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Vettel and Alonso prepare for final showdown

posted 22 Nov 2012, 08:47 by Mpelembe   [ updated 22 Nov 2012, 08:48 ]

Sebastian Vettel closes in on a third-successive world championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix but Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is going all out for his first title since 2006.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL (NOVEMBER 22, 2012) (NOVEMBER 22, 2012) - Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso will fight it out one last time this weekend at the Brazilian Grand Prix to decide who will be crowned the 2012 world champion.

Red Bull's Vettel is 13 points clear of Ferrari's Alonso following last week's U.S. Grand Prix. Germany's Vettel finished second behind McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton withAlonso finishing third.

Vettel, 25, said he was feeling confident but the unpredictability of the weather could cause some problems.

"Weather wise I think it's Sao Paulo, it's the same as if you go to Spa, things can happen quickly and the weather changes a lot here," Vettel told reporters at a news conference on Thursday (November 22). "So (I) spoke to some locals and I think there was a big rain two days ago which wasn't expected. Probably for Saturday and Sunday there's some rain on the way but then again you don't know how much and when.

"I asked Pirelli yesterday if they had all the containers here with the rain tyres and that's the case so I don't think we have to be concerned.

"I think the circuit seems to suit our car previous years. I think we need to confirm it this year so all eyes on Friday to start the weekend to get into the groove but I think we can be as confident as we could in this stage obviously we know there is a lot ahead but I think we are in a great position."

However, Spain's Alonso knows that if he wins at Interlagos and Vettel finishes lower than fourth he would win his third world crown. The 31-year-old is focusing on getting a minimum of 15 points to give himself a chance.

"It will be good to be on the podium to score minimum 15 points and then when we cross the line we will see where Sebastian is and we try to do some numbers after that,"Alonso said. "So the first priority for us is to be in the podium that say which give us the possibility to score more than 13 points and then we need to wait obviously for the results from Red Bull because it's not in our hands.

"We have not much to lose; we are only possibility to win something we will try to do our best."

For Hamilton this will be his last race for McLaren before he moves to Mercedes and the 2008 world champion is looking to make it back-to-back victories to finish off his time at McLaren with a bang.

""It's quite a unique experience for me," Hamilton said."I've obviously never been in the situation this weekend where it's my last race for the team I grew up in so it's going to be a tough one nonetheless we're going to push as hard as we can as we did in the last race and try to win. I've never won here before so I think we've got a good car and so I'm going to have to try and beat Felipe (Massa) as he wants to win it," he joked.

"It's such a beautiful race here, you know, hopefully the weather will hold up for us."

Hamilton is replacing Michael Schumacher at Mercedes and the seven-times world champion admitted he is relaxed ahead of his final race before retiring from the sport for a second time.

"I guess I have some experience and that's why I'm probably quite relaxed about the happenings," he said. "On top (of that) we're not in any championship fight compared to last time that happened to me obviously and well just take the best out of it and enjoy it as much as I can.

"I think I mean I have tried that mission to end successful. It didn't work this time but quite happy to finish from here and go for a different life again."

Meanwhile, Schumacher's former Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa is hoping to win his third Brazilian Grand Prix to delight his home crowd.

"Here is a very special place for me," Massa said. "And I'm going to try to win and hopefully Fernando can finish second without any problems to win the championship."

Practice for the race is on Friday (November 23) before the qualifying on Saturday (November 24).