World champion Sebastian Vettel may be on the point of clinching his second consecutive world title, but he said today that he is in no hurry to do it here in Singapore with six races to go.
Vettel, 24, can leave Singapore as world champion on Sunday, with the right combination of results for him and his rivals. But he says that he is taking a measured approach to the weekend and is neither keen to close it out here, nor risk averse with the prize in his grasp,
“So far we haven’t won anything but we are in a good position,” he said in the paddock on Thursday evening. “We have to race and do our best. It’s one of the most difficult tracks for the cars and drivers. A lot of people talk about it but certain things have to happen. The target is to optimise our performance. Our target going into the season was to defend our title. It doesn’t matter when, it matters to us only that it happens.
“There is always pressure on me and on us because we always want to achieve the maximum,” he added. “I don’t feel any extra pressure trying to win the championship here. Our target was not to win the title by Singapore, it was just to win it. This race is as important as any other one.
The champion also said that being on the verge of clinching the title would not change his attitude to taking risks in Sunday’s race. In Monza he took a chance overtaking Alonso for the lead, going onto the grass to make the pass stick.
“The risk you take always depends on the chance you see,” said Vettel. “If you see the chance to pass the car in front you go for it. If you think the risk is too high you don’t got for it. It would be wrong to drive around with the handbrake on saying, ‘I just want to finish.’ On the other hand, it’s wrong to go into the race and say, ‘I need to risk something’. It’s a long season with many races, at some point you will make mistakes, that’s natural. The more experience you get the fewer mistakes you make. If we get a chance then we’ll go for it, if not there’s no reason to do anything stupid.”
Vettel has been promised his 2011 car as a present for winning the title, by the Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz. He was presented with last year’s car for clinching the title last season.