Sebastian Vettel says he will not give up on his world title ambitions despite losing victory, and a shot at the points lead, when he retired from the lead of the Korean Grand Prix.
The German is now 25 points behind race winner and new championship leader Fernando Alonso, but after a race that also saw erstwhile leader Mark Webber crash out and lose his points advantage, Vettel remained optimistic that he could turn that deficit around.
When asked by television reporters if he could still win the title, Vettel replied: "I think we can. There are still 50 points to go. Obviously, it would have been much easier if we had won today. That's life, that's how it goes sometimes.
"There has been a little bit too much of it for us this season. Ups and down, everyone has had those, but I think we have had quite a lot in particular, but you can't change it. So we will keep our head down and keep doing what we were doing up to now. Just trying to get the best out of the car and I think in terms of speed there is nothing to improve."
Vettel felt he had done a perfect job until the moment when his car stopped with an apparent engine failure.
"It's obviously not a very nice moment but I think it was a very tricky and difficult race for all of us," he said. "To be on top of the field all the time, controlling the race and looking after my tires, I think there is nothing that we could have done better. So all in all I think we did a more or less perfect job, also with the [qualifying] result yesterday."
Shortly before his retirement, Vettel had been complaining over the radio about poor visibility as darkness fell over Yeongam. He admitted that it would have been a stroke of luck for Red Bull if the race had been halted before his failure, but said he could not complain as the grand prix ultimately managed to cover its full distance without any safety issues.
"I had a medium visor on my helmet and it was getting very dark and it became very difficult to see the bumps on the track and the reference points for braking," said Vettel. "So Turn 1, the first sector was quite bad in places, [Turns] 11-12, and then the last sector was a bit darker.
"Looking back, obviously it would have helped our result if they had stopped the race with 10 laps to go. But the guys finished so they were still able to see something at least."