Sebastian Vettel has admitted that it is only natural that rivals will continue to suggest that there is something amiss with Red Bull's RB9 as team and driver take big strides towards a fourth successive title double.
Vettel has won seven of the 13 races held so far in 2013, and heads into this weekend's Korean Grand Prix
as overwhelming favourite to add to the clean sweep of race wins he has enjoyed since F1 returned from its summer break in Belgium. While some of Red Bull's rivals, notably main challenger Fernando Alonso, shrug off the rumours that the Milton Keynes team may have found a technical loophole that increases the superiority of the RB9, others are not so charitable, with the world champions again at the centre of 'cheating' whispers.
“Everybody has the right to his own opinion - and to express that,” Vettel told the official F1 website, “Everybody can see with his own eyes what is going on. As for us, I think we take all these whispers with a sense of humour.”
Asked whether there was any basis to claims that Red Bull
had found a way of incorporating a new take on traction control at the Singapore Grand Prix, the German decided to play along with the story.
“Of course, as everybody witnessed, it worked in Singapore,” he smiled, “We'd been working on it all Friday and Saturday, and yes, on Sunday, it worked perfectly for the first time when it mattered. I am sure, for the races to come, that we will be able to enhance the system even further, to profit even more.”
Shrugging off further questions about his reaction to the boos that increasingly accompany his appearances on the podium, the German wanted to praise the efforts of his team – and attempt to correct comments he made in Marina Bay
that suggested his success came from working hard while his rivals enjoyed the local amenities.
“I found [the reaction to the comments] all a bit strange, because it was never my intention to criticise others,” he insisted, “I wanted to express that our success is not coming from nowhere, but that we are willing to do what it takes to be successful, even if that means working until late.
“There is always something that you can do better, something that you can learn. If you're on a winning streak and start to take things too easy, this might be the surest way to terminate it.
“This is not only a question of quantity - how many more hours you put in - but very much about quality. I have very little information about what others are doing, but I can say that we're one of the hardest working teams and thus deserve to be where we are right now.”