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Pre-Singapore analysis - Vettel in no hurry over title 23 Sep 2011

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.

Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 22 September 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing walks the circuit.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 22 September 2011 (L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing with Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 22 September 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and team mate Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing sign autographs for the fans.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 22 September 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 22 September 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing on the podium. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday, 26 September 2010 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing with the media.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 22 September 2011

Third place could wrap up a second consecutive world championship for Sebastian Vettel this weekend, but he maintained an extraordinarily even strain yesterday as he savoured the comfortable position of admitting that he was in no hurry to clinch things.

“Would, could, should. So far we haven’t won anything,” he said, referring to the title rather than all the wins he’s taken this season. “We are in a good position but still some way to go. We have to race and do our normal job and try to achieve our best. It is one of the most difficult tracks for the car, for the drivers. It is a long, long way to the chequered flag. A lot of people talk about it but certain things have to happen.

“It reminds me a little bit of the situation we faced in Abu Dhabi last year where people came up every two or three minutes giving another option that is possible. Out of I don’t know 1,467 options, this could be one. It’s not the objective for this weekend. The target is to optimise our performance and then either we get surprised or not.

“Generally our target going into the season was to defend our title. We are in a very good position. There is no reason that the target should change. It doesn’t really matter when, it matters to us that it happens and that is what we are working on.”

The biggest thing for Vettel will be just to do what he does naturally, and he insists he won’t be adopting a different attitude to taking any risks.

“Well, it depends. It depends on the race that you’re in. I think one thing is clear. Given the risks you take - it always depends on the chances you see. If you see that there’s a gap and a chance to pass a car in front, then you go for it. If you think at that moment whether you decide to go for it or not that the risk is too high, you don’t do it. It would be wrong to drive around with the handbrake on, just say ‘Okay, I need to finish, I need to finish.’ On the other hand, it would be wrong to go into the race and say ‘Now I need to risk something.’ So I think you should just race.

“In the end, we have a long season, a lot of races. Surely sometimes you will make mistakes, it’s natural. But I think the more races you do the more experience you get, ideally the fewer mistakes you make. As I said, we try to get the best out of this race and if we find ourselves in a good position, able to win, and there’s a chance and a gap, we have to go for it. If not, there’s no need to try something stupid.

“I think there’s always pressure on me and on us because we want to achieve our best every single weekend and achieve our maximum so if there’s a possibility or chance to win, then we want to go for it. I don’t feel any extra pressure trying to win the championship here or trying to win it in one particular place. As I said earlier, we have to just remind ourselves what was the target going into the season and the target was not to win the championship by Singapore or any other race; the target was to win the championship itself. That’s why I think this race is as important as all the other ones, to be able to win the championship.”

Last year here he had to sit behind Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari to the chequered flag, but this time he is hopeful that DRS might play a key role in facilitating some crucial overtaking.

“You might have a better chance with the DRS, simply because of the fact that if you’re close enough, the car behind is allowed to use it and the car in front is not, like at all the other places. But we’ve seen this year, firstly depending on distance - so how big the DRS zone is, and secondly, where the DRS zone is, meaning which circuit, which straights and so on. It can make a big difference, so we will have to wait until we find out here.

“But I think this is a very good race. One of the best we have in the season. It’s a night race so I’m very much looking forward to it. The circuit is one of the toughest for the drivers. To keep the focus it is extremely important, so it should be a good race.”

Naturally, he anticipates the greatest opposition will come from McLaren and Ferrari, but knows that in any case it will be a tough one.

“We’ll have to see. I think it will be a long weekend. A very long race. Nearly two hours. It is longer than all the other races that we have during the season.

“Ferrari were very competitive here last year. I think we were equally matched. I couldn’t get past on the track, so hopefully this year it is the other way around. I think it will be a long weekend. On this circuit it is hard to predict who is really going to be very competitive. Obviously I think we’ll be fighting McLaren and Ferrari but also I think Mercedes could have a good chance here, so we’ll see. It’s a circuit where the car is important, but I think the driver can make a big difference as well.”

David Tremayne

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