Sebastian Vettel thinks that it is his rivals – and not him – who have more to worry about ahead of the final flyaway races of the season.
The German's fourth-placed finish at Monza, following a brake drama early in the race and then a brave tire strategy call, kept his world title hopes alive – and he is now just 24 points off the lead. But rather than be disheartened by his situation, with just one bad race likely to put him out of the title chase, Vettel thinks that he is the one who can stay calm about his prospects.
"I am happy," he said. "We got the maximum out of the package in Italy, and that is all that matters. If we do that for the next five races then we can be proud, whatever the result.
"Yes, we are still behind, but it is the others who have to worry and try to defend their gap. For us it is flat-out and trying to catch up."
Although Vettel's season has had its fair share of disappointment, with reliability problems and errors having cost him valuable points, he insists his belief that he can end the year as champion has never wavered.
"I never felt differently, to be honest," he said. "I think this year's points system makes people a bit more excited about things but there are five races to go and a lot of points to get. If you look back over the years, being 10 points back – which is more or less 25 now – with five races to go was not much.
"Obviously, you want to be ahead, but that is not our position. All we can do is try and have days like here, which is to achieve our maximum. Today it was fourth, maybe next time it is winning, maybe in two races' time it is third. As long as we achieve that, we are doing everything we can to win the championship.
"One of the lessons of last year is to never stop believing. So there is no need to rush things and no need to panic."