Red Bull's Max Verstappen is still basking in the glow of his World Championship victory, despite the possibility of an appeal from Mercedes that risks putting the certainty of the title on ice.
Verstappen is set to be confirmed as the 2021 F1 World Drivers' Champion at the FIA's Prize-Giving Gala in Paris on Thursday, but Mercedes have until Thursday evening to lodge a protest against the outcome of the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
But speaking ahead of the Gala, Verstappen explained that he's not thinking about the possibility of the title fight dragging on through an appeals process.
"Well, I'm fine. I don't even think about it too much," Verstappen told select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com.
"Because I do feel like the World Champion, and it doesn't matter what they try to do.
"We won it on track, we won it when there was a green flag, green light, and we passed them on track. They will never be able to take that away from me anyway, but also about the possible appeal or whatever, I'm not busy with that.
"As a team, it can be disturbing but, for us, we have been really enjoying the last few days."
Views of Mercedes haven't changed
With the relationship between Mercedes and Red Bull breaking down to the point of near-hostility as the title fight heated up, Verstappen said that the possibility of it thawing is some way off.
"I think I can be a forgiving person or whatever but, at the moment, it's still so new from the season that it's better not to talk about it too much," he said.
"But, for example, I saw Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team boss] in Monaco, before Saudi Arabia, I had dinner and he was sitting at the table next to me, and we had a chat.
"He's flat out for his team and I know that my team also does everything they can but, besides that, I do think you should be accepting a loss. It doesn't matter how much it hurts.
"I do think there that there is a bit of a difference between the teams."
In the lead up to the title decider, Verstappen said that the actions of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton had altered his opinion of them over the course of the season.
Asked whether the lack of public congratulations from Mercedes or their threats of appeal have changed his perception further, Verstappen said that the team's actions have only reinforced his opinion.
"Well, no, it's not surprising, just because of how the season already panned out up until the last race," he explained.
"It's just another bit. I mean, my view will not change. It's pretty much the same."