Formula One: Vettel takes long view of title race

Vettel (right) poses for a photograph with a fan at Silverstone motor racing circuit.
Vettel (right) poses for a photograph with a fan at Silverstone motor racing circuit.PHOTO: AFP

SILVERSTONE, United Kingdom (AFP) - Sebastian Vettel is taking a long view of this year's title race, confident he can maintain his challenge through the second half of this season whatever happens at this weekend's British Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver arrives at Silverstone for the last leg of an unprecedented triple-header with a one-point lead ahead of Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.

Last year, Hamilton triumphed and Vettel and Ferrari slipped away in the second half of the season.

"This year's car has more potential," he said.

"Here and there, we didn't get everything out of the car, but I have the feeling we can keep developing it.

"The weakness at the end of last season was that the car wasn't strong enough to fight Mercedes. That's where we lost points.

"I don't know about this year. I think if we have something to fight with, I feel confident that we can have a good year - time will tell. I am not too worried."

Hamilton is favoured to win this weekend's race and claim his record sixth home victory at Silverstone, but Vettel is not flustered and spent more time on Thursday (July 5) criticising the stewards' use of penalties this season, including his three-place grid penalty at last weekend's French Grand Prix.

"I'm not a fan of these penalties," he said.

"I think I've said as well in the past that it's our own drivers' fault, because we sit there on Friday afternoon, complaining about the decisions and the consistency.

"From my point of view, motorsport is not black and white, so naturally not every decision can be the same.

"I don't see the necessity to decide every time. That's what the sport has developed into.

"Every incident needs to be looked at. Racing incidents for some reason are not allowed to happen any more."