Having claimed his best ever Formula One qualifying performance last time out on the streets of Valencia, Sebastian Vettel is predicting good things for Scuderia Toro Rosso in the two remaining European rounds of 2008.
The German - and, it should be noted, rookie team-mate Sebastien Bourdais - made it through to the final phase of knock-out qualifying before putting his STR3 sixth on the grid for the European Grand Prix, and then managed to bring the car home in the same position to add another haul of points to the team's tally for the season.
Although its is still the lowest-placed of the teams to have managed points this season, the former Minardi operation is only three adrift of Honda and six shy of Williams - and looks more likely to score than either. Vettel, however, was at a loss to pinpoint exactly what had made the difference in Spain.
"We had a very, very good weekend, and everything was running perfect, I think," he surmised, "We had a very good preparation day on Friday and, obviously, a very good qualifying day on Saturday - and also a good race. It is difficult to point out what made the difference though. In the end, we were just trying to do our best, [and] I think the car was very competitive there. I liked the circuit and I think that was the key to success."
When it was put to him that technical director Giorgio Ascanelli had admitted in the team's press release that 'we must be doing something right, but I don't know what', Vettel revealed that the entire team was more upbeat than he had ever seen it.
"As I say, we had a perfect weekend," he expanded, "We have been working very hard to get where we are now, and now the job is to stay there. I think it will be difficult enough but, if you see the development we have made during the season, the whole team has changed.
"The whole attitude if different now, everybody is extremely motivated and extremely willing to achieve something. It has not always been like that in the past. We have become much stronger than we were and I think that is the key, that is the reason why. There is no secret or anything funny or anything special. We came to Valencia and we had no new parts, we had no track knowledge like everyone, so it was down to pure work, I guess."
The upturn in form that has seen Vettel score in four races since the introduction of the STR3 in Monaco, and in two of the past three outings, is something the young German clearly feels can be maintained to the end of the season, with particular optimism for both the Belgian and Italian grands prix.
"I think so," he confirmed, "Monza is a bit extreme, but I think both kinds of circuit, the layout and the characteristics, should suit our car. Here [at Spa-Francorchamps], we have a lot of fast corners and I think that should be very good for us and, at Monza, obviously there are a lot of straight lines, but I think we have an efficient car, so I think we should be in a strong position there as well."