Mike Stevens | Sep 22, 2010

With five races to go, Sebastian Vettel is not giving up on winning the 2010 world championship.

His teammate Mark Webber is 24 points further ahead and narrowly leading the drivers' standings over Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko hinted recently that the team should sit down after Monza to assess its championship chances, amid light pressure from Webber to be appointed number 1.

But Vettel told Bild am Sonntag newspaper: "We are not panicking. We are quietly doing our work.

"I believe in the title -- that is the most important thing. It will be very close in the finale, but I'm optimistic," said the German.

He dismissed the argument that his 24 point deficit to Webber is insurmountable.

"Whether it's 24, 25 or 30, it doesn't matter," said Vettel, 23.

"The new points system worries people more than it should. Now there are 25 points for a win, so under the familiar (old) system, I'd only be 8 or 9 points behind.

"Then it would seem much less dramatic," he insisted.

Australian Webber, however, is open to having Vettel relegated to a supporting role for the final run to the 2010 finish-line.

"It would be a nice problem for me to have and then it's up to the team as to what's the best way for them to win the championships," he said in an interview with BBC Sport.

"It's definitely not for me to answer that one," said the 34-year-old.

McLaren's Hamilton, however - just 5 points behind Webber's lead and 17 in front of his teammate Jenson Button - is not expecting to be favoured by McLaren.

"The best driver will win the day," said the 2008 world champion.

(GMM)

 

F1 Calendar Won't Grow Beyond 20 Races: Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone has vowed to keep the F1 calendar at a maximum of 20 races per season.

The 2010 schedule features 19 events, equalled in length in the sport's history only by the calendar of 2005.

But the arrival of India has pushed the 2011 calendar up to 20 races, and if races are not dropped ahead of 2012, new events in the US and Rome could see the schedule grow even longer.

"We want to have these extra races because it's good for formula one, but it's reaching a critical stage in terms of people being able to cope," warns Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn.

Lewis Hamilton agrees: "A season of 19 races is too demanding from the point of sponsors and endorsements. We have promotional events, training, testing and upgrades.

"So it does put extra pressure and we need to manage our time more efficiently," added the McLaren driver.

But in an interview with the Times of India, F1 chief executive Ecclestone has promised to cap the calendar at 20 races.

"We really should be at 16, to be honest," said the Briton. "20 is plenty, that's the limit. No more.

"I've been able to squeeze in 20 but I wouldn't want to increase it. There'll be mayhem otherwise," he joked.

(GMM)

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