Sebastian Vettel Wins the Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship for the Fourth Time at Indian Grand Prix

il y a 10 années, 7 mois - 27 Octobre 2013, Telegraph Media
Sebastian Vettel Wins the Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship for the Fourth Time at Indian Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel demolished the opposition once again in India to secure his fourth straight drivers' title, Red Bull's fourth consecutive constructors' crown, and take his place in history alongside Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio and Alain Prost as the only drivers to win four or more drivers' titles.

As the German crossed the finish line, almost 30 seconds clear of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, his team principal Christian Horner came on the radio to congratulate his young charge. "You've done it in style," Horner told Vettel. "You've joined the greats."

That, surely, is undeniable now. Vettel's detractors were still questioning at the start of this year whether the 26 year-old was simply being made to look good by his car.

But after yet another season in which he has barely put a foot wrong, utterly dominating his team mate Mark Webber - who was again desperately unfortunate in this race, being forced to retire from second place with an alternator failure - there can be no quibbling.

Vettel's and Red Bull's dominance may do nothing to help the overall spectacle - this was the German's sixth win on the trot, keeping him on target to tie Alberto Ascari's record of nine consecutive wins by the end of the season - but they cannot be faulted for that.

If you were to build the ideal prototype driver for modern-day Formula One, you would come up with something resembling Sebastian Vettel.

He may come across as a machine sometimes, but Vettel has a fun side as well. He certainly ended this race in plenty of style, defying both his team's orders and the regulations to perform some donuts on the start-finish straight before emerging from the smoke with his arms raised. A nice touch.

Hopping out of his RB9, Vettel then proceeded to bow down before his rocket ship, prostrating himself on the track, before running back to the pits where he leapt into the arms of its designer, Adrian Newey, and Horner; the three men intertwined for a short space of time.

Red Bull's brains trust deserve a huge amount of credit for the way they have propelled themselves to the pinnacle of the sport in such a short space of time, and then proceeded to stay there, as Vettel was quick to acknowledge in his emotional radio message earlier. "You give me so much strength," he said. "I love you guys. I love you."

In a performance that reflected his general dominance of the season, Vettel started on pole and led a procession throughout a large portion of the race.

Rosberg finished second in his Mercedes, while Romain Grosjean of Lotus took an incredible third having started 17th. Ferrrari's Fernando Alonso, who was the only driver still mathematically capable of catching Vettel, finished 11th after a disastrous start that saw him clip the back of Webber, causing damage which required a pit stop for a new nose section.

Alonso's misfortune was doubly fortunate for Vettel as it cancelled out the early pit stop the German was required to make due to the fragility of the soft Pirelli tyre that was brought to the race.

Alonso's afternoon was starting to look bleak and he came on the radio to tell his engineers: "I think I damaged something more in the car. The steering is heavy in the right-hand corners."

It was quickly becoming apparent that the race for victory was going to come down to a straight fight with the Red Bull drivers, with the added spice of the pair being on contrasting strategies.

With 20 laps gone Vettel was in the wheeltracks of Perez and preparing to pass the McLaren, with Webber around 12 seconds down the road. Alonso, meanwhile, had recovered to 14th.

The mid-point of the race was greeted with a rash of predicted pit stops, with Webber pulling off on lap 29 to take on the soft tyre rather than the medium, which ensured the Australian would be spared the frustration of having to pit in the last couple of laps.

Vettel took his second stop on lap 32, bolting on his second set of mediums that would carry him to the end of the race.

Webber's brief dalliance with the fragile soft tyre was over just one lap later as he took to the pits to take on the more durable medium, dropping him behind his team-mate.

Vettel looked to press home his advantage over his team-mate with some searing laps but was warned over the radio by his team to preserve his tyres.

But any threat to Vettel's race win was eliminated on lap 40 when Webber - yet again hit by bad luck - was forced into retirement with a gearbox problem.

"I'm overwhelmed," Vettel concluded later. "I don't know what to say. It is one of the best days of my life so far. I try to think back to when I was small. Formula One was so far away. There have been so many people I have to thank who helped me along the way.

"I always tried to listen and learn. It has been amazing to race some of the best drivers in the world. I think it's a strong field at the moment. I don't feel old. I'm getting older but I don't feel it yet. Every day I'm a little bit better."

2013 FORMULA 1 AIRTEL INDIAN GRAND PRIX

Pos

No

Driver

Team

Grid

Pts

1

1

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing-Renault

1

25

2

9

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

2

18

3

8

Romain Grosjean

Lotus-Renault

17

15

4

4

Felipe Massa

Ferrari

5

12

5

6

Sergio Perez

McLaren-Mercedes

9

10

6

10

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

3

8

7

7

Kimi Räikkönen

Lotus-Renault

6

6

8

14

Paul di Resta

Force India-Mercedes

12

4

9

15

Adrian Sutil

Force India-Mercedes

13

2

10

19

Daniel Ricciardo

STR-Ferrari

11

1

11

3

Fernando Alonso

Ferrari

8

 

12

16

Pastor Maldonado

Williams-Renault

18

 

13

18

Jean-Eric Vergne

STR-Ferrari

14

 

14

5

Jenson Button

McLaren-Mercedes

10

 

15

12

Esteban Gutierrez

Sauber-Ferrari

16

 

16

17

Valtteri Bottas

Williams-Renault

15

 

17

23

Max Chilton

Marussia-Cosworth

22

 

18

22

Jules Bianchi

Marussia-Cosworth

19

 

19

11

Nico Hulkenberg

Sauber-Ferrari

7

 

Ret

2

Mark Webber

Red Bull Racing-Renault

4

 

Ret

20

Charles Pic

Caterham-Renault

21

 

Ret

21

Giedo van der Garde

Caterham-Renault

20

 

 

 

Pos

Driver

Nationality

Team

Points

1

Sebastian Vettel

German

Red Bull Racing-Renault

322

2

Fernando Alonso

Spanish

Ferrari

207

3

Kimi Räikkönen

Finnish

Lotus-Renault

183

4

Lewis Hamilton

British

Mercedes

169

5

Mark Webber

Australian

Red Bull Racing-Renault

148

6

Nico Rosberg

German

Mercedes

144

7

Romain Grosjean

French

Lotus-Renault

102

8

Felipe Massa

Brazilian

Ferrari

102

9

Jenson Button

British

McLaren-Mercedes

60

10

Paul di Resta

British

Force India-Mercedes

40

11

Nico Hulkenberg

German

Sauber-Ferrari

39

12

Sergio Perez

Mexican

McLaren-Mercedes

33

13

Adrian Sutil

German

Force India-Mercedes

28

14

Daniel Ricciardo

Australian

STR-Ferrari

19

15

Jean-Eric Vergne

French

STR-Ferrari

13

16

Esteban Gutierrez

Mexican

Sauber-Ferrari

6

17

Pastor Maldonado

Venezuelan

Williams-Renault

1

18

Valtteri Bottas

Finnish

Williams-Renault

0

19

Jules Bianchi

French

Marussia-Cosworth

0

20

Charles Pic

French

Caterham-Renault

0

21

Giedo van der Garde

Dutch

Caterham-Renault

0

22

Max Chilton

British

Marussia-Cosworth

0

 

 

Pos

Team

Points

1

Red Bull Racing-Renault

470

2

Mercedes

313

3

Ferrari

309

4

Lotus-Renault

285

5

McLaren-Mercedes

93

6

Force India-Mercedes

68

7

Sauber-Ferrari

45

8

STR-Ferrari

32

9

Williams-Renault

1

10

Marussia-Cosworth

0

11

Caterham-Renault

0