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Sebastian Vettel can still be caught as Formula One returns from break

August 23, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing takes part in a practice session Friday for Sunday's Formula One Belgian Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing takes part in a practice session Friday… (Srdjan Suki / EPA )

Formula One returns this weekend after a break of nearly a month, with three former champions trying to stop Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel from capturing a fourth consecutive world title.

Vettel holds a 38-point lead over second-place Kimi Raikkonen of the Lotus team in the championship standings heading into Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in eastern Belgium.

Two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari is right behind in third, 39 points behind Vettel. And 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton of the Mercedes team -- who won the most recent race, the Hungarian Grand Prix, on July 28 -- is fourth, 48 points back of Vettel.

"We have to stop Sebastian winning over the next few races," Hamilton told Formula One's website. "He's quite far ahead so we constantly need to be gaining."

There's still time. There are nine races left on the 19-race Formula One calendar, including the U.S. Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas course in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 17. The season finale is the following week in Brazil.

Points are awarded to the top 10 finishers of each race on a sliding scale, with the winner receiving 25 points.

Vettel, 26, has won a series-high four races so far this season, but the German doesn't discount any of his rivals.

"We have to get our own stuff sorted [out] and then we will see what happens," Vettel told a news conference Thursday. Still, he said, "we have the same reason to be confident as we had starting the season."


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