Sebastian Vettel thinks the fight for the World Championship effectively starts from now, after conceding that the time for mistakes is over.
Having had a series of frustrations in the opening part of the campaign that cost him valuable points – including the spark plug failure in Bahrain, the wheel nut issue in Australia and the mistake behind the safety car in Hungary – Vettel has failed to turn his potential into maximum points. While claiming that he would waste no time ruing the missed opportunities so far, he reckoned that he and his team had to stop letting chances slip through their fingers.
"Yes, we should probably have more points," said Vettel in Belgium. "We have a saying in Germany, where I come from – that if a dog would not have gone for a s**t, then he would have got the cat! It is basically that what could, should, would doesn't matter.
"It all depends on what the points are on the scoreboard and in the championship – and you could argue that we should have scored more points. But then again, other teams and other drivers should have scored more.
"This is where we are at, so the championship starts from more or less zero. We have to focus on each and every race. With 20 races or 15 races there is probably more room for mistakes – but with seven to go every single races is probably more important."
Vettel believes that with the way the new-for-2010 points system rewards more for victories, the title fight will remain totally open for a while yet.
"Speaking about Ferrari and McLaren, they have to and they will push until the end," he said. "They are in a similar position to us – and it is all tight on points.
"The points system is different and, although it looks a big gap, it is virtually nothing. Fernando [Alonso] had a couple of good races and from nowhere, with people saying he wasn't in it, he is back. It shows how quickly things can change and you have to keep pushing until the end."