NUERBURGRING, Germany (Reuters) - Triple world champion Sebastian Vettel is not one for tears or emotional pronouncements and even his first victory at his home German Grand Prix on Sunday was treated largely like any other race.
The 26-year-old Red Bull driver has dominated Formula One for the past three years and leads the standings again by 34 points but his CV was missing a victory on home asphalt and a win in July.
Now that has been chalked off it is onwards and upwards, with little fanfare and lots of single-minded determination.
“In the end it’s just another race and we try to prepare as much as we can for every race,” Vettel told a news conference, his matter-of-fact expression barely changing after his 30th career victory in F1.
“Surely winning here is very special and tastes very, very sweet, especially the way we won today with a lot of pressure from behind, but I think we did our homework.”
It was the nature of the close victory which thrilled Vettel as much as it coming at the Nuerburgring, with Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen chasing him down to the last.
“For sure he is extremely proud about what he has achieved today but he has always taken the bigger picture. We discussed it before the race and said ‘let’s go for the best we can and if that is second today it’s second’,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told reporters.
“There are just as many points attached to this race as the other 18.”
Always extremely knowledgeable technically, Vettel consumes every detail of Formula One while keeping the media at arms length when it comes to his private life.
He is often coy in news conferences, especially this week when asked if he would like Raikkonen to replace the retiring Webber at Red Bull, but gives credit where credit is due.
“We had a little bit of a cushion but Lotus was incredibly quick today and gave us definitely a big run for our money,” he said.
Red Bull ensured Vettel pitted to cover the third stop of third-placed Romain Grosjean and all went well in the end.
“For sure, there are a lot of expectations. Especially when you have a good car and for a couple of years you’ve had a good run, when you come to home soil people expect you to win,” said the German.
“I think the whole team, including myself, we never ever let that get to our head but it just feels very, very sweet now to have succeeded after a couple of tries.”
Vettel hit the headlines after ignoring orders and overtaking Australian team mate Mark Webber to win in Malaysia in March. That same stone-cold attitude of a champion means he is unlikely to be partying long into the German night.
Editing by Alan Baldwin