Tue, Nov 09, 2010 - Page 18 News List

Vettel wins in Brazil, title down to final race

Reuters, SAO PAULO, Brazil

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany, right, takes the lead from Williams’ Nico Hulkenberg of Germany, left, as Red Bull’s Mark Webber follows during the opening lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel turned title teaser on Sunday after putting himself back in the Formula One championship mix with a victory in Brazil.

The 23-year-old German’s fourth win of the season left him 15 points behind Ferrari’s championship leader Fernando Alonso and seven adrift of his own Australian teammate Mark Webber, who finished second, with one race remaining.

The points mean that another Vettel-Webber one-two in Abu Dhabi next weekend would hand the title to Alonso even if the Spaniard finished as low as fourth.

A Webber-Vettel finish would make the Australian champion instead and make sure Red Bull ended the season with both titles after it won the constructors’ crown on Sunday.

Asked if he would do “the honorable thing” if the same positions were repeated going into the final lap in Abu Dhabi, Vettel swerved.

“We go there, try to qualify as high up as possible and then race hard and then see where we are, and then obviously in my case it’s pretty straightforward,” he answered.

“You will have to judge according to the situation. I think both of us know how to act,” Vettel added.

Pressed on the point, he added with a grin: “It’s one week away. As a kid, I never liked it when my parents teased me for something and didn’t answer my question, so now I’m in a good position to tease you, so you will see.”

He returned to the theme later when he passed through the team hospitality unit as reporters quizzed team boss Christian Horner.

“When I was young people teased me,” Vettel said. “Don’t say anything.”

Webber, last year’s winner in Brazil, would have been just a point behind Alonso had he beaten Vettel at the Interlagos circuit, but he recognized Red Bull were never going to order Vettel to move aside for him in the race.

“It’s not in the team’s philosophy. That’s how it is,” he said. “It was a good drive by Seb [Sebastian] today for the win and that’s how it is. I think the team’s position has always been on the sporting side.”

Vettel said the simplest solution for him would be for Alonso to retire with a blown engine from the race in Abu Dhabi, although he hurriedly added that he meant that with no malice.

“I don’t wish anything bad to happen to him, but I think we wouldn’t mind if we saw some nice Ferrari smoke,” said Vettel, who was just a wide-eyed teenager when Alonso won his first title in 2005.

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