Scene set for Vettel versus Hamilton championship battle in final nine races 22 August, 2013 Sebastian Vettel versus Lewis Hamilton on the cards The second half of 2013 Formula 1 World Championship looks set to be a head-to-head between points leader and favourite Sebastian Vettel versus Mercedes‘ Lewis Hamilton. Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari‘s Fernando Alonso still have more points than Hamilton, but many are tipping Mercedes to keep improving from track to track until the November finale. High-speed Spa and Monza, for a start, look set to favour the powerful W04. But Red Bull‘s Helmut Marko told Sport Bild: “We won in Montreal, even though the circuit is more [suited to] Mercedes. “Will bring new parts to each of the last nine races.” It is on the Austrian’s final point that many see the rest of 2013 as a likely Red Bull-versus-Mercedes battle – most of their rivals might see focusing on the all-new challenge of 2014 as a wiser choice, given recent form. Sebastian Vettel with Lewis Hamilton Sport Bild claims that, in contrast, Mercedes’ Paddy Lowe has been tasked exclusively with continuing to develop the German team’s 2013 car right until the end. Nonetheless, team director Toto Wolff is playing down the chances. “We cannot be confident,” he is quoted by the Mirror, “it would be the wrong approach to say we have found the golden key now.” Red Bull’s Vettel, with a 48-point lead over Hamilton, is also playing things down, despite others predicting him to wear a fourth consecutive drivers’ crown. “There is still half a season ahead of us, Mercedes has been developing well so we cannot say anything. “Things change fast in F1,” he is quoted by Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo. (GMM) Subbed by AJN. Related NewsRed Bull: A tremendous job by both driversMercedes: We are taking nothing for grantedDan does the ice bucket challengeRed Bull: There’s a lot of boxes to be tickedMercedes: It looks like we have the quickest car againEngine quota penalty looms for VettelHamilton: There wasn’t a discussion after HungaryRosberg: There was a discussion after HungaryRed Bull using electric engine for pitstop practiceBelgian Grand Prix: Mercedes preview Spa Tamburello_1994 We need some D-R-A-M-A ! Hawk you mean D-N-F Hawk maybe Lewis/Merc will fight for wins but for the WDC/WCC seems rather late. Tamburello_1994 Agreed. Can’t blame the media for trying. realf1fan Yeah, shame Mercs could not get to grips with the tyre situation earlier on in the season. But the Red Bull team are masters at staying competitive at the business end of the season while we still don’t know to what extent is the improvement of the WO4 car regards its tyres. Tamburello_1994 I’m not completely ready to discount Ferrari either. For them it’s all about saving face at this point. flw Don’t forget Lotus. If rumours are right and they will bring a “new car” to Spa i would spent my coins on kimi. Alonso_is_slow Simple the two best drivers in current F1. Alonso not even podium. grat Vettel’s going to have to have at least one DNF (or out of points), and Hamilton will have to outscore him for the rest of the season, AND win at least 3 races. Given Hamilton’s history at Singapore, Austin and Abu Dhabi, it’s not impossible… but it’s quite the hill to climb. If Rosberg can get past the technical problems his car’s had, then Mercedes should be challenging for the WCC, however, so it’s worth Mercedes trying to push through this season– especially if their engine is really as much of a monster as claimed. They can run a so-so car, with a monster engine, and be able to catch up in aero work pretty quickly. real LOTUS is the GREEN one These resonings are too simplicistic, there are other contenders that will earn heavy points: Nico can win again, like Kimi, and Alonso will certainly get further podiums; i think also Grosjean could reach his first win and i expect to see Sutil on the podium at least one time; i will not write-off Webber for a single win (if Seb won’t be right dehind him) and maybe, before season ends, also McLaren could be back on podium. Vettel just have to keep concentration and get points, cause there isn’t a single challenger who can win many races hereafter. thefan alonso_is_slow or whatever of those many names you use… do you have any other comment that doesnt mention alonso? did he just slept with your mother or something? for the love of God, say something different, you’re funny as hell thefan keep your head tight lewis! good thing he settled for roscoe and dumped nichole, now he’s back to normal, good times ahead for F1 Alonso_is_slow no need for me to talk about something else. I am here to discover the true quality Alonso, pealed of marketing BS. A41202813GMAIL Go, HAMILTON !