Red Bull Racing must keep pushing for the remainder of the season if it is to lay down the foundation for more title success next year, reckons team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.
After Sebastian Vettel's title triumph in the Japanese Grand Prix, Mateschitz thinks that the team's focus must now be on making as many improvements as it can over the final four races because rivals Ferrari and McLaren will provide a harder challenge next year.
"For sure we will keep working hard until Sao Paulo," Mateschitz said. "The development work will not cease. As there are only minor changes in technical rules coming up, all we do now will benefit next year's RB8.
"We now build the basics to run for another championship in 2012. And we are clearly aware of how Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes will increase their efforts to be on top next year. We have to get out the best of our development in the final weeks of 2011 for the benefit of 2012."
Mateschitz said that Vettel's title triumph was not such a surprise after his strong start to the campaign, and claimed that there had been a feeling of quiet confidence from the day the team's RB7 hit the track in preseason testing.
"We knew from the first test, from the first roll out that our car would be quick again," he said. "But between having a good chance and taking that chance there is always something you cannot calculate.
"For some time, the lead was big enough that Sebastian's second title is not that surprising anymore. We believed in it for some time. However, with opposition from teams like McLaren and Ferrari, you can never be sure. It's only over when it's over mathematically.
"The whole team was very confident for this season after the first test. Of course, we started with some advantage on our side; however, you have to keep this advantage which is never easy. Everyone knows how quick in F1 this can be turned around."
Mateschitz thinks it is unlikely that Red Bull Racing will not win the constructors' championship this year, and he is already looking ahead to a postseason party in Brazil for the whole team.
"The constructors' championship is not clinched right now, but the situation is similar to the one in the drivers' standings. It is improbable that we won't score in the remaining races. Ferrari and McLaren will again take points away from each other. But we all know: the devil never sleeps.
"The team will probably celebrate in Sao Paulo Sunday night. Maybe we will have another party in Salzburg as last year, but nothing is fixed yet.
"This season means a lot to us also economically. Our net budget this year was lower than in 2010 due to the benefits of last year's results. The 2012 team budget will be (net) even lower than this year because of our success."
Mateschitz praised Vettel's performances, claiming the German has been amazing throughout the campaign.
"Sebastian's performance this year was incredible," he declared. "Mainly because of his constant shape. Everyone knows he is very good. He's got all the talent, the discipline, concentration, the capability to get totally focused on one single lap, and to raise his game when it is necessary. But if you look at the continuity of his performances, it's incredible.
"For Mark (Webber) it was not easy to find the motivation and to get adjusted to the tires. He had to cope with the kind of bad luck that struck Seb in the beginning of last season. However, Mark is a proven top driver on whom we can rely."