Sebastian Vettel does not believe that it is a foregone conclusion that Red Bull will dominate the Japanese Grand Prix, though he admits that he understands why the team is the pre-race favorite.
Red Bull was unstoppable at Suzuka last year, with Vettel winning from pole, and is expected to be best-suited to the Japanese venue's fast corners. Vettel acknowledged that this was the case, but said he and teammate Mark Webber still had a lot of pressure on them to deliver.
"It's always easy to make out favorites beforehand," said the German. "Last year we were very quick here. Our car likes medium-speed and fast corners, we have some of those here, that's why naturally people see us as a favorite, but we still need to go out and do it. It will be a tough weekend, for sure.
"The weather is a bit of an unknown, especially on Saturday and Sunday, so we will see what we can do."
Second place in Singapore has brought Vettel to within 21 points of the championship lead, but he said he was trying to avoid thinking about the title battle and did not regard Japan as a make-or-break race.
"It's just one of 19. Sure, we have only got four left, so it becomes more important, but in the end it's one out of 19," he said. "If you are one point behind or 10 points behind, or this year 25 points behind, what matters in the end is you have to believe in yourself and trust yourself. I think the races I've had this year were sometimes what we wanted to see and sometimes were not.
"Everyone has his own story he could tell, but if anything the performance was always good, so I'm confident that this weekend we can have a good time. I'm not in Korea, I'm not in Brazil and I'm not in Abu Dhabi. I'm in Japan, and so I'll put my head down and focus on this race and nothing else."