Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel and his chief rival Fernando Alonso head into this weekend's season opener with opposing views about recent history.

One is trying hard to ignore it, while the other is using it as motivation.

Red Bull's Vettel enters this season with three straight world championships under his belt and is aiming for a fourth, while Ferrari's Alonso has gone into the final race with a chance of snatching the drivers' title twice in those three years only to come away empty handed. The German would be the one expected to be reflecting upon the past, yet the situation is reversed.

Vettel says the "secret" to approaching the task of winning a fourth title is "not to think about what happened the last three years."