Sebastian Vettel has stressed that he doesn't mind what the 2009 Formula 1 cars look like or what language he has to speak inside the team; all he cares about, he insists, is the driving - and the end result.

Much of the development onus for next season's Red Bull Racing RB5 has fallen upon the German's shoulders following team-mate Mark Webber's accident on his annual Pure Tasmania Challenge last month that has left the Aussie with a broken leg - and out of action for a while.

It is a challenge, however, that the man from Heppenheim - the youngest driver ever to triumph in the top flight when he took the chequered flag first for Red Bull 'junior' outfit Scuderia Toro Rosso in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza back in September - is clearly relishing.

"I always like testing," Vettel underlined. "You get to practice and can get into a routine, though obviously now [with the newly-announced in-season testing ban] the time at the races is even more valuable.

"I don't know when exactly Mark will be back in the car. Each injury is individual - sometimes they heal quickly, and other times they take longer. We'll have to wait and see, because I think it's still too early to tell.

"If he's not ready at the beginning of next year then obviously I will take over. Before the season it will be all one-car tests anyway, so there won't be any question about who to put in the second car."

That said, preparations at Milton Keynes are coming along well, the 21-year-old affirmed - even if he did joke that he has had to adapt to speaking in a different tongue...

"Obviously I've had to switch from mainly Italian to English," Vettel explained, "but it's not really a problem. I've worked with other English teams in the past and it has always been good fun.

"Of course it's always a little bit different, but I think the main change is that the teams work differently. You cannot say one way is better or worse; you just have to get used to it, and that's exactly where we are now. We are using the winter time to get into the routine we need to be in next year.

"Each team has its own philosophy, and you cannot arrive somewhere and say 'okay, now I want to do it like this'. I'm a very open person and I need to learn. The only thing I care about is the result, so if I see something that needs improving I won't stand still.

"Obviously there is a lot to do. Back in the factory people are working very hard to improve by quite a big step for next season, but at the moment it's all a bit unknown as to who is going to be strong.

"For sure you can rely on two or three teams to be at the front again, and our challenge is to be as close as possible to them and fight alongside them. If we can achieve that next year we will see; it's a long way."

Insisting amidst the current global credit crunch and Honda's shock recent withdrawal from the sport that Red Bull is not in any imminent danger of following suit, the former F3 Euroseries Vice-Champion also gave his views, finally, on Bernie Ecclestone's contentious new Olympic-style medals scoring system proposal.

"We will see," he stated. "Whatever happens, in the end the guy who wins will get a lot of points or a gold medal or whatever. I personally believe we already have a good system; maybe we will have an even better one in the future, I don't know.

"I'm not in a position to think about that too much and I don't worry about it to be honest; all I care about is driving the car."

by Russell Atkins