Mark Webber is confident he can take the momentum of his Brazilian Grand Prix victory into 2012 when he tries again to knock team-mate Sebastian Vettel from his perch.
Webber recorded his only win of the season in Sao Paulo, four weeks after 24-year-old Vettel had stormed to a second straight world drivers championship.
The Red Bull team-mates have not always seen eye-to-eye, most spectacularly after a crash in Turkey last year, while Webber has in the past hinted at team bosses favouring the young German.
The pair have conceded they don't need to be friends to work together and the Australian is at pains to not single out Vettel as he plans another campaign, which will begin in Melbourne next March.
But Webber believes the pair's ding-dong battle for the 2010 crown is more likely than this year's all-out dominance by Vettel, who drew comparisons with Michael Schumacher when he became Formula One's youngest world champion at 23.
"In 2010 it was absolutely nip and tuck between us," Webber told AAP on Tuesday.
"This year it wasn't, Seb got a phenomenal momentum over all of us.
"But the encouraging thing is that we all know the margins are so fine for this sport.
"Before you know it you get that one or two 10ths (of a second) consistently coming back your way for whatever reasons and all of a sudden some momentum starts to come your way.
"We're not sure who's going to be doing the business next year but for sure the way I finished the year, that's very positive for me.
"I need to carry that into 2012."
Webber says his qualifying performances need to improve if he is to seriously challenge Vettel - and others - in 2012.
"It has been a strength for me in the past and wasn't as strong this year for me," said the 35-year-old, who is in Tasmania for the charity adventure race he supports.
"It was getting better for me towards the end of the year, I had some much closer fights with Sebastian - irrespective of who it is, most of the time Seb was on pole, but I'm not just earmarking him.
"You don't want to be leaving yourself too much work to do late in a race which was in many cases this year my situation."
Webber, who finished third in the drivers' standings this year, said driving in Melbourne was always special, but that didn't make it any easier to win.
"There's a bit of a form card there," he said.
"A lot of drivers struggle with their home races because obviously the focus is not as easy as other races where there's not as much demand on you.
"That's something you've got to mange each year."