Vettel and Red Bull looking could wrap up third F1 world titles in Austin
18 November, 2012
Nov.18 (GMM & Reuters) Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel is on the cusp of wrapping up his historic third consecutive Formula One Drivers’ World Championship title, after totally dominating the United States Grand Prix weekend so far, at the spanking new Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
If the pole winning German can steer his Red Bull to victory on Sunday, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso will have to move up from eighth on the grid to fourth at the finish to keep the championship mathematically alive for next weekend’s Brazil finale.
Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali admitted that a bad qualifying result has put Alonso in “a very difficult position” for the title.
But Alonso, who has defied logic with his ‘glass completely full’ attitude in the face of Vettel’s recent dominance, insisted late on Saturday that he has a “feeling” that Sunday in the USA will go his way.
“Think of the goal,” said the Samurai-quoting Spaniard on Twitter once he returned to his hotel after qualifying, “not how difficult it is to reach.”
Vettel, however, moved to deflect the significance of his championship ‘match point’ on the eve of his 100th grand prix by insisting he and Mark Webber will on Sunday focus only on wrapping up the teams’ title for Red Bull.
His boss Christian Horner warned that Ferrari, while weak in qualifying, poses a “dangerous” threat for the race.
“It’s easy to talk,” Domenicali is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, “when you’re that far ahead. “We’ll try to regain a bit of enthusiasm and recover for the grand prix.”
If Vettel wins the title again, he will be only the third driver to achieve three in a row. The others are Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio (1954-57) and Germany’s Michael Schumacher (2000-04).
The Red Bull driver will be the ninth triple champion since 1950 if he scores 15 points more than Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. He last achieved that margin in Japan in October and has done it on three occasions this season so far.
Championship deciding scenarios in Austin:
- If Vettel wins, Alonso must finish fourth or higher to stay in contention.
- If Vettel is second, Alonso needs to be at least eighth.
- If Vettel is third, Alonso must be 10th or higher.
- Should Alonso fail to score, Vettel must still finish at least third.
Red Bull needs four points to wrap up their third constructors’ championship in succession, and thus would become only the fourth team in history to perform the feat after Ferrari, McLaren and Williams.
It is also fitting that Vettel celebrates his 100th grand prix start this weekend, his first F1 race was also in the United States, at Indianapolis with BMW-Sauber in 2007.
Subbed by AJN.