Vettel optimistic about title chances

Vettel optimistic about title chances

Sebastian Vettel remains "optimistic" of being crowned Formula One world champion this season despite a remarkable statistic counting against the young German.

Ahead of Sunday's night race around the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore, Vettel trails championship leader and Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber by 24 points.

Sandwiched in between the duo are three world champions in Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, the quintet setting the scene for a pulsating end to the season.

Yet of the five title protagonists, Vettel is the only one yet to lead the standings at any stage this season, despite two victories and seven pole positions to his name.

It is the fact Vettel has only converted one of those poles into a race win that has been his downfall, yet the 23-year-old is not without belief he can still wrench the crown from Button's grasp.

"I'm not panicking," said Vettel.

"The new points system worries people more than it should. With 25 points for a win, under the old system, I'd only be eight or nine behind, which would seem much less dramatic.

"So I believe in the title, that is the most important thing. It will be very close in the finale, but I'm optimistic."

The track should certainly suit the Red Bull as it is similar in characteristics to Monaco and the Hungaroring, venues where the team dominated, with Webber triumphing on both occasions.

It remains to be seen, though, whether the FIA's recent imposition of new stringent tests relating to flexible bodywork will have any impact on the car, as McLaren are hoping.

If Red Bull have managed to retain their pace it could be another walk in the park for the team, although Webber has one bogey to overcome.

In the two previous races under the lights at Singapore, the 33-year-old has yet to finish, retiring after 29 laps in 2008 with a transmission problem and after 45 last year due to a brake failure.

As you would expect, the Australian has no intention of making it an unwanted three DNFs in a row.

"I'm hoping to improve on last year's result as it's a high down-force street circuit that should suit our car," said Webber.

"It's got some similarities to Monaco and Budapest and we did well at both those circuits, so I'm hoping for a strong result."

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