Skip to main content

Vettel aims to bounce back in Bahrain

From Eunice Yoon, CNN
April 20, 2012 -- Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT)
  • Sebastian Vettel seeking to return to winning ways in Bahrain on Sunday
  • Red Bull driver admits he'll need to turn around a slow start to the year
  • He is aiming to join Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio in elite club
  • Two-time world champion says decision to race in Bahrain is in the hands of F1 bosses

(CNN) -- Sebastian Vettel is hoping to kickstart his season in Bahrain this weekend as he continues his bid to win a third consecutive world drivers' championship.

The German has struggled to repeat his dominance of the past two years in 2012's opening three races, lying fifth in the overall standings 17 points behind McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

The 24-year-old finished second in Australia, 11th in Malaysia and fifth in China last weekend.

However, he was second in the morning practice session in Bahrain on Friday and then third fastest in the afternoon.

"The target is to win the championship this season, which would make it three in a row," Vettel told CNN.

Security concerns in Bahrain
Bahrain uneasy ahead of Grand Prix
Bahrain's 'calculated risk' auto race

"At the moment there's a lot of work ahead of us. Maybe we didn't have the best start but it's a long season.

"It looks to be very competitive, everyone looks to be very close to each other, I don't think there's much between the cars. It promises to be quite a tight season and I think that's what the spectators want."

The former Toro Rosso driver can make history this season as only the eighth driver in F1 history to claim three world championships.

He would join an even more elite club of just two other drivers to take three crowns on the trot -- compatriot Michael Schumacher and 1950s legend Juan Manuel Fangio.

Vettel has already racked up 22 race wins in a stellar career, all but one of which have come in the last three seasons.

He's hoping to add to that impressive tally in Bahrain, but refused to get drawn into the debate on civil unrest in the country.

"I think generally it's not for the drivers to decide," he said. "Obviously we have a lot of people behind Formula One trying to organize the race and there's a lot of work involved in that. It's their decision at the end of the day.

"We're looking forward to the Grand Prix this weekend and that's the main thing. Hopefully we can pick up our old form and make sure we get back to the top."

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.