Having clinched his second F1 world title in as many seasons, Sebastian Vettel admits that he is satisfying his competitive edge by chasing smaller prizes in the remaining races of 2011, starting with fastest lap in the Korean Grand Prix.
Incredibly, for all his ten race wins this year, the German had just one fastest lap to his name heading into the race at Yeongam, from the European Grand Prix in Valencia, and he admitted that he was looking to top that particular table at least once before the end of the season.
"It's really stupid," he admitted, "I think, in other races, it doesn't really make sense but, on the last lap, I had a good feeling and, yeah, I was pushing a bit harder to get the fastest lap.
"It's a small thing, [and] it's probably more to do with the ego because there are no points [for fastest lap], so it's really stupid from my side - but now I've got one, I'm happy. On the radio, they said 'you didn't get the fastest lap', which obviously isn't true - then they came on the radio and said 'idiot, you got it'."
Vettel admitted that, having taken the lead from polesitter Lewis Hamilton on lap one, the race had been one of those where everything felt perfect, and fastest lap was the ideal way to top that off. His reaction at the end of the 55 laps was, if anything, more excited than at Suzuka, where he clinched the 2011 title with third place on the road.
"I was very happy with how the race went today," he admitted, "I had the feeling that we got everything out of the car. Last week was a very, very special day, but it took some time to really sink in - and we finished third. I had the feeling that it was very close and maybe we could have done a little bit better. It doesn't meant that I'm not satisfied with third place - obviously, I was extremely happy to win the championship - but, if you know that your race wasn't the best from your side and there was a little bit left at the end, then of course it's difficult to switch into a different mode, whereas, here, I think we got everything out today. It was a brilliant race from start to finish.
"We were very clever with the tyres, able to read the tyres and pull the gaps at the end of the stints when it was important, where we were struggling in particular last week. So, in that regard, we came back much stronger and had a much better race and it was just fantastic. It was a great day for the team, securing the constructors' [title]. I knew that if we finished on equal points or a little bit ahead of McLaren as a team today we could secure it, and ten is a nice number so, yeah, it was a nice day."
Like team-mate Mark Webber, Vettel was quick to pay tribute to the unsung heroes of the Red Bull Racing effort, dedicating the constructors' crown to those back at base in Milton Keynes and Viry-Chatillon.
"You need to understand that we have so many people off the track, especially in Milton Keynes, in the factory, working day-in, day-out, every day of the week, every month of the year, really trying to make or to build two very competitive race cars," he reasoned, "It's not just one person or one area where things need to come together, it's everything. Even the staff of the kitchen matters and everything needs to come together.
"Obviously, for us, the drivers, the most important championship is the drivers' championship but, for the team, it's the other way round, it's the constructors', to know where they match with the other teams. It's very good to see that we had another very strong year after the strong season last year. To win back-to-back is outstanding and the guys are surely very happy. I think there will be a little bit of a bonus for them, so they will