Salzburg: Newly-crowned Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel said Tuesday his title ‘was just the beginning’ and promised to be just as competitive with his Red Bull team next year.
Vettel, 23, became the youngest ever world drivers’ champion when he won in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, and says he still has plenty to offer.
“It’s not as if I became world champion overnight: it is a goal that I have pursued since I was a kid and when you reach it, it’s a huge step forward,” said the Red Bull driver at the sponsors’ headquarters here.
“But this title is not the end, things will continue.
“There are other reasons to stay motivated.
“People who know us can be assured that we will continue to be fully motivated for next season and we want to continue what we have accomplished this season.”
Red Bull-Renault also won the world constructors’ championship and Vettel, the second German world champion after seven-times winner Michael Schumacher, has big ideas for next season.
“The aim will be to defend both titles, drivers and constructors,” he said.
“But all this is still far away and we still have to come back down to earth, take some time for ourselves and store up some energy during the winter.
“I want to enjoy what is happening now.”
With Vettel now in high demand, the new world champion will visit Red Bull’s team base in Milton Keynes, England on Tuesday, then depart for Abu Dhabi for the first tests for next season.
“I can’t wait to be back in my cockpit,” he joked, “because then no one will be able to ask me questions and I can rest a bit.”
Vettel said he has no idea when he will be back in his home tome of Heppenheim, near Frankfurt, which sank into ‘Vettel-mania’ last Sunday.
He will next race when he teams up again with Schumacher in the ‘Race of Champions’ to be held in Duesseldorf, Germany, on November 27 and 28.
Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber missed out on the chance to win the title in the Abu Dhabi decider, but showed his class by praising the new champion.
“He deserves all the accolades he gets,” said the Australian.
“But it was not the last race of our careers, only the season, everything will start again.”