Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull refuses to count on title
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is refusing to take winning the world title for granted - despite needing to score only one more point to secure it.
The German won the Singapore Grand Prix and only McLaren's Jenson Button has a mathematical chance of stopping him.
"I feel capable but I still have to do it," he said. "Obviously it should not be a problem but it's over when it's over and not before.
"Statistics are on our side, but this story has to wait to be closed."
Vettel had insisted all weekend that he was thinking only of winning the race and he said afterwards that he had not even been aware during the race of where his main rivals were.
VETTEL'S 2010 AND 2011 SEASONS
In 33 races across two seasons Vettel has so far achieved:
- 23 pole positions
- 14 wins
- 565 points
- One world title
Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton have all dropped out of contention after finishing third, fourth and fifth.
"Seb was so dominant in the first half of the race," said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
"At the end he took no risks, we wound the engine down, he was careful going through the traffic. Jenson pushed but I'm sure Seb could've responded if he needed to."
Vettel added: "I did make it clear (to the team) before the race that it's not important to know where the other people were.
“No one wants to see Lewis abandon the aggressive, charging driving style that makes him the most exciting driver in F1.”
"Crossing the line I didn't know whether it was enough or not - a little bit like Abu Dhabi (last year, when he clinched the title at the last race of the season).
"I didn't know where everyone had to finish. Obviously for the next one I am smart enough to work it out myself."
Vettel has finished first or second in all but one of this season's races - and he was fourth in the other, July's German Grand Prix .
So it seems inevitable that he will be crowned champion for the second consecutive year at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on 9 October.
That would make him the youngest double world champion in F1 history.
Button has moved up in the championship with strong results in the last four races - a win in Hungary, second places in Italy and Singapore and a third place in Belgium.
He said: "I had a goal to beat Seb in the points (counting) from Hungary onward. It's going to be tricky. But I'm the second highest points scorer so far and that's got to be the aim for the rest of the season.
"My main aim is to win races. It didn't quite work here but I was the closest person to do that."