Coulthard surprised if Vettel doesn't win title

Red Bull Racing, Getty Images

11 August 2013 by TF1T Staff

Former driver turned BBC pundit David Coulthard says he fully expects Sebastian Vettel to win his fourth title this year after a strong opening half to the season.

The Red Bull driver has a 38-point lead over Kimi Raikkonen in second, but it's Lewis Hamilton who looks likely to challenge the German for the title after he took a dominant win in Hungary to move to within 48-points of the lead.

Coulthard however believes Vettel has done enough in the first ten races to give himself enough of a lead to remain there come the final race in Brazil.

"Historically, if you're able to build a bit of a buffer in the first half of the season, even if somebody then comes forward in performance, normally you can hang in there and get the championship," he told GP Update.

"If you look at [Jenson] Button when he won with Brawn, he won a lot of races in the first half of the season. He didn't actually do anything in the second half of the season but he was able to hang in there and get the championship."

The former Williams, McLaren and Red Bull driver isn't ruling out a challenge from Mercedes though, but he says he's be "surprised" if they did enough to overhaul the current champion.

"Mercedes are looking strong, there's no question about it, and they have a quick car in qualifying, probably with certain advantages over the Red Bull. But Red Bull have a very consistent package.

"Sebastian is unquestionably a remarkable driver when you look at the amount of starts, the amount of success, the qualifying and racing and what have you. Obviously I don't know this, but I would be surprised if he doesn't win his fourth championship. But of course with nine races to go, there are a lot of points."