World champion Sebastian Vettel on Thursday insisted he wasn't motivated by the prospect of joining Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher by winning his third straight Formula One title this year.
Sebastian Vettel has not won an F1 race since last year's Indian Grand Prix. Getty Images
Vettel, whose domination of last season with Red Bull has made him favourite to
become only the third driver to win three championships in a row, admitted it would be a "nice thing" but otherwise skirted questions about the feat.
"Well, you know I am here to win races and to win all I can," he said. "But most of all I'm here to win the championship -- so that's the target, but we are not talking about anything else.
"Whether it is the third or not doesn't make the difference. It would be a nice thing, but the reason why we're here is to race and to win."
Vettel, 24, who became Formula One's youngest back-to-back champion in impressive fashion last year, winning 11 of 19 races, also warned that he had little idea about the relative speed and strengths of the team.
"OK, we are all here and we are ready to start racing, but really, we have to wait until qualifying on Saturday and for the first couple of races to show a trend of what is happening," said the German.
"Maybe after qualifying we will know a little bit more, but after tomorrow (Friday) we will not know much more."
Asked about the lessons from pre-season testing in Europe, Vettel said: "Generally, it was difficult to read testing. We were quite happy with our work and overall we can be happy, but, at this stage, it is all a bit unknown."
His Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber repeated the mantra, as did many of the drivers in the build-up to Sunday's twilight 58-lap race around Albert Park.
"We have had a pretty good winter, but now is the time for the truth," Webber said.
"These are two big races here and in Malaysia to getting a snapshot of the performance of the cars. It's going to be very exciting, but it's difficult to see where we are all before we get going."