Vettel focused on winning F1 races despite big lead

Wednesday, 3 August 2011 00:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters : Championship leader Sebastian Vettel wants to get back to winning races so he can wrap up his second straight world title in style instead of cautiously picking up points when Formula One returns from a break in late August.

The German extended his lead to 85 points over Red Bull team mate Mark Webber thanks to his second place finish at Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix behind McLaren’s Jenson Button.

After a run of six victories in the first eight races, Vettel has not won for three grands prix but it is not for the want of trying.

“I don’t think about the championship when I’m racing. I think about trying to win,” he told reporters.

“There are still so many races to go so our target has to be to win races and I can tell you that we still feel very hungry, I feel very hungry -- hungry in Hungary -- to win races, full stop.”

Vettel has never been so far ahead this season and the chances of anyone denying him the title are as remote as any car other than a Red Bull, McLaren or Ferrari winning the next race in Belgium on Aug. 28.

The big three are utterly dominant with McLaren and Ferrari having caught up with Red Bull after Vettel’s team stormed away in the first half of the year.

The final eight races should offer excitement on their own but the title run-in could be a damp squib like the weather in usually hot Hungary, in total contrast to the nail-biting ending last season when Vettel only triumphed in the last race.


Despite wanting to seal back-to-back glory with a bang, the German still realises the importance of taking points when not in the best of form -- as he was on Sunday when twice overtaken by the McLarens while struggling in the wet.

“Looking at the championship it was a good race with a lot of people finishing behind us, except Jenson, so we will see. There’s still a very long way to go and we see with the races like this especially, how quickly things can change,” Vettel said.

“Still, I know it’s good points today.”

Race winner Button had a similar experience when he won the 2009 world championship with Brawn GP. He had streaked away at the start of the year only for the wins to dry up in the second half.

Unlike Vettel, the Briton really did have to scrap around for every point in the run-in and only just clinched the championship with a cash-strapped team as opposed to the financial power of Red Bull.

His hopes of coming anywhere near Vettel at the end of this season are over with Button fifth in the standings despite winning on his 200th Grand Prix start at the track where he first triumphed in F1 in 2006.

He enjoyed the moment anyway.

“I’m not going to look at the points, I’m so far behind,” said the Briton, who now heads for a holiday in Hawaii during the mid-season break.

“But I think if we can do what we did here with the package we have we can do very well this year. But points aren’t of importance at the moment, it’s race results.”