Well, history has repeated itself for the fourth time in a row, this time at the 2013 Indian Grandprix. Sebastian Vettel was on top of his game as usual, and Infinity Red Bull Racing had his RB9 car working the best out of any car on the track. With this as one could have expected, Sebastian Vettel went on to win his fourth straight Drivers Championship title, while at the same time securing the fourth straight Constructors Championship title for Red Bull.
Vettel becomes only the fourth driver in F1 history to win four Drivers Championships along with legendary company such as Alain Prost, Juan Manuel Fangio, and fellow German Michael Schumacher. He is also only the third person to win four consecutively next to Fangio and Schumacher. The interesting thing however about Vettel’s fourth win is his age, he’s only 26. When Prost won his fourth title he was 38-years-old and retired soon after, Schumacher’s consecutive four titles, which gave him his record breaking sixth overall title, happened when he was 34, and Fangio was a staggering 46-years-old when he won his fourth consecutive and fifth overall title. So, it’s easy to see why many believe that he will be the one to break Schumacher’s record of seven overall titles, as he still has at least 10 years of prime Formula 1 career driving left in him.
Not only is it very possible he could break Schumacher’s titles record, but it is also very possible that his name could cover the F1 record books from front to back. To put this in to perspective he is already the youngest driver to ever lead a lap, the youngest 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and now 4th world champion, fourth on the list of most laps led in total, fourth in total Grand prix wins, sixth best win percentage, second most wins in a season, third in total pole positions, and the list goes on and on. So obviously we should be thinking things like what a legend this guy will turn out to be and what an amazing racer, but instead as Vettel mentioned at the podium press conference he has been met with way more jeers than cheers this season.
Why would you boo a champion like that some of you may be wonder? Well, some may not be fans of him, but it mostly stems from the fact that people are 1) getting bored of him winning all the time, 2) are upset at him for disobeying a team order in Malaysia this year and passing teammate Mark Webber, and finally 3) as I mentioned in a previous article, many people say he can’t race and the only reason he has won any races is because he is always out front, and has had the best car on the track for the past four years. For the most part, they’re half right, the Red Bull cars have been the best cars on track for a few years now but they are wrong in saying that Sebastian Vettel can’t race.
Yes, it is fact that he usually wins when starting from pole position or the first two rows at least. However when you watch him press his car around the track during qualifying, it is obvious that he possesses the ability to push through corners and make passing maneuvers on other drivers if he had needed too. At last year’s finals race in Brazil, where Fernando Alonso of Ferrari had a chance to steal the title if Vettel finished the race too far back from him, Vettel was involved in contact and was spun around and ended up at the back of the field. As the weather deteriorated the track conditions, Vettel managed to work his way back through the field in the rain to finish sixth making him the world champion. I realize Michael Schumacher let Vettel pass him to take sixth place but even if he would have finished in seventh he still would have won the championship. People also seem to forget about his performance in his early F1 days at Scuderia Toro Rosso (STR) (Red Bull’s sister team). Vettel managed to work the less competitive car through race after race, slowly showing his talent over his teammate at the time, until he managed to take the 2008 Italian Grand Prix win. This win actually gave STR the first overall win between them and Red Bull, which was slightly embarrassing as Red Bull was supposed to be the stronger team between the two of them. This led to Vettel being chosen to replace David Coulthard at Red Bull when he retired the next season.
Some may say that, well he was on pole when he won in Italy the first time, and when he gets in the lead, he always stays there and so on and so forth. However, he gets into the lead quickly at times but he doesn’t always pull out huge leads at the start so when he goes in to the pits he can lose position and fall back a few spots meaning he has to race other cars to get back in to the lead. He may not be as great a racer as Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, but no one in F1 is as good at hard wheel to wheel racing as those two at the moment, he is still however, a fair racer and can do it when he needs to. Just because his style comes from his ability to be fast in qualifying to set pole and being quick at the starts doesn’t mean he’s a bad driver, it just means he’s different than some of the other drivers. Instead of constantly mocking him and saying he only wins because of this, we should instead give him some much deserved respect for what he has done in his young early years in Formula 1. If the champion is going to be someone who can continuously out qualify the other drivers and get away in to the lead quickly than that’s just how things are going to be. Maybe other drivers need to start to pay attention at how he is so fast in qualifying and in races, and try to think of what they can do with their game to try to beat him at his.