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EVENT COUNTDOWN

ALBERT PARK

12-15 MARCH 2015

Horner braced for tense finish

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is preparing for frayed nerves as he fears this season's battle for the Formula One world title will boil down to the last lap.

Earlier this season Horner suggested the fight would go to the final race, and has obviously been proven right as the showdown takes place in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

A degree of tension has eased given Red Bull won the constructors' championship last Sunday, remarkably doing so in six short years after the team was built from the wreckage of Jaguar's failure.

Vettel rapt with pole

Sebastian Vettel believes the title is within his reach after clinching pole at the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.

Vettel headed McLaren's Lewis Hamilton with the quickest time of one minute 39.394 seconds, but more importantly topped championship leader Fernando Alonso who qualified in third (1:39.425), while Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber (1:39.925) was a disappointing fifth.

The 23-year-old German trails Alonso in the drivers' standings by 15 points while Webber is in second, eight points behind.

Domenicali rues painful defeat

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has spoken of his disappointment after watching Fernando Alonso lose the drivers' world title on Sunday.

In light of Sebastian Vettel winning the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi, Alonso needed only a fourth-placed finish in the race, but a poor strategy resulted in the Spaniard finishing seventh and handing the title to Vettel.

After extending his congratulations to Vettel, who at 23 became the youngest ever Formula One champion, Domenicali lamented the painful defeat and bungled strategy.

Red Bull taunt rivals

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has taunted McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh by telling him to resolve his own team's problems before commenting on those of others.

Marko, right-hand man to owner Dietrich Mateschitz, was naturally in an ebullient mood after witnessing Sebastian Vettel become the youngest world champion in Formula One history on Sunday.

Marko has made no secret of his favouritism towards Vettel over the course of the season, notably siding with the 23-year-old following his collision with team-mate Mark Webber in Turkey.

Hamilton not giving up

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has not given up on winning the Formula One world championship this weekend.

Hamilton sits 24 points behind title leader Fernando Alonso and needs a remarkable final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to claim his second world championship.

"Although I'm still mathematically in with a shout, I'm fully aware that, being 24 points behind, I'll not only need to win the race on Sunday but see the championship leader finish outside the points," Hamilton said.

Mercedes make F1 pledge

Mercedes GP have put a disappointing season behind them by committing to a long-term future in Formula One.

Despite finishing fourth in the constructors' championship in 2010, the result was seen as a disappointment with neither Michael Schumacher nor Nico Rosberg able to consistently challenge for podium positions.

But parent company Daimler's CEO Dieter Zetsche believes that the team will only improve and maintained they were committed for the long haul.

Format shake-up for V8 Supercars Albert Park 400

Qualifying spiced for Albert Park with a draw that will flip the field and make drivers fight harder for victory …

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation and V8 Supercars have announced some extra spice for the V8 Supercar races at the Formula 1™ Qantas Australian Grand Prix later this month.

A draw will be held after qualifying that will see a selection of the field inverted prior to the Top 10 Shootout, jumbling the field and creating the potential for any car that qualifies in the top 20 as being able to move through into the Shootout.

Alonso happy with 2010

Fernando Alonso is proud of his efforts during his first season in Ferrari colours, despite falling short in the Formula One title race.

Alonso, 29, joined the famous Italian team after one unhappy year with McLaren and a fruitless second spell with Renault, the team with which he won two world championships in 2005 and 2006.

The Spaniard finished second in the drivers' standings to eventual title winner Sebastian Vettel in 2010, but Alonso believes the team deserve credit for staying in the hunt throughout the season.

Vettel relishing homecoming

Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel is looking forward to celebrating his crown with his German fans this weekend.

Vettel won the 2010 Formula One drivers world championship in a dramatic final race in Abu Dhabi on November 14 and, after completing post-season testing and celebrations in Austria and England, the German is about to celebrate with his compatriots.

He is expected to drive a Red Bull car - the team he won the title with - down Berlin's 'Fan Mile' towards the iconic Brandenburg Gate on Saturday.

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