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Get pole position. Disappear into the distance. Win the race. Set the fastest lap.
It seems as though almost every one of Sebastian Vettel’s 39 grand prix victories have followed that path, such is the four-time world champion’s never-ending strive for more. Although Red Bull’s disastrous pre-season preparations mean it could be a while before the German claims his 40th win, it will be fascinating to observe how Vettel adjusts his style to suit the 2014 regulations.
The all-conquering approach that has served him so well since 2010 will have to be reined in, with the driver who sets fastest lap for nothing more than personal satisfaction likely to be the one whose fuel runs out only a couple of hundred metres from the finish line.
There is little doubt that Vettel possesses the maturity, skill, intelligence and lightness of touch to get on top of F1’s new regulations, but can he suppress his boyish desire to collect as many accolades as possible to gain the prizes that really matter? After all, how many times have you heard his race engineer, Gillaume Rocquelin, plead with Vettel to slow down in recent years?
For Vettel, 2014 will be as much a battle with himself as it is against rival drivers and teams.