Sebastian Vettel is convinced that he will bounce back as a better driver from the recent mistakes that have dented his title charge, after saying the criticisms that have come his way are no surprise.
The German was on the receiving end of condemnation from a number of his rivals after he lost control of his car in a battle with Jenson Button for second place. Following a mistake in Hungary behind the safety car that cost him victory, Vettel's error in Belgium has opened up questions about whether the German has the temperament to claim the crown this year.
Speaking to German publication Auto Bild Motorsport, Vettel said the criticisms launched at him were standard procedure in F1, but says he knows himself that he can come out of his current difficulties an improved racer.
"Formula 1 is a great show," said Vettel. "If everything goes well, you are the greatest. If you make an error, and some people simply do not understand exactly the reasons why, then you very fast become the idiot. The most important thing, therefore, is that I know the truth myself.
"In Hungary, I was asleep during the safety car period and made an error. And, in Spa, when I lost the car while overtaking Jenson Button I make a mistake, too. But I am open and honest enough to admit that.
"I'm not proud of it, but you cannot change anything other than try to make sure it doesn't happen again. In the end, the mistakes make you a better driver."
Although Vettel's Hungarian and Belgian errors have cost him valuable ground in the World Championship, Vettel still thinks he and Red Bull Racing can recover to claim the crown.
"Although we had big problems, we have still scored many points," he said. "And not because we were lucky, but because our package is extremely strong. I do not worry about myself. I know how good we are and I will this year take the title.
"During the first 13 races, not everything went smoothly. Nevertheless, I am only 31 points behind. They [his title rivals], assuming that we maintain our speed, can quickly be caught up."