F1: Ferrari concede defeat to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull after Stefano Domenicali congratulates the German as he closes in on a fourth world championship
Vettel could win title at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix to join Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio and Alain Prost in winning four drivers' championships
Tuesday 08 October 2013
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has already offered his congratulations to Sebastian Vettel with the Red Bull driver on the brink of winning his fourth consecutive Formula One world title.
Vettel could seal his place in the sport's history books on Sunday with a victory in the Japanese Grand Prix, allied to Fernando Alonso finishing ninth or worse.
A run of four successive wins - with his latest in Korea on Sunday - and six in the last eight races overall, have propelled Vettel to a 77-point lead over Alonso with just 125 available.
Ferrari's Alonso now faces a mountainous task to catch the German, leading Domenicali to admit: "We need to be realistic.
"We know it is almost impossible to win the title, so congratulations to him (Vettel) and to what they (Red Bull) are doing because at the end of the day if they have that (the title) they deserve that.
"For now, it is an extra push and a motivation for our team to try to achieve the level of performance they were able to achieve."
Domenicali has conceded the result and performance of his team in Korea made it a painful experience.
Alonso could only finish sixth, his worst result since the Monaco Grand Prix in May, while team-mate Felipe Massa was ninth.
Naturally, Domenicali can only hope for an improvement heading into Sunday's race in Japan, which at this stage represents a 'last-chance saloon' for Alonso.
"It was not an easy weekend for us in Korea," said Domenicali.
"We saw some sign that would be the case on Friday. It was not really a weekend where we were competitive in terms of our race pace, as we were in Belgium, Monza and Singapore.
"Unfortunately, it was really quite a painful Sunday, particularly when you are always in traffic, unable to overtake.
"As we saw, we were pacing with the same lap time as the Sauber (Nico Hulkenberg) with our engine, and with the Mercedes, but Vettel and Lotus were too strong. That's a fact.
"So I hope it will be less painful this weekend, and we need to be positive inside.
"We have always said we should be there to take the opportunity in case Sebastian has a problem, but that was not the case on Sunday.
"Maybe this Sunday the situation will be better, and maybe a situation - sportingly of course - will happen to Vettel instead of to poor Mark (Webber). Then we will be getting closer."
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far: No place for Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata
Which player sells the most shirts in the Premier League?
WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
Chelsea's best XI of the season so far: Petr Cech has been better than Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Manchester City's Jesus Navas are the three best attacking midfielders in Europe in 2015
- 1 Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 4 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 5 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans