Vettel stays calm in spite of flying start

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The Independent Online

Sebastian Vettel has dismissed suggestions of "brutal dominance" in the wake of his storming start to the Formula One season in which he has enjoyed back-to-back, pole-to-flag wins in Australia and Malaysia, which have left his rivals standing.

In taking a maximum 50 points, the sport's youngest world champion is 24 clear of his nearest rival, McLaren's Jenson Button, who won six of the first seven races in 2009 en route to taking the title. With Vettel having won the last four races, and five of the last six when taking into account his charge at the end of last year, there is concern the 23-year-old will easily walk away with this season's crown.

"What has happened has been good so far, but we've only had two of 19 races, so obviously there's a long way to go," said Vettel. "We've seen within a matter of days how the pace can vary, with it much tighter in Malaysia than in Australia.

"Some people were already talking of brutal dominance, or whatever, but I have tried not to read anything. We're just two races in, so I don't think I need to explain how many things can change.

"Look at last year, with Fernando [Alonso] a very good example. People wrote him out of the championship, but he came back; then they wrote him off again, but he came back and was the favourite going into the last race.

"I guess it will be very similar this year. It's all about being consistent, getting your stuff together and making sure you use everything you have."

Vettel could not have asked for any more this year, in particular after his start to last season, which was in total contrast to what he has just experienced. In the first two races, in Bahrain and Australia, he comfortably led both, but mechanical issues saw him relegated to fourth in the former and then slide out in the next.

"From the experience I have, I don't have to tell you how important it is to have a good start to a season," added Vettel. "Every point you can take on board is important, as we've seen the last couple of years when the championship has been decided by not much, only a few points."

The win in Malaysia had Red Bull team principal Christian Horner in raptures. He said: "It was a great performance. [Vettel] is in a really good place right now, his confidence is high, and he is really delivering. Sometimes it's easy to forget he is only 23 years of age."