Red Bull: Objective is for Vettel to take title with victory in Japan
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, October 9th 2011, 01:47 GMT|
Sebastian Vettel may need just one point to clinch the world championship in the Japanese Grand Prix, but his team has insisted it is going out there at Suzuka today to secure the title with a victory.
The German produced a stunning performance in qualifying to beat Jenson Button to pole position by just nine-thousandths of a seconds - which is the closest ever pole position at the Japanese GP.
And although Vettel could effectively cruise home to deliver the top ten finish that he needs to wrap up the 2011 title chase, his Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner insists his team want more than that out of the day.
When asked by AUTOSPORT about the focus on that single point he needs, Horner said: "That is not our objective. Our objective is to try and win the race, try to build on our lead in the constructors' championship, and to try and score 43 points.
"For Sebastian – his approach is not to cruise and collect. His approach is to try and win the race. He has his weekend off to the best possible start by getting the pole – and it is remarkable getting his 12th pole of the season so far."
With Vettel's performance in Japan having maintained Red Bull Racing's lock-out of pole positions, Horner has said that it has been a privilege this year witnessing how his driver has grown in speed and maturity.
"He has had an unbelievable year," he said. "He has been operating at such a high level this year, that it has been fantastic to witness him evolving as a driver to the level that he is currently delivering at. I think there is still more to come at him as he gains more experience and continues to grow as a driver."
Although Red Bull Racing has not had a significant advantage in terms of single lap pace in Japan this weekend, their long-run pace during Friday practice has suggested it should have an edge in the race.
But Horner thinks that the main factor in Japan will be managing tyre strategy – with high tyre degradation expected in the race.
"Tyre degradation is going to be very, very interesting," said Horner. "It could be a five-star race here, you never know."