• Saturday, Jul 04, 2020
  • Last Update : 09:20 pm

Mission impossible for Vettel as Hamilton nears fifth title

  • Published at 01:56 pm October 9th, 2018
Vettel
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel waves while driving an historic Ferrari 365 Dytona during drivers' parade ahead of the start of the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka AFP

The German's hopes of winning a fifth Formula One title this season moved away from slim and closer to non-existent at Suzuka

Even Mission: Impossible star Tom Cruise would baulk at the task facing Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel after Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

The German's hopes of winning a fifth Formula One title this season moved away from slim and closer to non-existent at Suzuka.

Lewis Hamilton's pole-to-flag victory, the Briton's sixth win in seven races and ninth of the season, delivered another hammer blow to a rival whose challenge has swiftly self-destructed.

Vettel is now 67 points behind his Mercedes rival with four races -- worth a maximum 100 points -- to go.

The battle between the two four-times champions looks effectively over, even if there is still fighting talk from Maranello.

"I know that the situation looks impossible," Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene said on Sunday. "But our job sometimes is to challenge the impossible.

"This is what we are going to do and we try to do for the future four races."

In fact, it could all be over in two weeks' time at the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, where a win with Vettel finishing lower than second is all Hamilton needs to seal the deal with three races to spare.

"You say nearly (done), so obviously there is still a chance," said Vettel, cutting a resigned figure as he spoke to reporters.

"At the last couple of races we made it a bit too easy for them but also credit to them as they executed well, which is the name of the game.

"We need to look after ourselves and do our bit the next couple of races and then we see."

Ferrari's campaign has unravelled spectacularly as the season has worn on, with what appeared set to be a titanic battle of two four-time champions instead turning into a one-horse race.

Mistakes from both Vettel and the Italian team, as well as strategy blunders such as a failed tyre gamble in qualifying at Suzuka, have cost them dear.

They no longer have the fastest car, with Mercedes locking out the front row and finishing in one-two formation in the last two races.

Hamilton is also in the form of his life and has to be favourite for victory again in Austin, where he has won every race bar one since the Texan track joined the calendar in 2012.

Vettel's highest finish since his win in Belgium at the end of August has been third and he will need to win at least the next two, with Hamilton failing to score, for any miracle to look remotely possible.

Still, neither Mercedes nor Hamilton are taking anything for granted.

"A DNF (non-finish) and the consequent bad result suddenly wipes off a large chunk of your points," said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

"I know from the probability standpoint it doesn't look likely, but this is motor racing.

"I've seen many black swans swimming across the pond in my life... that's why I'd rather wait until it's really done."


51
51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail