Having avoided the lap one carnage at La Source, Sebastian Vettel overcame a poor grid position to claim second place in the Belgian Grand Prix and move into the same position in the world championship.
With Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber only managing to convert a penalised twelfth on the grid into sixth at the finish, Vettel's move from tenth to second - aided in part by the opening lap accident which claimed four of the cars starting ahead of him, including Lewis Hamilton and championship leader Fernando Alonso - allowed him to move one spot up the standings with just Monza remaining before the season heads off on its final 'flyaway' phase.
"I had a look at the championship before I went on holiday [but], right now, I don't really care in terms of scoring and points," the German insisted, repeating his previous approach to the bigger picture, "Of course, I care for the championship and it's good to hear that it looks better [than before]."
While, admitting that the accident ahead of him was good news for the championship situation, Vettel pointed out that the next race could pose an equal threat to the any of the contenders.
"I don't know what happened in the first corner, but Fernando didn't finish the race," he confirmed, "These things happen. We have to look after ourselves. I'm not bothered in terms of points and gaps at the moment. There are a lot of races ahead and... bloody hell, if you saw the first corner, you can see how quickly things can change. That's racing. Next week we go to Monza. It's nice if you qualify on pole, so you're the first one to get into the chicane. If you're a little bit further back, it can be quite tight, so you always have that risk. The races are very long and even if you're a little bit further back, you can still come back, so we will see what happens."
Ironically, a slow getaway of his own probably saved Vettel from being caught up in the carnage as Romain Grosjean and Hamilton made contact before vaulting over Alonso and the Saubers of Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi. Pastor Maldonado, who appeared to jump the start, was also affected.
"After the first corner, I was probably the only one who was not improving because a lot of cars crashed in front of us, but my start was very poor and I lost quite a lot [of ground]," he noted, "I had a very poor initial launch and lost positions. I was starting around the Force Indias, and I think they were not far away from [leader] Jenson [Button] after the first corners. I was behind a Caterham, so [it was a] pretty poor start to the race.
"After that, I think the pace was there. We were able to get through the field, but it's not that easy when everyone has DRS available - it's like a big chain and you sit on the limiter like everyone else. It's difficult to benefit from that, but I think we made reasonable progress, and then we were able to have a couple of good laps in clean air, which I think was the right way. It obviously allowed us to come back through the strategy and finish second, which I think, after the first lap, nobody expected."
Four laps behind the safety car while the track was cleared of debris also allowed the reigning champion to go as far as anyone on his first set of tyres.