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GP Week : Issue 195
Just three weeks on from taking his place among the pantheon of Formula One’s greats, sebastian Vettel continued to re-write the sport’s record books, claiming victory in sunday’s u.s. Grand Prix to beat his boyhood hero Michael schumacher and become the first man ever to win eight consecutive races in a single season. The Red Bull star’s win at the Circuit of the Americas was his 12th of the year and the 38th overall of his career but despite the dominant run this season that has seen all manner of records submit to this son of a carpenter from Heppenheim, Vettel isn’t done yet, the German instead training his sights on the next big number. However much he may play down the numbers, Vettel is known to take a keen interest in the history of the sport, and the recently-crowned quadruple world champion knows that if he extends his winning streak into the final race in Brazil, he will match Ferrari legend Alberto Ascari’s record of nine straight wins set over the 1952 and 1953 Formula One seasons. But there is some debate as to whether Ascari’s victory run extends to nine races given the Italian did not compete in the 1953 Indy 500 even though the race was included in the championship and – depending on how one looks at it – Vettel could well become the first man ever to win nine consecutive races, period. Victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix would also see Vettel tied with Schumacher for most wins in a season at 13, the older German setting the benchmark at the peak of his dominant run in 2004, the same year that he set the record for most consecutive races won in a season that Vettel beat on Sunday. “It’s incredible. I think it’s one of those things that you never expect to... one of those records that you never expect to be beaten so it’s very difficult to find the right words,” Vettel reflected after the race. “I didn’t really answer the questions the last couple of days because at the end of the day what makes me jump into the car is not a certain number,” said the 26-year-old, who came over the radio at the end of the race to tell his team to enjoy the success while it lasts. “But certainly today, when you realise that you’ve done it, it makes you very proud in that moment and, yeah, I think it’s very difficult for all of us to realise what it actually means.” The record collector 30 GPWEEK.com // 30 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> UNITED STATES