Vettel makes most of good times
Sebastian Vettel is determined to bask in the glory of his unbridled success at present as he appreciates it could all come to a grinding halt next year.
Like a runaway train, there is currently no stopping the four-times world champion who set a new record for consecutive number of wins in one season by taking his eighth straight chequered flag in Sunday's United States Grand Prix.
Another victory in the final race of the year in Brazil next Sunday will see Vettel equal Alberto Ascari's all-time record of nine in a row set back in 1952-53.
It would also be his 13th triumph this season, matching the record haul of Michael Schumacher from his fellow German's all-conquering 2004 campaign.
These are heady days and Vettel knows it, which is why in his radio message to his team on the parade lap he said: "We have to remember these days. There's no guarantee they will be forever."
With the regulations changing drastically for 2014, in particular with 1.6-litre turbo-charged V6 engines replacing the current 2.4-lire V8s, there is a chance Red Bull's dominance could finally end.
For many fans and observers that would be a blessing, so Vettel is eager to drink it all in now because next season could be different.
The 26-year-old said: "It's a little bit of a shame that because of the run we've had lately people take it as guaranteed you deliver the result on a Saturday and Sunday.
"People tend to respect the result, what it means, the effort behind it, but as an athlete you have ups and downs.
"Right now you could say it's rather more up than down, but you never know what's going to happen. Next year is an unknown.
"I'm sure we will push very, very hard and I'm sure we will fight a lot to maintain our position, but there's no guarantee next year will be like this year.
"With the new regulations coming in, nobody really knows where they will stand.
"You will have the big teams in front, but the question is: who? And what about the gaps?
"In qualifying there was a tenth (of a second) between Mark (Webber) and myself, which is very, very small.
"There's a reason to believe next year the gaps will be bigger and the season will be less consistent for everyone. It's unknown at this stage.
"That is why we need to enjoy the moment and the days we're having."
For team principal Christian Horner, Vettel's latest success was an ideal 40th birthday present after hitting the milestone on Saturday.
Horner concedes that at the present moment, it is hard for the team and Vettel to appreciate the heights they are scaling.
"When we reflect at the end of the season on what we have actually achieved this year, it is quite remarkable," said Horner.
"The levels Sebastian has reached, the accuracy and consistency, it is quite outstanding.
"He was pretty emotional at the end of the race because he beat the record of one of his idols, a record that seemed unlikely to be beaten.
"So to win eight consecutive races in a row, to have won every race since August, is mind blowing, especially against the quality of the opposition we are up against.
"It will take a little while for it to sink in with the whole team at the moment."
Horner can understand Vettel's sentiments when it comes to revelling in what he and the team are achieving at present.
"In sport, whether it is Roger Federer, or Ferrari or Williams or McLaren, you get phases of sportsmen and teams being dominant," assessed Horner.
"At some point that does come to an end, and then you have to regroup and go again.
"Sebastian is right - it is important to savour moments like this because it is easy to become complacent, so you have to appreciate every single moment."
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