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Newey doubtful of Vettel F1 title hopes, Horner disagrees

Written by  Sep 20, 2018

Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey believes Sebastian Vettel is struggling under the pressure of challenging Lewis Hamilton for the Formula 1 title.

The German fell 40 points behind the Mercedes driver with just six races to go after a difficult Singapore Grand Prix saw him finish third, behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

Having been the man behind the four championship-winning cars that Vettel drove between 2010-2013, Newey knows the 31-year-old better than most and believes the signs are not good.

“Sebastian works incredibly hard and hardly anyone is more self-critical than he is,” he told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“If he has a weakness, it’s that he can make stupid mistakes in the heat of the moment. If he leads he is almost unbeatable.

“But people deal with pressure differently. In the car, he is responsible not only for himself but for the entire team. Some drivers are not bothered, like the Finns.

“But there are others who really feel the pressure weigh on them at the end of a world championship.

“The harder a driver works, the more he feels the pressure. That’s particularly true of Seb.”

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Red Bull team boss Christian Horner disagrees, however, pointing to when he overturned a similar deficit six years ago.

“Usually he’s very good under pressure,” he said “He certainly won’t give up, he was 40-odd points before down I think in 2012 but obviously it will be disappointing for him to have lost out to Lewis at this race [Singapore].

"The Ferrari’s a very quick car. There are still six races to go, 150 points available. Anything can still happen but Lewis is over a weekend and third place ahead.”

Newey also suggested that Vettel needs "at least one" Hamilton retirement, but the man himself has set a simple yet very tough goal.

"If we win every race from now on, we are safe. That must be the goal from now on," he told Auto Bild with doing that ensuring him the title by two points at the least.

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