner
11.09.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner
22.05.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia leads Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
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, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 2nd position and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 3rd position
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10

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richard

September 23, 2011 1:31 PM

different level. i disagree on that. the mclaren is at least as good, and the ferrari is just there as well. even on tracks where the bull was known to be at a disadvantage, vettel (and only vettel) have been supreme. if the car was the best, then webber would be up there as well, and he isnt. as your name suggests, seb is at a "different level".



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