Vettel: Too soon to crown Rosberg F1 champion


Sebastian Vettel believes it is too early to declare the Formula One title race over, despite Nico Rosberg's blistering start to the season.

Mercedes driver Rosberg has won all four races on the F1 calendar this year and has topped the podium in each of the past seven events dating back to the conclusion of the 2015 campaign.

Rosberg is already 43 points ahead of team-mate and defending champion Lewis Hamilton, while Vettel is 67 adrift of his German compatriot in fifth.

However, Ferrari's Vettel - a four-time world champion from his Red Bull days - rejected suggestions the destination of the title is already known with 17 races still remaining.

"We have only raced four out of 21 races in total. I have been around for quite some time and I cannot remember people ever discussing the title [being over] before after just four races," he told Auto Bild. 

"It does not matter whether people are talking about me or about Nico Rosberg. It is simply too soon to talk about the title. 

"You should not let good or bad results affect you too much. You should always remain calm, stick to the plan and analyse where you can improve."

Vettel is in his second season with Ferrari, having ended his lengthy association with Red Bull in 2014.

The 28-year-old was solid in his debut campaign, but still finished 103 points adrift of Hamilton in the drivers' standings.

But Vettel insists there is no timescale for a earning his first championship with Ferrari.

"I have not set a target as to within how many years I want to win the title with Ferrari. I'm sure Michael [Schumacher] did not have a set date for it either," he added, referring to the countryman and countryman and Scuderia predecessor. 

"The goal is to move Ferrari in the right direction again. Of course, ideally we want to do this as soon as possible. So I refuse to write this year off already. That would be the wrong approach. 

"We will only get stronger if we keep doing the right things, that is for sure.

"I was looking for a challenge when I joined Ferrari. I wanted to build a new team. We never thought we could do it within a year. The goal is to create something that works in the long term."