Budapest, Hungary - Sebastian Vettel will enjoy Formula One's August break as championship leader but the Ferrari driver knows the job is only half done and it will not get any easier in the months ahead.
Vettel, a four-times world champion with Red Bull, is unlikely to spend the vacation fretting about his future, however. Out of contract at the end of the season, Vettel's comments after winning in Hungary on Sunday did not sound like those of a man expecting anything other than a continued spell at Maranello.
Reports in Italy have already suggested that Ferrari, the sport's most successful and glamorous team, will confirm both Vettel and Finnish team-mate Kimi Raikkonen at their home Italian Grand Prix in September.
Vettel has now won four of 11 races this season, making 2017 his best season with Ferrari, and has led the championship from day one in Australia. He is 14 points clear of Lewis Hamilton, who shared the lead with him briefly after China in April but gifted Vettel three extra points on Sunday by handing back third place to his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Vettel doesn't have to worry about such displays of sportsmanship, however. He's the No.1 at Ferrari, and can be single-minded about the remaining nine rounds.
"It's what I dream about, to be honest. I want to win so that's where you want to be," he told reporters on Sunday when asked whether the season so far had been more than he could have dreamed of after a barren 2016.
"The mission has been to get back to the top so obviously we had a great year, I'm only two and a half years in with the team," he added. "Over the winter I think we were the team that made the least noise; I was very happy that we just worked, we just kept to ourselves and did the job. We have a great car."
Flat out blast
Hungary, a slow circuit like Monaco where Ferrari also excelled, is very different from the next two high-speed races - Spa Francorchamps in Belgium and the flat out blast of Italy's iconic Monza circuit.
Mercedes dominated in similar circumstances at Silverstone, where Hamilton savoured a home win, and he can hope to level the points tally by the end of the first week of September. Hamilton will also go away to recharge his batteries for the battle ahead, ready to deny Vettel a fifth title and secure his own fourth.
"It has definitely come at a good time," he said of the break. "It's been a difficult season up to now.
"This break I think will be really good for everybody to spend some time with family, recharge and come back fresh. I truly believe we have the capability of winning this championship.
"But it's going to take absolutely 100 percent of everybody's effort to pull it off."Reuters