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GP Week : Issue 193
THAT'S WHAT HE'S TALKIN' ABOUT ... ... AGAIN On sunday evening in India, sebastian Vettel joined an exclusive club of drivers to have secured four consecutive drivers’ titles. While joining the ranks of Jean-Manuel Fangio and Michael schumacher is an impressive achievement, for Vettel it is less about the records than it is about each individual race – another podium conquered, another trophy for the collection. “It’s incredible what’s happened over the last couple of years but nothing has changed in the way that I still love racing,” Vettel said in suzuka. “I love the challenge, I ’m still ner vous when I wake up on sunday, still excited when I walk on the grid and tense, looking forward to the race. enjoying not the numbers, but the fact that I’m racing.” But that was before he had secured the title. speaking to the media after the Indian Grand Prix, Vettel was jubilant, while conceding that the reality of his achievement had yet to sink in. “I ’m speechless,” the quadruple champion said. “I crossed the line and I was empty. I took ages to think about something to say and it's one of those moments when you wish to say many things but you can’t . It’s been a phenomenal season. The spirit inside the team is so strong that I said on the radio it gives me so much power; it’s a pleasure to jump in the car and go out for the guys and just try to give it all I have. The car was phenomenal today; it was phenomenal all season to be honest so I couldn' t ask for more.” While the history books will look back on the Vettel era as a seemingly endless series of victories from the ingénue in the fastest car, that is doing the Red Bull driver a disservice. The 2011 championship was a walkover, certainly – Vettel scored 11 victories, five second-place finishes, one third, one four th, and a retirement that occurred when the title was already his. But in 2010 and 2012 the young German had a real fight on his hands, battling with Fernando Alonso till the very last second. The 2012 title was particularly fraught, with Vettel caught up in first lap carnage and battling his way through the field with a damaged car to win the championship. easy it most certainly wasn’t . The 2013 season was a middle-ground between the ease of 2011 and the struggle of 2012. In the first part of the season, the Red Bull was not the dominant car. Vettel won – controversially – in Malaysia, and collected fur ther victor ’s trophies in Bahrain, Canada, and Germany, but it was only after the summer shutdown that Vettel was able to steamroller the competition, winning every race from spa onwards. However strong the machine, full credit must also go to the man behind the wheel. While Vettel has been roundly criticised by those with selective memories for only ever winning from the front, the past four years have demonstrated a driver growing in skill with every passing season, and whose dedication to the pursuit of victory is second to none. F1 >>> nEWs 6 GPWEEK.com // 6 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: