Formula One

 
             === F1: Can Vettel win five in a row in Abu Dhabi? ===
 
 Philadelphia,  PA (Sports  Network)  - Two-time  defending  Formula One  world
 champion Sebastian Vettel will attempt to win his fifth consecutive grand prix
 this weekend in Abu Dhabi.
 
 Vettel's  winning  streak began on Sept.  23 in Singapore. The Red Bull driver
 then  claimed  victories in  Japan, Korea  and India. It's  the first time the
 young German has won four straight F1 races in his career.
 
 "It's  pretty  amazing," Vettel said. "It's  very hard to target those kind of
 things.  I think they either happen, or they don't happen. I think the secret,
 if  there  is any, is  that we  didn't approach the  first of those four races
 thinking we can win four. We focused on the first one, then on the second one,
 then on the third one, then on the fourth one."
 
 Vettel  also  led every lap in  Japan, Korea and  India. It's the first time a
 driver  has led all laps in three straight F1 events since Ayrton Senna did it
 in 1989.
 
 Prior  to Singapore, Vettel trailed Fernando Alonso from Ferrari by 39 points.
 Vettel  is now 13 points ahead of Alonso, as three races remain. Austin, Texas
 (Nov. 18) and Brazil (Nov. 25) follow Abu Dhabi.
 
 Alonso  has  remained very much  in the title  hunt with podium appearances in
 four  of the  last five grand prix.  The Spaniard finished second to Vettel in
 India.  His title hopes,  though, took a big hit in Japan, where he was forced
 to retire after crashing on the opening lap.
 
 "I  think  we need to bring  some new parts  to Abu Dhabi, hopefully improve a
 little bit more then competitiveness of the car, try to be a little bit closer
 to  Red  Bulls on Saturday  and hopefully on  Sunday," Alonso said. With three
 races  remaining,  the championship is the  main target, so we need to recover
 some  points.  It will be nice  to finish in  front of Sebastian in Abu Dhabi,
 whatever the position it is. If we can win the race, it will be even better."
 
 If  Vettel can win on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, he would become the sixth different
 driver  in F1  history  to win  five  or more  grand prix  in  a row.  Michael
 Schumacher  was  the last driver to  accomplish that feat in 2004, winning the
 first  five races of the season and then scoring seven victories in a row from
 May-August.
 
 Abu  Dhabi, which has become one of the most popular grand prix on the current
 F1  calendar, has  been a special place  for Vettel. He won the inaugural race
 there  in 2009.  The following year, Vettel  not only won at Abu Dhabi for the
 second  straight  time but clinched  his first  F1 world championship there as
 well, as he ended the season just four points ahead of Alonso.
 
 "In  just three  years, the race has grown  to be one of the highlights of the
 season,"  Vettel  said. "Starting at  dusk and finishing  in the dark makes it
 something unique and impressive. I have special memories of the circuit. I won
 there  in  2009 and then  repeated the  victory in 2010  to win my first world
 championship,  so  it's an  event I  will never forget.  The circuit itself is
 impressive."
 
 Lotus'  Kimi Raikkonen, Mark Webber from Red Bull and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton
 are  the only other drivers who remain mathematically eligible for this year's
 championship.  Raikkonen  is presently  67 points  behind Vettel, while Webber
 trails his teammate by 73. Hamilton, who won last year's race in Abu Dhabi, is
 75 points out of the lead.
 
 The  3.451-mile Yas  Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi features nine right turns and
 12 left turns. It's one of the few circuits on the F1 calendar that runs in an
 anti-clockwise direction.
 
 Series: Formula One. Date: Sunday, Nov. 4. Race: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Site:
 Yas Marina Circuit. Track: 3.451-mile (5.554-kilometer), 21-turn road course.
 Start Time: 8 a.m. (et). Laps: 55. Miles: 189.738 (305.355 km). 2011 Winner:
 Lewis Hamilton. Television: Speed.
 
 11/01 13:09:16 ET

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