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GP Week : Issue 176
28 GPWEEK.com // 28 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Arriving in Austin, it was almost inevitable that Red Bull would secure their third consecutive constructors’ title at the Circuit of the Americas. The team needed only four points to do the job, and only a double retirement would have delayed their title till Brazil. With a lap 17 retirement for Mark Webber, caused by another alternator failure, the certainty surrounding Sebastian Vettel’s third drivers’ title began to wane. In normal circumstances, it will be tough for Fernando Alonso to win the championship next weekend. But if Red Bull experience another alternator failure on their Renault engines, the British racers will have handed the drivers’ title to Ferrari on a plate. Asked whether he was concerned that Renault’s alternator difficulties could cost him the drivers’ title in Sao Paulo next week in light of Webber’s alternator-based retirement on Sunday, Vettel claimed to have every faith in his team and the parts they supply him with. “I don't know what happened to [Mark], so I need to check, obviously,” the defending world champion told the media in Austin. “The first info I only get now, so it's hard to comment but in case it was the alternator, it's not good news but I think we've managed the last couple of races pretty well so I'm sure it should be easy to explain, to find the problem. After Monza, I think we learned the lesson and we should be prepared enough for next week.” The more pragmatic Webber conceded that his retirement would make the team ner vous about Vettel’s run for the title in Brazil next weekend. “In the end, it was the alternator again,” the Australian driver said. “That meant we lost the batteries, the KERS, our gearbox synchronisation and so on. I knew I was in trouble. It’s disappointing when you lose such a good result, both for myself and the team, and there are now more nerves about our reliability, for sure.” RED BULL SEAL THIRD CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP ON THE TROT – but could Renault cost them the Driver's? F1 >>> UNITED STATES