Victory in Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix meant Sebastian Vettel secured his fourth straight Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship. Love him, or hate him, there is no denying that Vettel has stamped his place in F1 history as one of the greats.
It has been well documented that statistics and records matter a great deal to Vettel who, at only 26, now sits alongside Alain Prost in terms of total F1 titles won. Only Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher have taken more championships, but given his youth it would be a brave person who bets against Vettel surpassing Schumi’s seven wins.
Vettel described himself as ‘speechless’ after winning at the Buddh International Circuit, almost 30 seconds ahead of second-placed Nico Rosberg. Having to pit on only the second lap to replace his rapidly degrading ‘soft’ Pirelli tyres. Rejoining in 17th, Vettel gave another demonstration to those who claim the young German is not a ‘real racer’ by slicing his way through the pack, to sit in 3rd place by lap 13. Such dominance secured him a vital advantage over Mark Webber, running a different strategy to Sebastian. In the end, it didn’t matter, as another Renault alternator failure put paid to Webber’s race.
Taking the title in such a way will matter to Vettel, as much as not claiming the fastest lap – Kimi Räikkönen sneaked it on the last lap with fresh tyres – will irritate him. It’s less likely that the €25,000 fine and reprimand for his dramatic doughnut celebration will bother him though. It was a rare glint of showmanship from Vettel and, in many ways, a fitting tribute to a circuit and its fans which has given him great success in the past three seasons. The rest of the F1 paddock may breathe slightly easier knowing there will be no Indian Grand Prix in 2014, removing at least one guaranteed win for Red Bull.
Whilst on track 2013 has been a masterclass from Vettel, there is no doubt that the reaction to the ‘Multi 21’ incident in Malaysia has turned sections of F1 fans against him. Interviewed after Sunday’s race, Sebastian admitted that the boos had left him feeling ‘hurt’ for doing nothing wrong but winning. EngageSportMode feels strongly about this, and questions whether people who can boo one of the sports’ greatest competitors can truly call themselves fans of Formula 1.
Vettel has been given an incredible racing car by Adrian Newey and Infiniti Red Bull Racing, and has adapted his style of driving to exploit its potential to the maximum. This, coupled with his own talent, easily justifies his success. The incompetence and inadequacies of rival teams and drivers is the factor that has made his Championship winning appear to be so easy, this season especially. ESM will be bringing greater insight into whether the Vettel-era of victory matches the Schumacher period for sheer dominance, but those who call contemporary F1 ‘boring’ may have very short memories.
With a further three races to go in the 2013 season, there is no doubt Vettel win continue to add to his tally of wins, poles and points with motivation unabated. Expect more records to be broken and benchmarks to be set; Schumacher’s achievement of 13 wins in a season, set in 2004, could well be the next one Vettel reaches along with Alberto Ascari’s 9 consecutive wins.
EngageSportMode congratulates and salutes Sebastian Vettel as the 2013 Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championships and says, to those who boo and jeer, try appreciating the motorsport history being written right before your eyes.
Photocredits: Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Renaultsport F1