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Vettel Starting To Feel The Pressure

Championship leader aware of rivals' improvements

Posted Aug 09, 2011 by Chris White

Vettel leads the championship but is starting to feel his rivals closing in

Having had such a strong start to the season, with many feeling the drivers’ championship was wrapped up before the halfway stage in the campaign, Sebastian Vettel is starting to show signs that he is feeling the pressure, after failing to win any of the last three races as his challengers close the gap.

Vettel made a well-publicised request for improvements to be made to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner after the Hungarian Grand Prix, but Horner fought off his request, telling the German that “the drivers don’t need to tell the team we need to respond.”

The improvements made in recent races by Ferrari – who won at Silverstone – and McLaren – who have taken the last two races – have certainly reopened what was looking like a procession for 2010 champion Vettel, who had won six of the first eight races until the championship arrived in Britain.

Vettel still leads the drivers’ championship by 83-points, so it is not crisis time by any means, but with the other teams improving Red Bull could certainly do with a win soon to get back on track. While Vettel has been calling for improvements to be made to the car, Horner has ruled that out, stating that “nothing changes in our philosophy”, and that they will keep attacking every grand prix for the rest of the season to ensure victory in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship – of which Red Bull are 103-points clear at the summer break.

The calls from Vettel will give his rivals a real boost for the rest of the season, as it shows the championship leader is starting to worry about the challenge coming up behind him. Fernando Alonso, who won at Silverstone to start the fresh challenge, is looking very quick at present and regularly performs well at the next two circuits – Spa and the home of Ferrari, Monza – while Lewis Hamilton and team mate Jenson Button, who won in Germany and Hungary respectively are right back in the title race.

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