Vettel draws on Alonso's 2012 title bid
13 March 2014 – Sebastian Vettel is refusing to feel downbeat over his chances of fighting for a fifth world title this year, despite heading into the 2014 campaign on the back of a torrid pre-season test period with his Red Bull team.
Vettel, who has claimed the past four Drivers' titles, reckons Fernando Alonso's 2012 title bid, which saw the Ferrari driver come within three points of glory after a troubled winter, proves that he can still get results.
When asked ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix if he is already doubting his title chances, Vettel responded: "I don't think that's fair to say. It's a long year. Our preparation, hasn't been ideal and we're probably not in the best position for this race. But I think it's a different story when we think about the championship.
"There's a long way to go. Two years back Fernando was on the grid with 1.5 seconds to pole position but he was very close to beating us to the title at the very last race. So anything can happen.
"That's why this race is important, just as any other one. But there are a lot of races this year."
Vettel insists that he has not changed his mind-set given Red Bull's testing gremlins, and says he will be pushing for the best possible result rather than playing it safe in the hope of picking up a small number of points.
"I'm going out here to push to the maximum and do the best I can and then we will see where we are," said Vettel. "The target, for sure, is to finish and the target is to finish in the best possible position. So that's the mind-set."
Vettel is certain that Red Bull can recover from its slow start: "I think we're a strong team; we have a lot of good people on board and we have strong resources. I'm confident we should progress as the season goes on."