Friday 15 December 2017

Webber: One more victory should seal deal

Red Bull's Mark Webber admits he probably needs only one more win this season if he is to secure a maiden Formula One world title.

The Australian has won four times this year, with the last of those coming at the Hungarian Grand Prix at the start of August. But he has since gone four races without a victory.

He has nevertheless maintained his place at the top of the drivers' standings, with his advantage now extended to 14 points after coming second to team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the Japanese Grand Prix.

With three rounds remaining, that is a position he could well defend with a run of strong points-scoring finishes, but he is only too aware of the value of a fifth victory.

"I need to win again in the future," said Webber, who has 220 points after yesterday's race at Suzuka.

"I'm very confident I can do that, and that would be beneficial, of course, but also reliability can still yet play a role... many things (can change), circumstances, lots of different things."

Vettel's win from pole yesterday -- his second successive Japanese Grand Prix triumph -- has pulled him level on 206 points with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso going into the closing stages of the season.

Vettel's first win at Suzuka a year ago also came from pole, and the German admits he is developing a particular fondness for the track, regarded as one of the finest on the calendar.

"I am very proud," he said. "I love this circuit. It is always special to come here. I think the atmosphere for all of us is special.

"It is the first time I have won a grand prix for the second time, so I think ultimately you have to fall in love with this track."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner praised the temperament of his two drivers for their approach to the season, and admitted their internal battle for supremacy was a "luxury".

"We are fortunate in the team to have two level-headed and strong-willed drivers," said Horner. "While that inevitably poses challenges at times, it is a luxury problem to have.

"I am delighted with the performance of the two drivers and obviously hope that they keep performing at this level over the remaining three races."

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