Abu Dhabi GP: Vettel sure of good result despite pitlane start
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, November 4th 2012, 12:04 GMT|
Sebastian Vettel believes he can still deliver a good result in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, despite starting from the pitlane following his exclusion from qualifying.
The world championship leader was stripped of his third place on the grid after the FIA was unable to extract a mandatory one-litre sample of fuel for checks.
Although being allowed to start from the back of the grid, his Red Bull team opted to take the car out of parc ferme, meaning he must start from the pitlane.
That scenario means Vettel faces a tough afternoon to prevent Fernando Alonso reducing his world championship lead.
But the German is far from downbeat about his chances.
"I think it is pretty simple," he said on Sunday morning. "We start last and the chance is there to still have a very good race, and that is what we are going for."
When asked for his reaction to the penalty, Vettel said: "Of course it was rubbish for us, but that is how it is.
"There is not much to talk about, and no reason to look back. Today is a new day and we can have a good race from where we start."
Red Bull has made significant set-up changes to Vettel's car for the race - which includes tweaks to suspension and gear ratios as well as a new gearbox. The revisions will be aimed at boosting his straight-line speed to aid overtaking.
Vettel is well aware that he will need to make swift progress, but he also knows that he needs to temper his aggression so he does not get involved in any silly incidents with backmarkers.
"There is no reason to be stupid, but we have a good car," he said.
"We have good pace in the race and hopefully can use that to make up some places, have fun overtaking some guys and then see where we finish."
Vettel's main title opponent Alonso refused to gloat about his Red Bull rival's problem - and reckoned he too was in for a difficult afternoon judging by the competitive struggles his Ferrari team has faced at Yas Marina.
"It was a strange Saturday in terms of decisions and waiting for the starting grid order, but it doesn't change too much our race," the Ferrari driver said about Vettel's penalty.
"We'll try to do the maximum and if rivals are in front or behind it's because they did better or worse. But hopefully we can score points.
"A podium would be a nice reward because we have been so-so and not so competitive, but it will be tough. It will be a long race."