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GP Week : Issue 170
Two successive grand prix wins on the streets of Singapore and around the tight and technical Suzuka circuit suggest the momentum is with Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull Racing team, as the fight for this year’s titles intensifies. Red Bull demonstrated exceptional pace throughout the Japanese Grand Prix weekend and was utterly untouchable in qualifying – Vettel took his fourth consecutive pole position at Suzuka, while team-mate Mark Webber’s performance ensured it would be an all-Red Bull front-row for the start of Sunday’s race. The young German proceeded to convert pole into the race win with a dominant display that saw him take the chequered flag with a 20.6 second advantage over nearest rival, Felipe Massa. “It’s been a fantastic weekend,” said Vettel. “Yesterday’s qualifying was perfect and today the balance of the car was amazing. We didn’t change too much at the stops – it just seemed to work fantastically well. I’m very happy. The guys have been pushing very hard and, even though we didn’t have major upgrades here, it still seemed to come together.” It was an emotional victory for Vettel. He not only surpassed three-time Champion Juan Manuel Fangio’s 23 race victories, but also bolstered his bid for a third consecutive world title by reducing the gap to Fernando Alonso in the Drivers’ standings to just four points. However, with five races still to go before the curtain falls on the 2012 season, Vettel isn’t taking anything for granted. He said: “It’s a shame for Alonso. It’s not something you hope for and it could happen to us at the next race. “We’ve seen this year that there are a lot of ups and downs and things change quickly – we have to keep our heads down and take it step by step.” RAGING BULL HOLDS THE MOMENTUM 27 GPWEEK.com // 27 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> SUZUKA