Vettel claimed his third championship in last month’s Brazilian Grand Prix and insists that he is determined to keep up his high level of success into 2013.
“I know that I have a special position in the team – yes – but I definitely do consider myself as a team member,” the reigning world champion told the Official F1 website. “As a team member I want us to be as successful in 2013 as we have been this year and the two previous years. And personally, I never had to simulate motivation – that is part of my nature”.
“Sure, right now it is nice to savour the title win and everything that goes with it, but what stays in your memory much more than anything else are the steps that got you there: the nervousness on the grid at the first race, the stress when it didn’t work out as planned, the podiums – all these moments stay in your head forever”.
Vettel also added that looking at his championship trophy ‘prods’ him to go out and win.
“Of course you hope that it [the world championship] will return to you, but you also understand when you read all the engraved names on it that it has a very distinct life of its own. Now it is back in my kitchen, on the kitchen table, to prod me to go out and fight for it in 2013,” he said. “Every time I sit at the table I turn it around to read all the names on it – it’s almost a mystic procedure. And to see that the last three engravings are your own name – that moves deeply.”
Vettel reckons that his and Red Bull’s belief was crucial for their 2012 success.
“What was key this year was that we never stopped believing. And believe me, that is easier said than done. There are so many ‘experts’ out there making throwaway remarks about who will be the champion and who the loser, and you don’t have to let that get to you,” he said.
“Not the positive and not the negative. You have to focus completely on your own business and never worry about what other people do or don’t do. What some of my competitors might have underestimated – but which probably was a huge cornerstone of the success – is the understanding that every single point counts. Only three points – nearly even less – stood between first and second in the end, between having your name on the trophy again or not.”