Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel has high hopes for 2010 and is flattered to have been tipped to win the World Drivers’ Championship title by Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
The 22-year-old German enjoyed his best-ever season in the sport last year as he finished runner-up to champion Jenson Button, 11 points off the pace. And he is only too aware of the fact that there is plenty of hard work ahead if he is to go one better, fighting off the challenge posed by his rivals, who now include returning legend Michael Schumacher, as well as Button and former champions Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.
'I will give my best and fight until the very end.' -Sebastian Vettel
In an exclusive interview with Formula1.com, Vettel said of Mr Ecclestone’s prediction: “It is flattering to hear such things. It’s my target to win the championship as soon as possible. It is why I am here and, as always, I will give my best and fight until the very end."
Red Bull are looking to build on their exploits of last season after finishing second to Brawn GP (now known as Mercedes GP) in the World Constructors’ Championship with Vettel and teammate Mark Webber second and fourth respectively in the World Drivers’ standings.
And, if Renault can ensure engine reliability for the new RB6 car, Vettel and Webber will be out to continue their impressive form which saw Red Bull make a winning end to 2009.
“I have a very strong team, which supports me 100 percent," Vettel added. "We have one of the strongest engine partners on board; they are also one of the best in terms of fuel consumption. I am sure the car will be very competitive. So far there are only positives."
Vettel and Webber will be hoping to be at the top of their game by the time the 2010 campaign begins in Bahrain on March 14 ahead of a trip to Australia.
In addition to three new teams joining the starting grid, a new points scoring system is being introduced which will see the top-ten drivers picking up points, with 25 available for each race winner, 20 for second place, and 15 for coming in third.
For more F1 news, go to Red Bull's official F1 website.