Rosberg: Vettel needs 'miracle' for F1 title
13 October 2017 – Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel needs "miracle" to beat Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton to the 2017 title, but "won't give up" in his quest to do so, according to reigning Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg.
Vettel topped the standings entering the summer break, but lost the lead at the Italian Grand Prix and fell significantly adrift after a disastrous trio of Asian races.
Ahead of the final four rounds, Vettel is 59 points behind Hamilton, with a maximum of 100 on offer.
How the F1 title race has unfolded:
Hungary: Vettel by 14 points
Belgium: Vettel by 7 points
Italy: Hamilton by 3 points
Singapore: Hamilton by 28 points
Malaysia: Hamilton by 34 points
Japan: Hamilton by 59 points
Rosberg described Vettel as a "fighter" who will not give in until the title is mathematically impossible, but that a fifth title looks "so difficult" to achieve given Hamilton's recent run.
"Ferrari always come back strong," Rosberg, who made his debut as a pundit at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, said in an interview with BBC Sport.
"It's so difficult for Sebastian now. Lewis has such momentum, everything is going in his direction.
"Sebastian needs a miracle to come back, but he's a fighter and he won't give up. It will remain interesting, so let's see how far he can take it."
Vettel defended his Ferrari team after an early retirement at Suzuka, and has vowed to go "flat out" in the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
"It's normal if you're critical, especially if things go wrong, it's part of our job, but I think I need to protect them," Vettel said of Ferrari.
"We've done an incredible job so far, it's bitter the last two races with the reliability issues, but it's like that sometimes.
"Of course it hurts, we're all disappointed, but the best [thing to do] is to get back, get some rest, and go flat out for the next four races and see what happens."
If Hamilton wins in the United States and Vettel is sixth or lower, or if Hamilton finishes second and Vettel is no higher than ninth, a fourth title will be his.