/ 28 September 2009

Vettel’s championship candle still burning

Sebastian Vettel refused to give up on the Formula One title after wrestling his wounded Red Bull into fourth place at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.

The German’s car was falling apart by the finish of the night race and Vettel, who had challenged race winner Lewis Hamilton for the lead in the early stages, crossed the line one spot ahead of championship leader Jenson Button.

Brawn’s Button leads Vettel by 25 points with 30 still to race for.

”I think history has shown many different examples of how it can finish over the years, with it going either way,” the slender blond driver told reporters.

”At the next races our approach will be simple — we will try to get pole position and try to win, so it’s very straightforward.”

Vettel will hope for a more robust machine when he takes to the Suzuka track in Japan next weekend after suffering a series of problems on the South-east Asian street circuit on Sunday.

One was a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane which was still confusing the German several hours after the race.

”It was a pretty good race for me until we had the drive-through,” he said. ”There’s a bit of a question mark as to why I got the penalty, I mean I had no reason to push at that point.”

Vettel had started alongside Hamilton on the front row but that drive-through penalty ended any hope the German had of winning the race.

His Australian teammate Mark Webber suffered brake problems and crashed at the end of the finishing straight after 45 laps, allowing Brawn to extend their lead in the constructors’ title to 42,5 points.

There are a maximum of 54 still to be won.

”We had a suspected brake problem, so when I came in for my pit-stop, the guys made a visual check. It seemed reasonable for me to continue, but then we had the failure and I retired,” explained Webber, now mathematically out of the title chase.

”The guys did everything they could — I think they were seconds away from retiring me when we had the failure, so it’s disappointing.” – Reuters