Vettel: One step at at time in championship chase

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Following his win in Korea today, Sebastian Vettel has refused to get ahead of himself despite having the chance to seal his fourth world championship at next weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

The German driver controlled the race from start to finish, only losing the lead momentarily at his first pit stop. With closest rival Fernando Alonso languishing down in sixth, Vettel can seal the championship in Japan if he wins the race and Alonso finishes no higher than ninth. However, he is refusing to get ahead of himself, instead basking in the glory of his fourth consecutive win.

“It was a very strong performance from the whole team and I’m happy,” Vettel said. “We’re just focusing on continuing to take one step at a time and trying to get the best out of the car at every single race.”

He identified the start as being crucial to his win that also marked the first time in the history of the Korean Grand Prix that the pole-sitter has claimed the victory.

“The start was crucial, it’s always tricky here as you’re nervous about the long straight when you start from pole,” he said. “Fortunately we had good traction off the line and I had a strong exit out of the first corner. We kept the lead and tried to control the race from there.”

Heading to Japan, Vettel will be full of confidence as Suzuka is one of his favorite circuits, winning three times at the venue as well as clinching his second title there in 2011.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”