Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel says he is desperate not to commit “suicide” in his World Championship battle with Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian was over eight tenths slower than his Mercedes rival during the second Japanese Grand Prix practice session this morning.
Hamilton holds a 50-point advantage in the Drivers’ Championship with just five races of the season remaining, which means that another win in Suzuka will put one of Hamilton’s hands firmly on the fifth major trophy of his career.
And Sebastian Vettel insists he will not be taking any unnecessary risks when trying to beat Hamilton, as a DNF for the Ferrari man would leave his dreams in tatters: “You can always do something the question is whether it works,” Vettel said, at the end of FP2 – “Obviously you don’t want to commit suicide so I think if we attack we still try to be reasonable. It is a long race. Today I think we were both sliding a little bit too much and therefore damaging the tea a bit more than others. But overall I think it has been okay. It has been a clean Friday with no interruptions, no issues with the car or anything. I think we can focus on our work and now we try to squeeze out everything that is left in the car for tomorrow.” – the German driver explained.
Sebastian Vettel finished third in both practice sessions this morning while his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fifth, behind Max Verstappen. And Raikkonen was evidently frustrated once again with his lack of pace: “Bah, for us it’s a normal Friday,” he quipped after FP2 – “We’re just not fast enough now, so we’ll have to do it on Sunday. I do not have the expectation that tomorrow it will suddenly be better.”
Japanese qualifying get underway tomorrow at 7am (BST) and the race commences on Sunday at 6.10am (BST).