Vettel out to keep title hopes alive

Sebastian Vettel is aiming to keep his championship chances alive after grabbing pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix

Vettel out to keep title hopes alive

The Red Bull driver is 25 points behind championship leader Jenson Button with just three races left, meaning Vettel needs to outscore the Briton by six points on Sunday if he wants to stay in the hunt.

Button qualified down in seventh place, but his position is in doubt after he clearly set his best Q2 time when the yellow flags were out.

Button and five other drivers have been summoned to see the race stewards.

Vettel, who scored his fourth pole of the season, is now looking to maximise his opportunity.

"There's three races to go and it's quite a big gap so every race has to be a chance if you still want to keep our chances alive," said Vettel. "We came here to race and we want to win. I think we are in the best position for tomorrow's race.

"It is a long race, obviously tough for the tyres and I think really tough for the drivers. We have to keep the concentration up especially in the Esses, I think there are physics and some rules but it's amazing how quick you can go with car.

"It is fantastic when the car is empty, you wish to keep going for another lap. It is a long race and we have a very, very good chance, also looking at the championships."

Vettel admitted it was hard to predict how strong his team will be, but said it was not too surprising to be on pole.

"We expected to be competitive, but we did not know how competitive," said the German. "I think also looking at Q1 it is so tight, you see different cars on top and back in the midfield, therefore we could not expect to be on pole.

"We expected to be strong and luckily we were right, being fastest in Q1, Q2 and Q3 was great. It's a shame for Mark, he did not crash hard in Turn 9 but had a problem with the car so they could not fix it and he missed the session, otherwise he would have been on top."

shares
comments
Vettel grabs pole in disrupted qualifying

Previous article

Vettel grabs pole in disrupted qualifying

Next article

Japan Saturday quotes: Williams

Japan Saturday quotes: Williams
Load comments
The ill-fated Italian ace rendered an outsider at Ferrari Plus

The ill-fated Italian ace rendered an outsider at Ferrari

Anointed as Italy’s next great racing hero after the tragic death of Alberto Ascari, Luigi Musso was pushed out of favour at Ferrari by Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a troubled soul…

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2021
The magic moments of modern racing's foremost all-rounder Plus

The magic moments of modern racing's foremost all-rounder

From Champ Car to Formula 1, NASCAR, back to IndyCar and now plying his trade in sportscars, Juan Pablo Montoya's career is remarkable for its versatility. Here, the Colombian reflects on 10 of his most significant moments along the way

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2021
Why F1’s best-sounding car flattered to deceive Plus

Why F1’s best-sounding car flattered to deceive

Matra’s MS120 married rocket technology to an engine which sputtered out far too often. STUART CODLING examines how the championship-winning constructor’s ambitious project to build car and engine under one roof came to fail

Formula 1
Oct 1, 2021
Why Perez won't be broken by his latest F1 disappointments Plus

Why Perez won't be broken by his latest F1 disappointments

It has been a tricky past few races for Sergio Perez. The Red Bull driver has mustered just 16 points since the British Grand Prix in July and the team's constructors' championship chances have taken a hit. Yet the Mexican remains optimistic that he has all the tools he needs to turn his performances around

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2021
How Sainz turned crash streak into his best Ferrari F1 weekend so far Plus

How Sainz turned crash streak into his best Ferrari F1 weekend so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz Jr was one of the stars of the 2021 Russian Grand Prix. But he came into the weekend with a streak of recent crashes hanging over him. Here’s how the Ferrari newcomer worked to overcome those setbacks and deliver yet more success for his new team

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2021
The mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling Plus

The mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling

The technical directive issued by Formula 1 to reduce levels of automation in pitstops has given teams an unwelcome period of adjustment. Although safety was the primary goal, it has already had a significant impact on the title race and puts extra pressure on teams to deliver as the season reaches the business end

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2021
How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1 Plus

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1

Uncertainty over the shape of the calendar doesn’t just vex the fans and the commercial rights holder. MARK GALLAGHER explains at how race promoters have been pushed to the financial brink

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2021
Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021