Vettel rules out 'now or never' approach at Suzuka

Sebastian Vettel trails Lewis Hamilton by 50 points but he will not be adopting a more aggressive approach in Japan.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel   -  Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel will not go for broke at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend in a bid to reignite his faltering bid for a fifth Formula One title.

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton has won three races in a row to open up a 50-point lead over Vettel with just five rounds of the 2018 season remaining.

But, speaking ahead of the race in Suzuka this weekend, Vettel insists he will not be overly aggressive when he attempts to close the gap.

The Ferrari driver said: "I don't like the now or never approach, I don't think there's much sense in that. The secret has been not to count [points].

"We attack every weekend and every weekend is different, tracks are different and circumstances are different.

"I'm very happy to be here, I love this track, it is my favourite track in the world so I want to enjoy it and not spoil it by starting to count on things that are against me. I'll not focus on the things that are against me."

Mercedes secured a one-two finish at the Russian Grand Prix last weekend after Valtteri Bottas was ordered to let Hamilton pass him but Vettel is optimistic his team can turn the tide.

The German added: "A race like last weekend, the way they could play with us in a race, usually means they have more pace, and there are other races in the season where we didn't have the pace they had.

"But we've always been very close, in many races close enough to have a good fight.

"We hope that we have the same performance here and hopefully we are closer in qualifying, which matters to place the car well to have a strong race and show that pace, because once you are behind, we don't have a lot of wheel-to-wheel racing.

"It is not easy to follow close and if you are racing for the same tenths, even if the car were easier to overtake, it wouldn't be that straightforward because ultimately you go as quick as the guys around you. Hopefully we are a bit closer."

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