Sebastian Vettel refuses to rest on his laurels, warning his F1 rivals that, potentially, the greatest moment in his life has yet to be realised.
The German was addressing media and colleagues at a post-championship celebration in Red bull's Milton Keynes headquarters when he suggested that, despite massive success over the past four seasons, he still wanted to achieve more in his career. Although the 'still to come' comment was essentially a throwaway, it underlined the latent ambition that still burns within Vettel, who shows no sign of relaxing his iron grip on the top flight.
"I'm not trying to look far ahead, [but] you should always look forward,” he insisted, “We've had many, many great moments, very special moments but, of course, I believe the biggest moment in my life is yet to come. Otherwise, it would be quite sad, at the age of 26, to look to the future and say the greatest moment has been already and I have nothing to look forward to.
"One of the secrets for the whole team is to be 'in the moment'. We love motor racing, we enjoy racing, and therefore I do not need any motivation when I jump into the car. I'm not thinking about what has happened before, I'm not thinking about what is going to happen in the future, I'm thinking about this race, or this practice session or this qualifying session, [and] trying to get everything out of it. And it's the same for the team.
"Obviously, you have to plan the future a little bit, especially if you look at next year, [when] it's going to be completely different in many regards. But, as long as you manage to focus on what's going on right now, you will have a better future as well."
Vettel wrapped up his fourth consecutive world title at the Indian Grand Prix, but showed that he has no intention of easing off over the remainder of the season as he added a seventh straight win since F1's summer break in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Although Red Bull was always in the mix for success prior to the hiatus, the RB9 has really hit its stride since the mid-point of the season and, while no-one in the team will deny that the enforced change of tyres after Silverstone has helped in that regard, Vettel is adamant that hard work behind the scenes in Buckinghamshire also played a vital part in his success.
"It was still a challenge throughout the season to take care of the tyres,” he noted, “Obviously, we changed them half-way through [the year], but I think the most important thing is that we kept understanding the tyres and tried to design the car around them to get more and more performance out of it.
“Up to now, we didn't stop [and], obviously, the last couple of races were pretty successful. [It has been] an incredible run in the last seven races since the summer break so, all in all, the car, the team, the whole package was always strong enough to finish on the podium, or finish in the top five, which made a big difference compared to our competitors."