The result means that Vettel has a chance to wrap up the title at the penultimate round, which takes place at the new Circuit of the Americas in Texas in a two weekends' time. Needing to out-score Alonso, now the only remaining threat, by 15 points, victory for the German would be enough if the Ferrari man finishes fifth or lower – entirely possible if both Red Bull and McLaren enjoy trouble-free days.
Should the cards fall in Vettel's favour in Austin, it would be the perfect way to celebrate his 100th grand prix appearance – even if the German still can't believe that he has reached that total.
“It sounds a lot [but] obviously time goes by quickly,” he conceded, “I think that, more than anything, if you do something that you love, that you enjoy, the time goes by quickly. Now, when I'm talking about 2006, 2007, when I started to drive an F1 car for the first time, I still know most of the guys and can recall the places I've been. If you then tell me it's six years ago, it sounds like a big number.
“Time goes by and, obviously, with age, you get a little bit smarter - hopefully. You learn certain things and you get a little more relaxed probably, but also it's important to stay childish, stay hungry and make mistakes, otherwise how can you go forward.
“All in all, I'm looking forward to going home, get some rest, charge some energy to be full charged in America to attack - and obviously try to win.”