By Tim Collings, AFP
LONDON–Sebastian Vettel has hinted that he is likely to stay at Red Bull for a few more years and will try to turn their two years of success into an era of Formula One glory.
Vettel was acclaimed by the staff at Milton Keynes when he went to the Red Bull factory for a celebration day on Wednesday — and supported his boss Christian Horner’s ambitions for more wins and titles in the future.
The 24-year-old German won last weekend’s Korean Grand Prix to clinch the team’s retention of the constructors’ championship just a weekend after he had finished third in Japan to become the youngest back-to-back double champion in F1 history.
“I think it has been an extremely successful year — again.” he said. “It is just incredible what we have achieved.
“It is the small things, like coming home and opening the door, which make you realize what happened, and that all the hours have paid off.
“The season is not yet over though — we have three more races to go and the chance to prove ourselves again.
“As for me, I’m very happy where I am. I think we have achieved a lot together in the last three years.
“We were able to raise our game in more or less all areas. The whole team has become more professional, more committed and everyone is working hand in hand for success.
“It’s not usual to be a part of something like that, and I don’t see myself in a position to say this is what I have done. This is what they have done. We are a team and we are happy to do all we do.”
Remarkably, for a man who has won 10 races already this season, he accepted that he still had areas for improvement.
Smiling broadly, he said: “It’s always a difficult question to know where to improve. I think, being 24, there are a lot of areas to understand, a lot of bits inside and outside the car.
“You always need to be ready to learn, and small steps can make the difference. When I look at Korea, we were able to learn from Japan — both the team and myself.
“Only small things sometimes, but we addressed them and did a better job. You have to be open like that, always ready to learn and working always for the next race.
“I put it this way — I care about the sport, I know its history and the numbers.
“I like to see from time to time my name somewhere, but I don’t set myself targets about the number of wins or stuff like that.
“I’m not racing for statistics. I’m a big fan of the sport. I love Formula 1. I always did as a small kid and that hasn’t changed.”