Vettel: I’m here to win the championship, so that’s the target

Rob Marshall (GBR) Red Bull Racing designer and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing. Formula One World Championship, Australian Grand Prix, Rd1, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday 15 March 2012.

Sebastian Vettel with Red Bull engineer Rob Marshall in the Melbourne pit garage

Mar.15 (F1 Media) Sebastian Vettel has insisted that joining the ultra-exclusive club of champions who have taken three titles in a row is not his main target this year and that being involved in the battle for another crown will be good enough this season.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing signs autographs. Formula One World Championship, Australian Grand Prix, Rd1, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday 15 March 2012.

Sebastian signs autographs for fans at Albert Park

Only Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher have achieved the feat previously, but, speaking in the FIA Thursday press conference Vettel insisted it was not something that played on his mind. “I’m here to win the championship, so that’s the target,” he said. “Whether it’s the third or not wouldn’t make a difference. It would be a nice thing but the reason we’re here is to race and to win.”

The reigning World Champion was not to be drawn on his views on whether Red Bull have given him a car capable of defending his title, insisting that information will develop of the weeks ahead rather than being confirmed or disproved this weekend.

“We’ll know a little more after qualifying [but] this is the first race and there are many more to come and this track is very different to, let’s say, a ‘normal’ race track, such as the track we went to [for Winter testing] a couple of weeks ago in Barcelona… It’s the first couple of races that will show you a trend. Sooner than that is really not possible.”

While Red Bull and McLaren both looked strong during Winter testing Vettel pointed out that the pre-season work tends to be inconclusive.

“It was difficult to read testing 100 per cent,” he said. “It’s important to have a good feeling about yourself, about the car, how you feel in the car and we were quite happy with that. It didn’t always go to plan but overall we can be happy and, as I said, it’s unknown at this stage what is going to happen.”

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