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“It would be a great success for us,” Vettel said. “I didn’t know until Mark told on the way back from India. We just spoke very shortly about the constructors. We were both on the same plane and Mark said it would be quite bad for constructors if this plane went down.”

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton has shifted his attention to the constructors’ championship now that he and teammate Jenson Button are out of the title chase. Since announcing in September he would replace Michael Schumacher at Mercedes next year, Hamilton has not had a podium finish. But he said he remained committed to helping McLaren win the title.

“I’ve just been focused on trying to get this constructors’ championship for the team and try and get the maximum we can,” he said. “In theory it’s still possible for us to win and so all guns blazing for that.”