Mike Stevens | Oct 27, 2010

Sebastian Vettel sounds unlikely to voluntarily fall in line behind Mark Webber as Red Bull pushes for its first ever drivers' World Championship.

Although heading for the championship lead in Korea before his engine failure, Vettel is now 25 points off Fernando Alonso.

It means Ferrari's Spanish driver is the favourite for the title, with Vettel's teammate Mark Webber the most likely challenger due to his 11 point deficit.

But Germany's Bild newspaper said it sounds unlikely that Vettel is going to give up.

"Nothing is going to change in my approach to the final two rounds," he is quoted as saying. "My (engine) failure makes everything more interesting and difficult. But it is still possible.

"I am going to fight until the end," Vettel vowed.

Like McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh who is in a similar situation, Red Bull chief Christian Horner said before leaving Korea that team strategy will be discussed internally before the season's penultimate event in Brazil.

Former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi thinks Red Bull made a big mistake by not establishing a hierarchy some time ago.

"They needed to take advantage of the fact they had the best car," the Frenchman told CNR Media. "It's doubtful they will have the same advantage next year, so you have to say they have mismanaged this season.

"I think they've missed a great opportunity," added Alesi.

Joan Villadelprat, a veteran F1 team manager who now operates his own Le Mans team Epsilon Euskadi, agrees.

"There has been a lack of solidarity at Red Bull, who have not been able to manage their superiority and are now giving the title away to Ferrari," he wrote in his El Pais newspaper column.

"When a double world champion like Alonso takes the kind of advantage he has now, he does not fail," the Spaniard added.

(GMM)

 

Alonso Not Expecting To Win Title In Brazil

Fernando Alonso is not ready to relax despite leaping into a strong points position with just two races left to run in 2010.

It is true that, now with an 11-point lead over Mark Webber, if the Spaniard wins in Brazil in two weeks and his Australian rival is fifth or lower, Alonso will secure his third drivers' world championship with a race to spare.

But McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh, whose drivers are also still mathematically in the hunt, said: "There is little doubt now the championship decider is going to be in Abu Dhabi."

Alonso agrees that he cannot rely on another Korea-like outcome before then.

"Red Bull showed us again in Korea that they are stronger than us, and that will be the same in Brazil and Abu Dhabi as well," the Ferrari driver told El Pais newspaper.

"So what we need is another small step forward to be competitive. We must be on the podium. If someone beats us now, congratulations -- winning or losing will depend on who is faster, on reliability and on luck," added the 29-year-old.

In comments published by Italy's La Stampa, Alonso said he is not interested in the mathematical possibility of him becoming champion in Brazil.

"Yes, that's true -- and if Red Bull miss their plane to Brazil, that's another way to be champion," he joked.

"The odds remain in favour of Red Bull."

Alonso said the only mathematical certainty is that he cannot lose the championship at Interlagos in two weeks.

"In Korea I have only guaranteed to be fighting in Abu Dhabi in the last race of the season," he confirmed.

(GMM)

 

Berger Says Webber Tried To Take Out Title Rivals

Gerhard Berger has accused Mark Webber of wanting to take out a championship rival after crashing in Sunday's Korean grand prix.

Australian Webber, who at the time was leading the world championship by 14 points, spun on a wet kerb whilst running second at Yeongam and struck the wall.

But his Red Bull then rolled back across the circuit, collecting the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

"I don't understand why Webber didn't hit the brakes," said Rosberg. "It was crazy to roll back across the track like that."

Former Grand Prix winner Berger said on Monday: "He could have hit the brakes and stopped the car at the wall.

"He took out Rosberg, but it was the wrong one. I think in his mind he would have preferred Alonso or Hamilton," the former Ferrari and McLaren driver told Austrian Servus TV.

Asked to clarify whether he thinks Webber's move was deliberate, Berger - a former co-owner of the second Red Bull team Toro Rosso - added: "Yes, I think that's very clear.

"He goes off and he knows it's over. In this moment you're frustrated and a thousand thoughts go through your head.

"It's very obvious, you can see his wheels are not locked up. Perhaps he had a brake problem, but I don't think so."

[top photo: Malcolm Griffiths / Getty Images]

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