So dominant is Sebastian Vettel that the German said he would race without the power-boosting KERS system in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix if Red Bull mechanics could not fix the problems that plagued him during qualifying.
The fact that Formula One's runaway championship leader lapped second quickest behind team-mate Mark Webber at Suzuka on Saturday is testament to Vettel's prodigious talent and unrivalled pace.
"Obviously we had an issue with KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) in the morning free practice, causing us to abort (the session) prematurely and change all the batteries," said Vettel, who will secure his fourth successive world title if he wins on Sunday and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finishes outside the top eight.
"Unfortunately the same problem surfaced in qualifying, which means that we obviously haven't changed the part causing the trouble. Now we will sit down and try to analyse what caused the malfunction -- and hopefully we will debunk the 'culprit'."
If Red Bull fail to fix the problem, he said, he will simply do without.
"We have to find the issue and solve it," said Vettel. "That's plan A. If that doesn't work we have to race without KERS."
Vettel, bidding to become only the third man to win four F1 crowns in a row after countryman Michael Schumacher a decade ago and Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1950s, has a huge 77-point lead over Alonso in the standings, with only 125 available from the last five races.
With the title almost a foregone conclusion, Vettel could afford to sound relaxed.
"Sure the KERS failure cost us a bit, but it's a long race tomorrow and things can change very quickly," he said.
"And this is not the worst track not to have KERS on. You don't have that six seconds of extra power -- but there are other tracks where you pay more dearly when KERS is not working.
"Mark (Webber) did his pole time with KERS, yes. Could we have beaten him? I don't know. But I was pretty satisfied with my lap.
"What makes more of difference is that you don't have the car that you are used to -- especially when braking," added Vettel, who has won eight races this season, including the last four.
With Alonso having qualified only eighth fastest, Vettel's thoughts turned to his personal rivalry with Webber, which threatened to boil over earlier this season when he ignored team orders and overtook the Australian to win the Malaysian Grand Prix.
After seizing his first pole position of the season, Webber promised no quarter would be spared on Sunday, saying it was every man for himself.
Vettel, who won in Japan for the third time last year, welcomed the challenge, with Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes lurking in third on the grid.
"I think Mark and I will try to get the most out of the race for ourselves," he said. "And we'll see with the rest.
"First I have to pass Mark. It's a long race and tyres can be a decisive force. I would love to start one position ahead, but starting from second is nothing that causes frustration."