Sebastian Vettel has a chance to win his fourth straight Formula One world title at Suzuka this Sunday when he and the rest of the top F1 drivers compete at the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix.
Heading into the race, Vettel holds a commanding 77-point lead over Fernando Alonso in the seasonal standings, and a win at Suzuka would clinch the title. It's a track he's familiar with, having claimed the pole four times in a row while winning the race three of the past four years.
He fell shy of becoming the pole sitter at Suzuka for the fifth time in a row, however.
Red Bull teammate Mark Webber took his first pole of the year, as noted by F1 on Twitter:
He also made sure to let everyone know he wouldn't be on board with helping Vettel win the world title this weekend, as BBC Sport reported:
Really, nobody can blame him for wanting to win. Vettel has been so dominant for the past few years that it's no surprise Webber wants to taste some glory.
Here's a look at when and where you can catch the action, along with the full lineup for the race.
When: Sunday, Oct. 13, at 2 a.m. ET
Where: Suzuka Circuit, Mie Prefecture, Japan
Watch: BBC1 and NBCSN
Lineup (via Formula1.com)
|1||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault|
|2||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault|
|12||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes|
|17||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes|
|21||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault|
Don't Bet Against Vettel to Clinch Title at Suzuka
Heading into this race, Vettel has won four races in a row, and a fifth-straight victory would give him the world title with four races remaining on the F1 schedule. His dominance has been so complete that former champion Lewis Hamilton recently wondered if "fans will lose interest," as noted by BBC Sport:
If you're hoping his second-place finish during qualifying signifies a potential letdown this Sunday, you'd be smart to curb your enthusiasm.
Webber won the pole, but he called his qualifying triumph "a little hollow" in light of Vettel's KERS problem during the qualifying session, as relayed by ESPN F1:
Vettel enters the race in the No. 2 position after finishing just behind Webber during qualifying, and his car wasn't running at full strength. The KERS is tied to the power boost system, which Vettel was forced to turn off, as noted by Simon Cass of the Daily Mail.
That's a scary proposition for the rest of the field, and it's a good reason not to bet against the German to claim his fourth world title on Sunday at Suzuka.
Given his incredible pace of late, how can you not pick Vettel to win?
The German racer has won six of his last eight F1 races, and he has won at Suzuka three times in the last four years.
It would certainly make the rest of the season more interesting if someone else did win this Sunday, but there's not much chance of that happening unless Vettel is involved in a crash or his car breaks down.
Nobody is going to stand in his way this Sunday in Japan, as Vettel will claim the world title for the fourth year in a row.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78