Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Vettel hopes major engine upgrade planned for Austria will re-ignite his title challenge

(Jean Michel Le Meur DPPI/ for Renault Sport F1)

Reigning quadruple world championship Sebastian Vettel believes that he chances of retaining his world championship remain on track despite the fact that the German lost ground to Nico Rosberg in the Driver's championship after retiring from the Monaco Grand Prix. Vettel is now 77 points behind Rosberg.

Speaking at a media event in Austria earlier today Vettel said: 

'Mathematically we are right in there, We are looking at the situation race-by-race. Of course it did not go well recently but we are looking forward to the next races. For sure we made progress and this proves we are on the right path. We won't be favourites in the near future, but over a race distance, anything can happen.

"There are always reasons for setbacks, and I do not believe in bad luck. We just have to sort the problems out.'

Vettel's comments come as he saw his team mate Daniel Ricciardo collect his second podium in succession to move ahead of the German in Driver's championship. Speaking about the situation with Renault, Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner stated:

'We're very much in Renault's hands, We are making progress, they are making progress and Total on the fuel side is making progress, but really we are now where we should have been in January. There's still a long way to go and Mercedes obviously aren't standing still. But we are only at race six. There's still a long way to go in this championship.'

Horner went on to say:

'We're clearly the second quickest team at the moment and we are nibbling into that gap to Mercedes. It's nothing short of commitment, hard work and clever design that is going to close that gap.'

The Red Bull boss went on to discuss the teams prospects for the next in Montreal, Canada by saying:

'Montreal is going to be a challenging race and it'll be interesting to see how we fare there. Renault are working hard behind the scenes and we were much, much closer [in Monaco] and it was the first time we have raced Mercedes. Dan [Ricciardo]'s pace - particularly in the last third of the race - he was the quickest car on the track. I think we take a lot of confidence out of that, but you are going from one extreme to another, Monaco is all about handling characteristics and the next event is predominantly straight-line performance. It will be interesting to see how we fare against the Mercedes-powered teams in Montreal.'

In Monaco, Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull's motorsport adviser revealed that a task force has been set up comprising Red Bull Racing, Renault and Toro Rosso to find a solution to the issues that they are having. 

Marko is adamant that a solution can and will be found and that could come at Red Bull's home race in Austria where they are scheduled to receive a major engine upgrade from Renault. 

©Ben Johnston 2014

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