Vettel not thinking about championship permutations

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He may only need to finish the race in fifth tomorrow to secure his fourth world championship, but Sebastian Vettel is refusing to think about anything less than winning tomorrow’s Indian Grand Prix after dominating qualifying today to secure his third consecutive pole position at Buddh International Circuit.

The German driver outqualified the rest of the field by over three-quarters of a second, easing to his forty-third career pole and his eighth of the season, and he was quick to praise his car for being so suited to the track in India.

“The car felt good all weekend and it just got better as the track improved,” Vettel said. “The car was amazing; it’s a great circuit, I really like the flow of it, especially around the middle sector with the high speed corners. If the car behaves the way you want it to through that section then you’re always then going to enjoy it, as we did today.”

However, he refused to pass comment on the championship situation, suggesting that Red Bull will take a pragmatic approach to the race tomorrow and make a decision whether to push or ease off to secure the championship when the time was right.

“We have been getting a lot of questions about the championship this weekend, but we’ll keep doing what we’ve done in the past, just focusing on every single step – we won’t change that for tomorrow, or the next couple of races,” he explained. “We’ve worked hard to get here and tomorrow is a long race.”

With the tire allocation in India creating a variety of different strategies, Vettel may find himself under threat from teammate Mark Webber during the race, but so long as the German driver keeps it on track and finishes in the top five, he will be crowned world champion for a fourth time on Sunday.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”