Sebastian Vettel taking nothing for granted at Indian Grand Prix

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is taking nothing for granted as he stands on the brink of sealing his fourth title at Sunday's Indian Grand Prix.

The German has won the last five races and needs only a fifth place finish to make sure of the championship.

Vettel said winning the title, when it happens, "would be very, very special".

But he added: "I go into this weekend not expecting anything. I expect to be competitive but you can't expect to win or even to think further ahead."

We are in a great position with a good gap in the points table

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel is 90 points clear of his closest rival, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, with only 100 still available.

To take the title, Alonso would have to win three of the remaining four races and finish second in the other, with Vettel retiring from them all.

Vettel will win the title on Sunday if Alonso does not outscore him by at least 16 points.

The Red Bull driver said: "We are in a great position with a good gap in the points table - I'm looking forward to the weekend. We have to get the best out of ourselves. The target is to beat the rest."

Asked what it would mean to him to become only the fourth person in history to win four world titles, after Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher, Vettel said: "It is a very small list when you talk about world champions.

Title connotations

  • Fernando Alonso must finish in the top two to have any chance of keeping the championship alive to Abu Dhabi
  • If Sebastian Vettel finishes fifth or higher, he will win his fourth title regardless of where Alonso finishes

"It would be very, very special. It is incredible what we have achieved in the last few years and most of this year up to this stage.

"It is good not to look back. But sometimes it makes you realise what you have achieved."

Alonso will be wearing a special helmet design to mark his passing Schumacher to become the highest points scorer in F1 history in Japan last weekend.

The Spaniard's normal blue and yellow helmet will be replaced by a predominantly white design featuring the figure 1571 - his total career points.

"I'm very proud of it," Alonso said. "It's a record that defines my approach to racing - thinking always to score as many points as possible."

His website pointed out that he had taken 213 races to reach his points total, whereas Schumacher did 307.

The Spaniard added that while hopes of winning the drivers' title were over, he and the team would keep pushing to secure second in the constructors' championship.

"It is a matter of time when he [Vettel] will get the championship," said Alonso. "I am sure he will try to win the remaining four races. We will try to be as close to him as possible and try to fight for the podium.

"Motivation is always high. Even if I go to do a race in go-karts with my friends it is 100% because if I lose I don't like it.

"So for the rest of the year we will try to help the team to achieve the goal of second in the constructors' championship."

The Indian Grand Prix - live on BBC TV, radio and online

  • Friday 25 October : First practice, 05:25 BST BBC Two & BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus live text commentary online. Second practice, 09:25 BST BBC Two & BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus live text commentary online

The Indian Grand Prix - live on BBC TV, radio and online

  • Saturday 26 October : Third practice, 06:25 BST BBC Two & BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus live text commentary online. Qualifying, 08:30 BST BBC One & 09:25 BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus live text commentary online. Qualifying (repeat), 13:00 BST BBC One

The Indian Grand Prix - live on BBC TV, radio and online

  • Sunday 27 October : Race coverage at 08:30 GMT BBC One & 09:00 GMT BBC Radio 5 live, plus live text commentary online. F1 Forum: 11:45 on selected TVs, online & BBC Red Button. Race repeated at 14:00 GMT on BBC One & 16:00 GMT BBC Red Button. Highlights: 19:00 GMT on BBC Three