Sebastian Vettel has said he is eager to secure his second F1 championship crown 'in the right way' and not by simply just picking up the single point he needs to take back-to-back titles.
The Red Bull driver just failed to secure the crown in Singapore, with Jenson Button retaining the slenderest of chances of overhauling the German in the title race.
As it stands going into the Suzuka race, Vettel needs to score just a single point to become the 2011 champion, which means Button would need to win every race remaining and hope that Vettel failed to score again in order to be champion.
Such a change in fortunes would appear to be highly unlikely but Vettel insisted his approach for the weekend hadn't changed and that he would be racing to try and secure the title with a victory
“Obviously there's still a chance for Jenson to win the title and for me not to win the title,” he said during Thursday's FIA press conference. “We always try to keep our feet on the ground and approach this race by race, and try to do the best. The target going into this weekend is not to get one point, in a way it's not to win the championship, the target is to do our best. If our best, for some reason, is tenth, then we try to get a tenth but if our best is possibly to win the race then we have to go for it and try to win the race.
“We want to do it in the right way, so I think if you have the ability and the package overall, to do well around here, you have to enjoy it and you have to make sure that if the chance is there to finish on the podium you finish on the podium. Yes, there would be reason to celebrate, even if we finish tenth, but it wouldn't be the same, so we try to race as usual and we try to get the best out of ourselves.”
Speaking later to the official F1 website, Vettel said that there was one main reason why he now stands on the brink of securing a second straight championship title.
“Probably a word that is not at first sight that fancy: consistency,” he replied when asked what the secret to his season has been, “and in this respect we have had a terrific year so far and I hope it will not desert us for the final races.
“To win a championship, attributes like 'difficult' or 'easy' do not do it justice. A title win is a marathon of races where every single one adds something, but a single race is hardly ever the only ticket to the championship. Winning in general is not an easy task - that goes for a race win and even more so for a championship win. Over a long season you are confronted with many situations, good and bad, and probably the trick is not to get distracted by the not-so-happy ones.
“Probably the most important thing is to come to every race - no matter what the result of the previous one - with the will to win, to do your own thing and to do your own race. That has served us well and that is exactly what we will do for the last five races, regardless of whether the championship is decided on Sunday.”