Despite Sebastian Vettel's seventh win of the season, at the Belgian Grand Prix
on Sunday, extending the German's F1 world championship lead to 92 points, Red bull Racing insists that it is not thinking about celebrating just yet.
In cold, hard mathematical terms, that is probably the best option, for 175 points remain on offer for anyone winning the remaining seven rounds, but, with Vettel's RBR team-mate Mark Webber
currently second in the standings and the German having had just one finish outside the top two all season, heart and head should be saying that the title is all but sewn up.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner accepts - and enjoys - the fact that his squad have been the dominant force in 2011, building on its first championship successes last season, but remains pragmatic when it comes to discussing a repeat.
"That's our seventh win this year, our twelfth pole [and] we've a 100 per cent finishing record, but we don't underestimate our rivals - there will be no complacency," he told journalists after Vettel and Webber secured a 1-2 result against the odds at Spa-Francorchamps, "There are seven races to go, still a lot of points available on the board, [so] we're heads down, focused on the next race and not thinking anything is done and dusted."
Vettel, too, refused to acknowledge the fact that he could wrap up his second crown as early as Singapore in late September, pointing to the abrupt turnaround in fortune that saw team-mate Webber lose his grip on the 2010 title over the final few races. Having crashed out of last year's Belgian Grand Prix, Vettel's championship ambitions appeared in tatters, but the German then produced three wins and a second place in the final four races to claim the crown, depriving Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who had been further behind leaving Belgium, but entered the Abu Dhabi finale on top of the table.
"I've got more points than after the last race [and], of course, I'm very happy with today's result as I know that it's very important to finish ahead of those guys and anybody else," he reasoned, "It brought us closer to our final target, but it's still a long way.
"If you just look at last year, yes, by this time, it might have been looking different but, if you look at how quickly things can change, if you are out in two races and someone else is having a good couple of races, it could change. All we do is try to get the optimum every time, like today."
As was the case in 2010, five drivers leave Belgium still holding a chance of taking the title but, unlike last year, Vettel holds a commanding lead, leaving the likes of Alonso and McLaren
duo Jenson Button
and Lewis Hamilton
to write off their chances of overall success. That leaves Webber, who has yet to win a race and was told to hold station behind his team-mate at Silverstone, as the lone believer that Vettel can still be beaten.
Horner insists that his two drivers remain free to fight for victory at every race, but the reality is that the German would still be 17 points ahead as the circus hits Korea even if he missed the intervening races and Webber won them all.....