Sebastian Vettel is expecting to get back in the game next time out in Singapore.
The reigning world champion is now 39 points behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso after the Spa-Monza double header, where Red Bull’s RB8 struggled on the high speed straights.
“Our biggest problem is a lack of speed on the straights,” he is quoted by Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo, after seeing the gap blow out by a factor of 15 points at Monza. “We were always among the slowest. Fortunately the tracks for the next races have less long straights, which should allow us to fight for victories,” added Vettel.
But some members of the international press are now saying Vettel is little more than an outside chance to defend his two consecutive titles this season. Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz told Salzburger Nachrichten: “As long as we have a mathematical chance, we continue to believe.”
A pragmatic Dr Helmut Marko added: “It is going to be difficult. Alonso has to be our model,” he is told Bild, “scoring podiums or at least points in every race. It’s still possible.”
The immediate hurdle, however, is to solve the alternator problems that left Vettel at the side of the track both in practice and also the race at Monza. The Renault/Magneti Marelli units are failing in higher ambient temperatures, and the conditions in Singapore this week are already in the low-30s. Renault’s Remi Taffin ruled out Vettel as a cause of the failures.
“It’s nothing to do with him,” he insisted.