Sebastian Vettel may enjoy a sizeable championship lead of sixty points over closest-rival Fernando Alonso, but the German driver will not be easing off in the final six races of the season as he goes in search of a third consecutive Korean Grand Prix victory next weekend.
Vettel won the race at Yeongam in 2011 and 2012, and he may well have won the inaugural race in 2010, but he retired whilst leading due to an engine failure. However, he conceded that Red Bull may struggle on the long straights at the circuit.
“The track in Korea has a bit of an unusual layout,” Vettel said. “The long straights all come right at the beginning and the turns at the end. I love the curvy part because it is a lot more fun, whereas the straight lines and sharp turns can be a little boring. They are also our weakness, because we often lack in top speed there.”
Since becoming front-runners, Red Bull have traditionally excelled on the high downforce circuits and struggled at the faster tracks such as Monza and Montreal. However, this season, Vettel appears to have bucked this trend by winning in both Italy and Canada, suggesting that the long straights in Korea will not harm the team too much.
As well as chasing his third consecutive win in Korea, Vettel will be looking to claim his fourth win in a row in 2013. His recent run of form has created a championship lead that it is difficult to see him losing, with the Indian Grand Prix being the most likely location of his coronation as a four-time world champion.
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”