Red Bull team principal Christian Horner holds out hopes that Sebastian Vettel’s engine mileage situation does not cause further damage to the German’s aspirations for a maiden Drivers’ Championship title.
The 23-year-old retired from the lead of the Korean Grand Prix with a spectacular failure of his Renault engine (pictured). The engine – the eighth he has used this season – had completed roughly 1,600km of its predicted 2,000km lifespan.
However, his other available engines have completed rather high mileage as well, and may give cause to his limited practice mileage and suggestions that he was sandbagging during the practice sessions last weekend.
“It’s obviously not an ideal situation,” Horner said when asked about Vettel’s engine situation as the season approached the final two rounds.
“Hopefully it will have a negligible effect on him,” he added.
The next rounds in Brazil and Abu Dhabi both pose risks to engine life by dint of the typically hotter ambient temperatures experienced at both venues. A further complication for the Sao Paulo venue is that, at an altitude of 800m above sea level, it places greater strain on engines than venues closer to sea level.
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