Sebastian Vettel Video clip Ranking: 5 / 5
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has said that Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel can forget about cruising to the title this season because he expects a challenge from several drivers. Sebastian Vettel has won the world championship title three times in his career despite being only 25 years old. He is regarded by many as the best young driver in the world right now. He managed to extend his lead at the drivers championship for the 2013 F1 season following a win at the Bahrain Grand Prix. He now holds a 10 point advantage over his nearest rival in the table.
Hamilton moved to Mercedes from McLaren at the start of the season in the hope of winning his first world championship title since 2008, but he is already 27 points behind Vettel in the table. However, he has said that Mercedes have made a lot of progress since he has arrived, and he expects them to challenge for the title from next season. Hamilton has said that it is not a big surprise to see Vettel winning at the Bahrain Grand Prix, as the German seems to do it more often than not. He reckons that the gap between Vettel and the chasing pack will be closed once the sport returns to Europe.
“Seb always seems to win in Bahrain, so that was no real surprise for us. I don’t think it will be the same for Seb in all the races plus Red Bull have seemed to struggle in some qualifying sessions. The Bahrain GP could turn out to be one of the worst grands prix for us because we had a lot of problems with the car. We were on the back foot all weekend, so to come away with a fifth place when I started in ninth, was really pleasing,” said Hamilton.
The Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel has issued an apology to his teammate Mark Webber after the Malaysian Grand Prix. The 25-year-old German driver was ordered by his team to stay behind Webber in the final 13 laps of the race. Webber had been told previously by the team to conserve his tires and engine. Instead, Vettel fought with an unexpected Webber over a few corners, and ultimately managed to get the victory. This was the 27th career victory of the German, who has three world championship titles to his name. However, the incident has caused a lot of controversy in the sport.
In the post race press conference, Vettel said that he should not have done what he did in the race, but he had no explanation for his actions. However, he extended an apology to Webber by saying that this action should not have happened. He said that he is completely understanding the frustration and annoyance within the 36-year-old Australian, who has threatened to quit the sport over continued support to Vettel by his team. Despite such an incident, the Red Bull team principal Christian Horner failed to criticise Vettel, and said that the matter will be dealt by the team internally. The actions of Vettel has drawn great criticism in the F1 paddock.
“I messed up. I would love to come up with a nice excuse or a nice story but I can’t. That’s the truth. I can completely understand Mark’s frustration and the team not being happy. After the last stop, the team told me the race was over. The team made their decision. Seb made his own decision and he will have protection as usual. I owe a proper explanation and apology to Mark and the team,” said Vettel. Webber has said that the upcoming three-week break should help him heal the pain.
The current world champion Sebastian Vettel has said that he does not expect a different start to the new 2013 season from the previous one. The start to the 2012 season was one of the most unpredictable in recent years, and the German expects the trend to continue this season as well. Vettel, though, will be coming into the new season as the undoubted favourite to claim his fourth consecutive world championship title, although he faces tough challenge from the likes of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. Vettel has said that the start to the season will be unpredictable before teams manage to stabilise themselves.
Pre-season testing has just begun in Jerez, and Vettel has started from where he has left off in the previous season. He has been amongst the fastest drivers on the grid, as he has been able to put in consistent lap times on a constant basis. The favourites for the title emerged only during the second half in the 2012 season, and Vettel expects no difference in this regard as well. Vettel comes into the 2013 season on the back of three consecutive world championship titles, while he could create history by becoming the youngest driver to win four on the bounce.
“I don’t think it will be much different from what was important last year. Again it will be very close, so it will not be a case of two or three drivers fighting it out. In the first half of the season I expect a very similar situation to 2012 where we saw many different winners. Then, in the second half, some favourites will become visible. To be one of them [the title contenders] you have to score points at every race and be consistent – that was what got us the title in 2012,” said the 25-year-old.