Sebastian Vettel could have been talking about the threat to his championship ambitions when he admitted that there would be 'no point in trying something silly' during the German Grand Prix
but, instead, was referring to the thorny subject of team orders which dogged the Red Bull
team after the previous round at Silverstone.
Once again, much was made of RBR favouring the young German when it transpired that team-mate Mark Webber
had been told repeatedly to maintain the gap and not challenge Vettel over the final few laps of the British Grand Prix. The Australian appeared clearly faster than his team-mate and, with title ambitions fading, wanted to do something proactive. With Fernando Alonso
away in the lead, the battle was for second, but RBR justified the orders as a means of preserving maximum available points and not jeopardising a 2-3 result by risking an accident.
Asked if he would obey similar orders if chasing Webber in his home grand prix, Vettel appeared to toe the company line.
"I think it always depends on the situation," he conceded, "But, if it's in a similar matter to Silverstone where, for the team
, there's really nothing to gain, and the leader is far ahead, then there's no point in trying something silly."
Of course, the comment also came from a man with the comfort of an 80-point leader as the championship passes its halfway mark, and the luxury of being able to take second-place finishes between now and Brazil and still win the title for a second straight year. But, despite that, and only qualifying third at the Nurburgring, Vettel insists that he would not be thinking of the standings when the lights go out on Sunday afternoon, and not thinking of holding back until, perhaps, told to do so by the team.
"I don't race and think about the championship all the time," he maintained, "Sure, it's important to finish the race tomorrow but, first of all, I'm going to enjoy it, because it doesn't happen too often that you have so much support. It was very nice to see so many people in the grandstands waving our national flag, and some Red Bull
flags as well, so I will enjoy that more than anything else tomorrow - whatever the result will be.
"I will fight everyone, that's what is happening when you race in F1. First of all, there's Lewis [Hamilton] eight metres ahead and then, another eight metres further on, there's Mark. That's where we are going to start and then we will see. It will be a long race, and tricky conditions, but I'm racing everyone."
Having missed the front row of the grid for the first time in 15 grands prix, Vettel insists that, after a difficult start to the weekend, he is much happier with his car in race trim.
"It wasn't the easiest Friday we have had, but we had a good recovery so, this morning, the car felt much better," he said, having featured in the top three in each practice session, "It wasn't just one change that we made. Obviously, we tried many things in free practice, so we went back a couple of steps in one way and then obviously changed some small tweaks here and there which, all in all, made the balance much better. I was much happier this morning.
"This afternoon, I think it was a tight session, there wasn't much missing. In Q3, I think I had two solid runs, but maybe lost out a little bit in the last sector on my last attempt. But Mark was very quick, did a very good lap and [without the error], it would have been very close.
"I'm happy with third - it's on the clean side of the track, so we will see whether that's worth an advantage or not. It depends on the conditions tomorrow. I think rain is on the way, the question is where and when it will hit the circuit, but, all in all, I think we are in a much better shape than yesterday, so I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow."