Formula One: Vettel ready to put F1 championship to bed

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany smiles during an event at the Nissan Motor Co's global headquarters in Yokohama, south-west of Tokyo on Wednesday, Oct 9, 2013. At the end of a week in which he has been accused of sending Formula One
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany smiles during an event at the Nissan Motor Co's global headquarters in Yokohama, south-west of Tokyo on Wednesday, Oct 9, 2013. At the end of a week in which he has been accused of sending Formula One fans to sleep, Vettel can put the championship to bed on Sunday. -- PHOTO: AP

SUZUKA, JAPAN (REUTERS) - At the end of a week in which he has been accused of sending Formula One fans to sleep, Sebastian Vettel can put the championship to bed on Sunday.

If the Japanese Grand Prix pans out the same as last year's race, the 26-year-old Red Bull driver will be enjoying sweet dreams as the youngest quadruple world champion - and only the third four-in-a-row winner - with four races to spare.

"I'm trying not to think about it, to be honest," the German, who will be chasing a fifth successive race win and fourth pole in a row, told reporters in South Korea last weekend. "It is an incredible position to be in. Our car seems to work well. So we have a reason to believe we will have a good weekend."

Vettel stands on the brink of joining three of the all-time greats - Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher - in the record books as the only drivers to have won four or more titles in the 63-year history of the sport.

The championship leader enjoys a 77 point lead over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and will wrap up the title if he wins at Suzuka and the Spaniard fails to finish in the top eight.