Sebastian Vettel keen to win F1 title this weekend

Formula One leader Sebastian Vettel can win his second straight world title at this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver leads the F1 standings by 112 points, and needs to earn only 13 more points than Fernando Alonso to secure the title with five races to spare. If Vettel wins at Marina Bay, Alonso would need to finish on the podium to keep his hopes alive.

Vettel was understandably coy about the likelihood of winning the title under the lights in Singapore, not wanting to jinx himself by saying out loud what everyone else had already assumed - the 2011 title is his.

"Looking to the championship, there is still some way to go," Vettel said. "We are in a very strong position, which we deserve because we've been working hard and made few mistakes.

"As long as we come out of the next race with a bigger lead then we started with, then we have done a good job, so let's see."

The seeming inevitability of a title for Vettel means the closing stages of the 2011 season will be something of an anticlimax compared to the unusually frequent number of nail-biting finishes in recent years. Four of the past five drivers' championships have been decided in the season's last race — the exception being Jenson Button's 2009 title with Brawn.

This year's dominance by Vettel is more akin to the utter dominance of Michael Schumacher when he was at Ferrari.

Still, the Singapore race is an event worthy of interest despite the lack of championship suspense.

As the only night race on the F1 calendar — and the longest in race time — the grand prix around the Marina Bay circuit is always a peculiar challenge.

In its three years so far, the event has been lucky enough to dodge rain, but showers are never far away in the tropical city-state, and the prospect of wet roads reflecting the overhead lights is something the drivers approach with apprehension.

Afternoon rain last year left the track still damp in spots, but is the glare from a fully wet track that concerns the drivers more than lack of tire grip.

"I love the track. It's very challenging. There are a lot of corners. It's very long, it's hot and it's a night race, so there are a lot of special things about Singapore," Vettel said. "The car seems to be very competitive there, so I hope we can go back there this year and win."

A new factor in Singapore, and all races, this year is the Drag Reduction System (DRS), which allows trailing cars to open their rear wings, reducing downforce, and make up ground on the car they are chasing.

That should, in theory, create more overtaking opportunities on a track where they have been in short supply, although the concrete barriers that hem in the circuit mean there is no margin for error on any overambitious overtaking attempts.

The safety-car driver usually has a busy night in Singapore, and DRS may have him putting in for overtime on Sunday.

"The addition of DRS means that we should expect some truly electrifying racing this weekend," McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said. "The track is wide enough to support close and exciting wheel-to-wheel racing and I sincerely hope that's what we see this weekend."

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Harry Redknapp. Mark Hughes and Ryan Shawcross
footballNews and updates as Queens Park Rangers host the Potters
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
i100... with this review
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam