Vettel in no hurry to clinch F1 title in Singapore
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Sep 2011   |  11:49 am GMT  |  61 comments

World champion Sebastian Vettel may be on the point of clinching his second consecutive world title, but he said today that he is in no hurry to do it here in Singapore with six races to go.

Vettel, 24, can leave Singapore as world champion on Sunday, with the right combination of results for him and his rivals. But he says that he is taking a measured approach to the weekend and is neither keen to close it out here, nor risk averse with the prize in his grasp,

“So far we haven’t won anything but we are in a good position,” he said in the paddock on Thursday evening. “We have to race and do our best. It’s one of the most difficult tracks for the cars and drivers. A lot of people talk about it but certain things have to happen. The target is to optimise our performance. Our target going into the season was to defend our title. It doesn’t matter when, it matters to us only that it happens.

“There is always pressure on me and on us because we always want to achieve the maximum,” he added. “I don’t feel any extra pressure trying to win the championship here. Our target was not to win the title by Singapore, it was just to win it. This race is as important as any other one.

The champion also said that being on the verge of clinching the title would not change his attitude to taking risks in Sunday’s race. In Monza he took a chance overtaking Alonso for the lead, going onto the grass to make the pass stick.

“The risk you take always depends on the chance you see,” said Vettel. “If you see the chance to pass the car in front you go for it. If you think the risk is too high you don’t got for it. It would be wrong to drive around with the handbrake on saying, ‘I just want to finish.’ On the other hand, it’s wrong to go into the race and say, ‘I need to risk something’. It’s a long season with many races, at some point you will make mistakes, that’s natural. The more experience you get the fewer mistakes you make. If we get a chance then we’ll go for it, if not there’s no reason to do anything stupid.”

Vettel has been promised his 2011 car as a present for winning the title, by the Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz. He was presented with last year’s car for clinching the title last season.

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This season has been interesting because of the effect Vettel’s dominance has had on a couple of his key rivals. Look at Webber and Hamiton this season compared to last. They are different drivers. Is this a temporary issue, or a game changer for next year? Confidence is a big factor in sport success.


Vettel is one of the nicest and easy going superstars in F1 ever… Senna, Schumi and even Alonso all had/have an edge to them and at times could get nasty on and off track… Seb does not seemed geared that way. At least not right now


It’s very easy to be nice when you have a +100 points lead. Do you remember his nice gestures to Webber in Turkey last year?


He has no need to be, he hasn’t really had to compete with anyone this season he has been so far in front most of the time. Let’s see how he reacts if in future seasons he’s in a neck and neck battle on the track with a title rival.


Well done to young Vettel – realistically the WDC was over two or three races ago.

Once finalized in Singapore or Suzuka I would be a little surprised if any teams continued development of their 2011 cars – or if only in preparation for 2012

I would be a little concerned if I were a track promoter or TV executive as it’s not unreasonable to expect a drop off in casual viewing figures given the WDC will be finished, perhaps the last race will still keep high figures

nevertheless from Red Bull and Vettel it has been complete domination for the entire season maintaining a near 0.5sec qualifying gap to the best of the rest and I can’t see that changing for the rest of this season and into the next

Baby Schumi? no Sebastian Vettel


6 races they were not fastest on race day though. Almost half the races so far. Dominant? Only in Vettel’s hands yes.

The car is very good, definitely the one you want to be in this season, but where is Webber? It is proof Vettel is doing something special with it.


Comments like this are all we ever get. Why doesn’t sv say what he really wants to, “i want to get it over with so i can start the party”. It seems every driver just comes out with the safe standard quotes that are boring as H#ll. The problem now days is if a driver actually says what he really wants to a million people rehash it, twist it, and make it into a story that had nothing to do with the original quote. To bad.


What part of what he said is not fact?

He didn;t win it yet, would have should have blahblahblah won;t change that.

He needs to fully focus on winning a race, so thinking about other things like driving safely to rake in points is just distraction.


The guy has the best car by a mile. I doubt he is thinking about just getting points. Just say it seb, i’m going to win and give everybody the finger, end of story.


I belive that it is time for a DNF next to Vettels name at the end of race, just to spice it up a little.


Vettel has dominated the 2011 season and has been the best. No other driver has dominated F1 since Schumacher. Personally I want him to win the race and wrap up the championship in Singapore this weekend. He deserves it.

If the weather is fine, then I am sure Vettel will win. Otherwise it is going to be a lottery.

Many people think Alonso can win just because he has won there twice. Everyone knows how he won the first one. Last year he won because Vettel made a crucial error during qualifying and gifted pole to Alonso and the race was lost there. Therefore, I am not going to bet on Alonso.

Alles gute Vettel!!


I really have nothing against the guy, but I’m getting more than a bit tired of hearing him say ‘Yes! Yes! That’s what I’m talking about!’ when he crosses the finish line. I hope he doesn’t say that to his girlfriend, because his level of enthusiasm when saying it could cure an insomniac.


Personally I hope he aims to celebrate the title in suzuka, a brilliant historic track.

With a cushion of so many races still to go, I hope VET can be less cautious now and do a bit more scary overtaking as he did past ALO with two wheels on the grass. He has a chance now to seal a reputation as an all rounder.

Talking of which, can James tell us more about the rumours linking Raikkonen with Williams for 2012?


If I was in his position, I would be a bit more realistic about it and say “yeah, it’s pretty much in the bag… but I don’t want to jinx it!”

That being said, I wonder if this is just Vettel showing a bit of a superstitious side. I’m sure in the back of his head he’s thinking about all the things that could go wrong and Alonso suddenly going on a winning streak, however unlikely it might be.

I think right now he is just focusing on winning races. If he can do that, he’ll get the championship anyway.

Then again, maybe he’s just sick and tired of everyone asking him about how he feels and what he thinks about clinching the championship and he’s having a bit of fun with it. It’s pretty obvious that he’s going to be champion, so why not get the press all worked up by being difficult and saying “it’s not over yet” even if it’s almost in the bag? He certainly does have a sense of humour.

After clinching the title, I could even see him saying “it’s not over yet; I haven’t been given the trophy! Bernie could still take it away from me.”


I agree on that, drivers are very supersticious. What ifs… must be passing Seb’s mind. Schu broke his legs in 98-99, don’t remember precisely. Massa was out of business from the infamous suspension spring coming off Barrichelo’s Brawn’s. So…


Hey James. Can I request you to do a piece on the Codemasters F1 game? Seems they have been trying hard to get close to the real thing. Would be great to have your take on it. Thanks


SV is fairly godsend to the sport and specially for F1


I think is just the opposite. I’d rather see good Alonso vs Hamilton battles in closely matched cars.


Sour grapes


Not at all, I’d just like to see a good battle for the Championship, until the last race if possible, something we havent’t had this year. When you have such domination is just boring (like 2004) but I’m not saying Vettel does not deserve it.


McLaren need a good result this weekend – then they and Red Bull can BOTH turn full focus to their 2012 cars.

Grayzee (Australia)

Yep! Nice to see the lad has his head screwed on. The media have just made far too big a deal of this “he can win it in singapore” angle. It is not important how quick he can win it…..just the fact that he will… unless he has 6 DNF’s in a row!!

Let’s just let them get on with it.


Even if he had 6 DNFs he’d probably still take it, as the others keep taking points off each other.


A nice gift to look forward to! Is it possible to say how much an F1 car would be worth? I remember back in the ’90s commentators would talk about half a million pounds going down the drain when a driver crashed their car. I can imagine they cost a lot more these days.


There’s a difference between what something costs, and it’s value. Any F1 car from the last couple of years is going to cost 500k to 1m should a team be willing to sell it. The value of a given car is going to vary based on which team built it, and who drove it.

Therefore, there is going to be a big difference between the value of a midfield car driven by a journeyman driver, and a championship winning car driver by a multiple championship winning driver.


I have read elsewhere, the chassis is around 800,000 Euros. He doesn’t get the engine which is valued (w/o development) at around 200,000 €. Anyway, great prize!


I’m guessing that what they cost to develop, manufacture and what they can be re-sold for are vastly different sums.

Mark in Australia

It won’t happen this weekend… But obviously, it will happen!!!

When you say he gets to keep his car, how far does that go? Is it a fully operation ready to race car, or simply the tub minus the mechanicals? Seb would have a fantastic pool room with his array of helmets etc and two F1 cars!


It’s a rolling chassis – so the entire car, minus engine. It’ll be a display piece.


Interesting. Just curious, how come minus the engine? O_o Do Renault take it back for checks or do they fear the secrets would be leaked or sth?


I like Seb, but the sport must be wondering if ratings are going to fall off as this WC was decided several races ago …. sure a number of drivers have a ‘mathmatical’ chance. Congrats to Seb but lets just admit that this season has been about fighting for scraps.


I doubt they’re worried about ratings… a year or so ago I read (maybe here) that Bernie was very keen to keep F1 popular in Germany – it’s a big wealthy marketplace afterall, and to do that he needed German champions – enter Vettel…


They will win easily this year (in Singapore). They were two tenths away from winning last year and this year they are making less mistakes, plus the opposition seem unable to catch up. The opposition are a disappointment for everyone, except Red Bull of course.

Please just give Vettel his trophy and then we can stop talking about it/listening to him. I’ll turn the sound off when he crosses the finish line.

I don’t doubt that he’s a quick driver, but there is no competition right now. Vettel has a team mate who has already retired (in his head) and is literally just sticking around because the money’s not bad and he’s got nothing better to do… might as well drive a Red Bull in F1 if the team are for some reason happy to let you do it.

McLaren and Ferrari are far too inconsistent this year – their drivers are making mistakes whilst pushing too hard to get pace from their cars (pace which simply isn’t there), and the team with the strongest driver line up (Mercedes) have once again built a brick that can’t go around corners. It’s good in straight line though…

Next season has to be different.


From what I understand, the team are happy to let Webber drive because Adrian Newey basically insists on it. AN designs genius cars, but you need driver feedback to make it work properly, and apparently Webber provides this.


Back in 2007, when Seb got Speed´s sit I remember reading a Liuzzi interview saying that he would not drive for Red Bull because Newey didnt like him as a driver.

I wouldn´t be surprise is Newey has some saying in it, after all you will think that rhe car he desing is great only when a driver who is suited with a style to used it get it…


I think MW’s there more because Mateschitz wants it and Horner backs that up.


Silver Arrow… fast in a straight line, but like a real arrow, it has difficulties turning. 😛


Getting the 150° Italia Formula 1 Car would be the present of a lifetime!

The RB7 would do also..


I think it’s already been promised to Ford


James I believe Vettels persona does not suit the topic of this thread. He drives with a fierce intent and delivers. Can’t see this race beng any different. What I do see is maybe he is trying to ease the pressure off himself being on the verge of winning the championship again or more to the point expected to win the championship this weekend.

Should be a great race with added weather hopefully and if thats the case I imagine Webber to be his closent rival as for mine Webber is the best driver in F1 today when conditions are variable.


Webber best F1 driver in changing conditions?LOL.Are you sure? Did you wanted to say Button, Alonso, Vettel,Hamilton, Sutil, Schumacher…? Webber it´s not exactly a rain-master.O_O


No i didnt want to say the ones you mentioned or I would have but thats not taking away from them. My opinion is purely based on observations throughout the year during these conditions eg not full wet non fully dry. Full wet is another story.


I wonder what he’ll do with two F1 cars – he could start a museum some day, but unless you have several guys to get through the start procedure the car is not going to move.

I saw on Grand Designs a guy who put a Ducati (996 I think) on the wall. It looked ridiculous basically. A car would be similar, especially with at least two world titles he could find plenty of special cars to drive for the rest of his life, so it will hardly be a case of needing a reminder.


I think he has a helmet museum in mind! Lol!!


Oh really! So Vettel will now have two winning cars in his garage as a thank you for increasing the Red Bull share price!

I guess then it’s Webber’s cars that will be kept in the Red Bull hall of fame museum that’s if they even have one.

From Vettel’s comments it appears he’s going to go all conservative at Singapore because of it’s barriers + just like Schumacher, he must prefer clinching it at Suzuka – A more traditional track with history!

But one thing that’s been impressive about Vettel this year is he rarely repeats mistakes from previous seasons & maybe it’s a culture thing with Germans for he & Schumi rarely moan when things don’t go their way.

But oh well, one of the positive things about Vettel winning 2011 is he’s bound to go through a dry spell (lasting years) for the same thing happened to Prost, Schumi & Alonso after they won their first two titles!


I’d like to see Vettel win a 3rd title next year then have a dry spell then win 1 more in 5-6 years time (see Alonso/Button win 2013, then someone like Ricciardo)

Why? Because there are only two 3 x consecutive world champs, and I’d like to see one in my life time of watching F1 (I came into F1 in 2005 and so missed Schu). I’d like to see him win a 4th so he’s up there with Fangio, Prost.

He’s young enough to win 4 across his career for sure.


Its quite amazing how Schumacher-esque he is in his interviews lately about achieving the maximum. He really is on a completely different level to anyone else at the moment.

Fair play to him.


I personnaly hope he doesn’t clinch the title just yet. But, if he does I hope that Red Bull will the rest of the seasons effort behind Mark Webber. That would be a nice gift for helping out this season. But I could be wrong….


That is not going to happen.


It would be a nice gift to me as I put an each-way bet on Webber at the start of the season at 11/1 🙂


I didn’t realise he was presented with last years car. Now an almost matching second car. Sweet deal 🙂

Schumi would have enough to form his own competition.

Not much to say about the article. Pretty standard Vettel stuff. I don’t beleive a work of it though. He will raise heaven and earth to win in Singapore. Damn the torpedoes 😉


Vettel has not really ben anyones favourite, but I think it is time to see him as one of the greatest ever.

Already at young age he did some spctacular things such as winning the test of “lean-driving” in a std spec BMW. His instinct is to win, maybe only rivalled today by Lewis and Alonso.

I would rank him in the lower top-10 of all times. But that’s just my thinking


“I would rank him in the lower top-10 of all times. But that’s just my thinking”

As in, 1-5 or 5-10?

Either way is blowing everything miles out of proportion.


Too early to say! By the end of his career I could see him in the top 10 but not just yet.

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