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Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Monday, 11 October 2010 12:30 UK

Red Bull driver battle gives McLaren hope - Watson

Vettel reignites his championship hopes at Suzuka

Ex-Formula 1 driver John Watson has said the battle between Red Bull team-mates Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel could play into the hands of McLaren.

Vettel is 14 points behind Webber in the standings with three races to go, while McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are fourth and fifth.

Watson told BBC Radio 5 live: "I'm concerned by the internal machinations between the Red Bull drivers.

"That's going to be the biggest ray of light for Hamilton and Button."

Red Bull were denied a one-two finish at the Turkish Grand Prix in May when Vettel and Webber collided. Vettel was forced to retire and Webber finished third.

Those events led to reports that German Vettel was being favoured by the team and these rumours were fuelled when Australian Webber said on his team radio after winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone: "Not bad for a number two driver."

Watson, who drove for McLaren in F1 between 1979-83 thinks this fierce rivalry could boost the chances of the drivers in that team.

"McLaren may have to rely on the internal competition between the Red Bull drivers, like we saw in Turkey. There is no doubt in my mind that Sebastian Vettel is the chosen son in that team but Webber has that 14 point advantage," stated Watson.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is tied with Vettel in second place on 206 points in the title race behind Webber. Hamilton is 28 adrift of Webber, with Button 31 behind the Australian.


Watson is looking forward to how the championship unfolds for the final three races of the season, starting at the brand new track in Korea later this month.

"I think this has been the best season for grand prix racing in the last decade. With this season's changes in the points system, with 25 for a win, many people thought Vettel was out of the equation but now he is back in contention and suddenly both Red Bull drivers could lock out the championship in the remaining three races," added Watson.

After heading into the unknown in Korea, the drivers head to Brazil before the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Watson thinks all three venues will favour Vettel and Webber.

"Red Bull have the momentum, the most competitive car and it will be competitive on all three circuits," said Watson.

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see also
Title a tough task now - Hamilton
10 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
I must win to take title - Webber
10 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Japanese Grand Prix in 90 seconds
11 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Webber storms to British GP win
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
No favourite at Red Bull - Vettel
07 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull clash hands Hamilton win
30 May 10 |  Formula 1

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