|© AP Photo/Andre Penner
Sebastian Vettel says he will not approach the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix any differently from previous races, despite having a significant lead over Fernando Alonso in the drivers' championship.
Vettel said Thursday he doesn't plan to play it safe in Sao Paulo even though a fourth-place finish will be enough to secure the Red Bull driver his third-straight title on Sunday.
Vettel has a 13-point lead over the Ferrari driver, who said he will focus on a good finish at the Interlagos track before worrying about what Vettel is doing.
"Obviously we know that we are in a good position," Vettel said. "It's something we know but still we have to be sharp and ready to attack."
Vettel has finished fourth or better in the last six races. He won four in a row before a third-place finish in Abu Dhabi -- when he started last -- and a second-place finish last week in the United States.
"I think the secret is to take it as any other," the German driver said. "If you look in the calendar, Brazil is a race like every other one. You get the same amount of points and I think we are here to attack."
Vettel was second in Brazil last year, when he had already clinched the title, and won the race in Sao Paulo the previous year. Red Bull has won the last three races at Interlagos.
"I think the circuit seemed to suit our car in previous years," Vettel said. "I think we need to confirm it. So all eyes on Friday, to start the weekend, to get into the groove, but I think we can be as confident as we could in this stage. Obviously we know there is a lot ahead but we are in a great position."
If Vettel clinches the title, he will join Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio as the only drivers to win three championships in a row. He also would be the youngest to do it, at age 25.
This year's Brazilian GP will mark Lewis Hamilton's last race with McLaren before joining Mercedes in 2013, and will put an end to Schumacher's career for the second time. The seven-time world champion retired in 2006 and returned in 2010, but has struggled in his three years with Mercedes since then.
"I'll just take the best out of it and enjoy it as much as I can," Schumacher said.
Out of contention, he will probably be supporting fellow countryman Vettel as the title fight comes to an end.
"We've been friends for a long time and I sort of follow his career into Formula 1 and seeing him doing so well, obviously makes me proud," Schumacher said. "To see from where he started to end up and kind of being dominant for quite a while recently, that's quite an achievement."