Vettel: Red Bull must keep focus
Sebastian Vettel says Red Bull cannot afford to take their eye off the ball in the battle for the World Championship after he became the first driver to win back-to-back races this season.
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The reigning two-time world champion's third dominant victory in four seasons at Suzuka moved him closer to the points summit than he has been since the Canadian Grand Prix four months ago, his deficit to faltering leader Fernando Alonso now just four points with five races remaining.
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But while his victory on Sunday proved one of the most dominant of the whole season, Vettel struck a note of caution when talking about the remainder of the season in his post-race interview with Sky Sports F1.
When asked about the championship picture, he said: "It looks better today than it did yesterday, so very happy with that.
"It's been a very up and down season for all of us. Shame Fernando didn't finish the race today, but it helps us, and these sorts of things can happen.
"It could be us next week. We have to keep working hard, stay focused and really try to concentrate on every single step."
In winning for the third time this season, Vettel became just the second driver, after close friend and compatriot Michael Schumacher, to win three or more times at Suzuka while, in F1's all-time victory standings, his 24th success drew him level with legendary five-time champion Juan-Manuel Fangio.
Vettel, a keen student of the sport's record books, had earlier become emotional in the post-race press conference when he was told he had equalled the great Argentine's victory tally.
Asked on Sky what the achievement meant to him, the 25-year-old replied: "Let's talk about something else! It's very special. When you're young and Formula 1 is so far away [and when you get there] you're just so proud to be in Formula 1 racing these kind of cars.
"Unfortunately I can't really explain to anyone who is not racing how it feels on a circuit like this, on a day like that with so many fans...it's just fantastic."