Ferrari hand Sebastian Vettel power upgrade
Championship leader Sebastian Vettel's bid to win this weekend's British Grand Prix and stamp his authority on the title race will be boosted by Ferrari's third upgraded engine of the year, he said Thursday.
The four-time world champion, who leads home hero Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes by 20 points, is aiming to deliver Ferrari's first win at high-speed Silverstone since 2011.
"We'll fit a new engine and I don't think it will be a big difference, but obviously we have some things planned," German Vettel told reporters.
"It was our plan to have the new engine here, so we're on plan..."
Vettel, who has won only once at Silverstone, in 2009 for Red Bull, also took advantage of an opportunity to unleash a charm offensive on the British fans in the wake of Hamilton's absence from Wednesday's F1 Live promotional event in central London.
Sensitive to his own much-tarnished image following his controversial 'road rage' attack on the Briton's Mercedes car at last month's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Vettel went out of his way to praise the fairness of the British race fans.
He said: "I don't know why he (Hamilton) is not here... Silverstone is a great track and I've been coming here for a great many years now.
"I have to say the crowd is very fair. I remember in 2009, when I was in a similar situation, I was racing with Jenson (Button), for the title and I came to Silverstone.
"Obviously, he had the huge home support -- fair enough -- but I happened to win the race and I got a lot of cheers, so it was really, really nice to see that the people were fair and appreciated that we had a good race at the time so let's see."