The Formula One circus arrives in Japan this weekend, and defending world champ Sebastian Vettel is adamant he can still catch the Ferrari of title leader Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard heads into the race at Suzuka holding a 29-point lead over Vettel, but the Red Bull ace believes he can overhaul the gap over the closing six races of the season.
Obviously I don’t want misfortunes to hit others,” Vettel, a two-time winner at Suzuka, said. “We’re confident and we believe we can do it on the track
“I was confident in the last race, for example, that we had a similar pace to Lewis Hamilton, but it would have been difficult to overtake him on track. But you never know. Then he retired and we took first position.
“But for the next races we have to focus on ourselves and whatever happens, happens. Obviously we are currently behind, so if none of us scores, we stay behind: we need to make sure to finish the races and score a lot of big points.
“Historically this is a circuit that we used to like and we have always been very competitive around here, so I think we should have a good weekend,” Vettel continued.
“But we’ve seen this year that in fast corners we are struggling a little bit more than in the past.
“Obviously there are a lot of fast and medium-speed corners around this track so we’ll see. It will be extremely tight because I think there’s a couple of cars that struggle a bit more in the lower-speed corners.
“The Sauber should be very strong this weekend. It’s no secret that they have a very good car with a lot of downforce. Sometimes it’s a bit of a surprise to see them so far back after having been very strong.”