Published: Saturday October 27, 2012 MYT 9:32:00 AM
Vettel rejects suggestion of Red Bull duel
NEW DELHI: Defending champion Sebastian Vettel rejected all suggestions that the Indian Grand Prix will be a private duel between him and his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber after the pair dominated practice Friday.
The two drivers were six-tenths of a second clear of the field after both sessions with Webber close enough to justify his defence of his right to fight his German team-mate for victory in his own bid to win the world championship.
The Australian may lie fifth in the standings, 63 points behind Vettel, but, with 100 points still up for grabs in the remaining four races, he retains a chance of wrecking Vettel's dream of delivering a hat trick of titles.
"This weekend if I have the chance to win the Grand Prix, I'll go for it," said Webber.
"Mathematically I have a chance [to be champion]. So, if I'm in the lead, I'm not pulling over for anyone."
Knowing this, and aware of the heat of their intra-team rivalry, Vettel was deliberately circumspect in his comments after dominating in practice on Friday.
He was 0.118sec faster than Webber in second practice but focused his thoughts on the bigger picture and his other championship rivals.
"It's not between Mark and myself, I think it's between all of us," said Vettel.
"I think Friday is always difficult on a day like this and on a circuit like that because when you are out doing your new tyre run, track improvement is quite big.
"I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow looks a little bit different, but we've had worse Fridays so I'm quite happy."
He added: "I think we can be quite happy that we didn't have any major issues. We were able to test a few things and now we need to see whether we made progress and hope we make more tomorrow."
Lap times dropped significantly as the track conditions improved and Vettel said that meant the timing of a driver's fast lap was often more important than the time itself.
"The track improvement is massive, at least that's what we found," he said.
"I don't know how the others did because I usually switch off the timing screens on a Friday, but the circuit kept improving and there was quite a lot of grip at the end as the circuit just got better.
"I was quite surprised on the long run and I think it was the same for everyone as lap times just kept getting better." - AFP