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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  27 Oct 2013   |  5:49 pm GMT  |  186 comments

He certainly divides opinion among fans around the world, but Sebastian Vettel has been heaped with praise from the Formula One community following his fourth consecutive title at the Indian Grand Prix.

After a dominant drive to his tenth win of 2013, the young German claimed to be ‘speechless’ at the reality of joining Fangio, Prost and Schumacher as a quadruple Champion.

However, he went on to speak candidly about a tough season that has seen his frequent podium finishes ruined by a chorus of boos from fans around the world.

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone who is behind the team, it has not been an easy season,” said an emotional Vettel on the podium. “From the outside people will think it was easy but it wasn’t.

“It has been hard for me in particular, to be booed when I have not done anything wrong was hard but I think I answered the things on the track which I am very pleased about. I am overwhelmed, I don’t know what to say but it is the best day of my life so far.”

And his accomplishments have been recognised by a man that achieved the same feat in 1993, Alain Prost. The Frenchman, who Vettel is often compared to with his calculated approach to racing, believes that there is more to come from the young German.

“I’m delighted to see Sebastian win the title today,” explained Prost. “He is a great driver and he has had some outstanding wins this year, some of the best of his career so far. You can see he is methodical in his approach, builds a strong team around him, is 100 percent motivated for success and is entirely focused on the end result.

“He is a great champion and I don’t think this title will be his last. He has a good team around him and of course he is still young enough to challenge for more.”

Within Formula One, Vettel’s skill, passion and intellect is well-known and highly respected. Fernando Alonso stood as Vettel’s only competitor ahead of Sunday’s race, the Ferrari driver having a difficult day with an eleventh place finish.

Although, Alonso was quick to compliment Vettel on his success and says that his focus is to secure second place in the Constructors Championship for Ferrari.

“I congratulate him,” Alonso said. “They’ve been very strong, very dominant, especially in the second half of the season, so they deserve to be champions.

“We need to start thinking for next year and try to make things more difficult for him.

“I think overall the weekend was not good enough and in Abu Dhabi we have to improve if we want to pass Mercedes in the constructors’ championship.”

The Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had a more positive result than in recent races, taking second and sixth places respectively.

“Massive congratulations to Seb on becoming four-time World Champion today,” said Hamilton. “That’s an awesome achievement and he’s put in some incredible performances this season. I really hope we get to take the fight to him next year!”

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186 Comments
  1. James says:

    Best driver of his era.

    1. Dave C says:

      By far the best driver of this era, even that donut at the end with a perfect tyre ring mark shows superb car control and precision. Anyway as the racing goes I’m sure next year will be different and Mercedes will be strong Rosberg must be rubbing his hands now in anticipation as he has finally shown in a straight fight he has the measure if Hamilton and also Alonso fading fast it’ll be intetesting to see which of the 2 slow qualifiers can cope better at Ferrari next year. Nice job Grosjean for finally maturing into a top driver and also to Perez and Massa for doing what their world champion team mates couldn’t do but at the end of the day U have to slute Vettel I was a doubter even as recent as last year but there’s no doubt now what a complete driver and he definitely joins the great and with so much more to come he will rewrite history.

      1. Yellowbelly says:

        +1

      2. F1ista says:

        DaveC,

        Your comments are laughably reactionary!

        One good race for Rosberg – “now he finally shown in a straight fight he has the measure of Hamilton.”

        A bad race for Alonso, caused by collision damage – “Alonso fading fast…”

        Perez and Massa FINALLY delivering a performance of note this year – “..doing what their world champion team mates couldn’t do.”

        Awful reactionary comments at their worst, based on one race of a season. I genuinely don’t understand how anyone can be happy in analysing (if you can call it that) anything in that way.

    2. Mark Vadnais says:

      Adrian Newey is the greatest differentiator in the history of the sport.

      1. Gilles V says:

        You bet he is !!!

      2. Gilles V says:

        Sorry I forgot Chapman…

      3. Yak says:

        On the other hand, Red Bull and STR hadn’t won anything until Vettel came along.

      4. Cuba says:

        Tell that to Mark Webber

      5. jakobusvdl says:

        As with drivers different era’s have had their brilliant designers, Colin Chapman, John Barnard, Gordon Murray, Ross Brawn, Bruce McLaren, Jim Hall, Frank Costin, are just some of the names I know of – all of whom made contributions in their era that compare to Newey in this era.
        He is pretty good though, right up with Colin Chapman, the greatest of them all.

    3. jakobusvdl says:

      And this in an era with a large number of great drivers

    4. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

      His era is not finished, so wait a little, nevertheless he is in first position for win this title.

    5. Goob says:

      ZZZZZ….. I like it when a driver wins on merit, not on a set of regulations designed to supress driver talent.

      Vettel is good at driving to deltas… Newey is a genius. Lets keep it in perspective.

      Another boring result for very bored F1 spectators.

      1. JB says:

        Does not stop him from winning! LOL

      2. Goob says:

        Like I said – Newey is the main component to victory.

        F1 has been going downhill for a number of years. This is only further confirmation of that.

      3. JB says:

        Compared to the Schumacher Ferrari era, the current F1 is plenty exciting.
        In the old days, we needed Murray Walker’s exciting voice to keep us awake. These days, if you drop your concentration a bit, you lost chunks of details of the race.
        F1 is way more exciting than ever before.

        Like Daniel Ricciardo said, “he was the one who got the most out of the car… I’m sure there are many who didn’t”. So saying Newey was responsible for it and not Vettel is very bias. I mean who has ever won a championship is a slow car? Ohh… I know, Michael Schumacher! In 1994, he dragged that lame Benetton Ford with crappy V8 engine to win his first WDC. I have not witness any other champion that has done such achievement.

        In the end, Seeing Vettel achieved so much is simply amazing. Moreover, seeing the rise of Red Bull from a lowly Jaguar (previously Stewart) team is an amazing story on its own. Sure Red Bull has pumped in some budget, but that was just a kick start. Now Red Bull should be self sustaining with the amount of points they can translate to money. In my opinion the team’s success and bringing up a young great personality of an F1 driver are all great exciting story. It is ashamed that you don’t seem to recognise that.

      4. Alvarez says:

        Ah, 1994. Let’s remind ourselves of certain aspects of Schumacher’s title winning achievement that year:

        http://grandprix247.com/2013/09/30/flashback-a-tale-of-dodgy-traction-control-and-alleged-cheating-in-formula-1/

        Personally I would rank Seb’s 2008 Monza
        victory as a far greater achievement than Schumacher’s (shall we say ‘spurios’?)
        first title.

      5. JB says:

        @alvarez
        I actually never heard of it until you brought it up.
        Seems like another conspiracy to me. F1 are full of these things from disappointed fans and jealous opponents.
        Take RedBull as example, they complied with rules throughout their winning years. But it hasn’t stop others from bringing up the subject of ‘cheating’.

    6. bearforce says:

      I am a big Schuey fan but I think Schuey had a bigger car advantage and all the testing and special tyres. Vettel also has superior drivers to compete with than Shuey had.

      Todays drivers are far superior to yesteryear. It like athletes today there are government training from childhood, diets, trainers of all types and all this is provided from childhood. Sam as Olympic competitors today would smoke their predecessors so to would the todays drivers smoke yesteryears.

      In saying all of this Vettel is a superior athlete beating the best most professional and highly trained drivers we have ever seen in the history of F1.

    7. Bohica says:

      How boring! zzzzzz all the other teams should be ashamed about the performance of their cars! I had to turn f1 off its so boring!

    8. RogerD says:

      Grosjean did the most impressive job on the day.

      Stoked to see Seb indulge in some celebratory skids on the pit straight. Maybe he can show us some driftwork after title number five next year.

      Title six will have to be a huge drift combined with the long-anticipated return of the one-finger salute, mid corner with crazy frog accompaniment.

    9. Denis 68 says:

      Absolutely

  2. Nick Lynn says:

    Tough season? Who’s he trying to kid. I bet Alonso would want to have a such a ‘tough season’ in the best machinery.

    1. kevsuths says:

      Wish people would stop beating him down, yes he is in the best car, but it takes more than just having the best car to win in F1.

      The team as a hole have done a superb job.

      Look at Webber, he has the same machinery but hasn’t even came close to beating Vettel this season.

      I’m not a Vettel fan but I take my hat off to him to do what he has done at the age of 26.

    2. SteveS says:

      Yes, yes, we all recall how Alonso explained after the 2005 and 2006 seasons that “It was easy, really, because I had the best machinery”.

      1. KRB says:

        Didn’t see anywhere where the OP said Vettel should give kudo’s to his car.

        Of course Alonso had the best car in both 2005 and 2006. He would acknowledge as much. 2006 was closer b/c of the mass damper controversy, but still it was clearly the best car that season. You don’t win 3 or 4 races in a row in a season w/o having the best car.

      2. Tealeaf says:

        Not to mention the mass damper and the great Renault launch system, combine that with a overrated Newey car Raikkonen was driving, actually I use to like Alonso and thought he was the beat driver and all that but he’s actually not even close to being the best and his mindset just begs for people to hate him.

      3. CarlH says:

        ‘his mindset just begs for people to hate him’

        The chants of ‘Alonso, Alonso. Alonso’ on the podium (even when he finishes 2nd or 3rd) would suggest otherwise.

        Just because you hate him doesn’t mean everyone else does.

    3. Rob Newman says:

      Alonso can’t do a proper job in qualifying on Saturday. What guarantee is there that he is doing a good job on Sunday? Put him in a Red Bull and you will get the same result. Seb will get pole and disappear into the distance. Alonso will never be world champion again!

    4. Equin0x says:

      The usual bitterness, any season is tough and tougher to win the title, look at Webber! Not fast enough to even win a race, Alonso? Yeah I’m sure being out qualified by Massa more often than not recently he is wishing for a faster car, and a puch bag for a team mate, if he was at Redbull Seb would desteoy this slow overrated but consistent racer.

      1. Thomas says:

        True, Alonso is a double champion because he’s had #1 status most of his career. McLaren should have won the 2005 title, 2006 was pretty much the car and the rest is nothing.

        No secrets to steal or teammates to make crash this time? Sucks for “the best in the world”.

      2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        Classic, again, like Seb ‘destroyed’ Alonso in 2012. Come on.

        And again with the Massa thing you discredit yourself even more. It’s easy to outqualify your teammate when you are on softs and he is on hards in Q3.

        So lets see in 2013, not counting DNFs it’s 12-1 to Alonso in races, and the 1 came today because Massa had the better strategy, Alonso had to pit for a new nose after Webber hit Kimi then him, which also wrecked the harder tyre starting strategy.

        Currently Alonso 207 pts, Massa 102 pts!

        Alonso should not even be 2nd in the championship in that Ferrari. Again.

        You simply cannot compare Seb and Alo – because of the massive car difference – at the moment…

    5. German Samurai says:

      He’s only had the best machinery since the summer break, yet he still managed to build a lead in the championship up until this point.

      Alonso first needs to consistently out qualify Massa and Hulkenberg in the Sauber with its customer Ferrari engine before he can think about race wins or championships.

    6. AP says:

      Exactly, when everything come so easy, you think that this season was “tough”…

    7. Paddock F1 says:

      Yes, but would they be tough enough to deliver the results? Mark wasn’t.

    8. Mike says:

      Still even with the best machinery you still have to deliver the results.

      1. Tim says:

        Correct – but consider AN designed cars between 1992 and 1997 – 4 different drivers driving them became WC (would have been min 5 for Senna)- even Hill and Villeneuve who are consider ‘good’ drivers were WDC in AN cars – so good job to him but don’t get carried away and say hes the greatest – give him a proper team mate or an average car then we shall see.

      2. Zombie says:

        Tim, nobody has ever become a champion in an “average car”. Even Senna hopped from one best car to another chasing titles. Heck ! He even offered to drive for Williams for free !

        The closest anyone ever came to taking the title in a car that started the season a whooping 1 sec/lap deficit was Michael Schumacher in 1997/1998. And even then by the end of the season, his Ferraris were much closer to the top pace of Williams and Mclarens .

        Vettels job is to win championships, and i think its the same goal the other 20 drivers have too. He doesn’t have to prove anything to anybody. Its for the other drivers and teams to catch up with RBR-Vettel and beat them. Lets admit it, neither Mclaren nor Ferrari nor Mercedes are short of funds. Its just that RBR and Vettel have moved the goalposts much much further.

      3. Tim says:

        Agree with everything you say – but for me, in order to establish what a lot of people are saying, we need to see him challenged by either a competitive team mate or in a car which is not clearly the best (i.e. Alonso last year)

    9. Simmo says:

      Just because it’s been dominance doesn’t mean it’s been easy. There’s a lot more to it than just having the car.

      That said, it has been tougher for everybody else (but it still doesn’t make it easy for him and RB)

  3. goferet says:

    What makes Vettel very good and hence a very difficult opponent to beat is the fact that he has in his pocket the 3 main ingredients all legendary drivers possess and those are devastating 1 lap pace, consistency and more importantly bags full of luck

    Yes without these 3 ingredients, no driver can win multiple titles and thus be considered a legend as shown by Fangio and Prost each of whom usually found themselves in the right cars at the right time.

    Now, the problem with Vettel’s achievements is they have come too much, too soon and thus the fans can’t quite believe it.

    For instance, if Vettel had joined Red Bull (a new team) whilst they were a struggling midfield team which would have come up the ranks gradually then the fans would have attributed a lot of that success to Vettel the driver.

    But as things turned out, it appeared like Vettel jumped into a seat that was already a world beater and hence the doubt.

    As for the praise heaped on Vettel by former champions, this is the normal procedure whenever the champion is crowned but as soon as Vettel isn’t winning those same people will turn around and sing another tune >>> That’s how it is and will always be.

    Regards the point of Vettel saying he has had a tough season because of people booing him and whatnot, he should spare a thought for people that have really had a tough season such as the Mclarens of this world.

    P.s.

    Like Napoleon Bonaparte once said, forget skills, forget talent, forget intelligence >>> Just give me a lucky general.

    1. Hanns says:

      >For instance, if Vettel had joined Red Bull >(a new team) whilst they were a struggling >midfield team which would have come up the >ranks gradually then the fans would have >attributed a lot of that success to Vettel >the driver.

      I´m sure Red Bull would´ve become a top team with or without Vettel.
      But he did join Red Bull when they were a struggling midfield team.
      Most people thought Vettel had deserved a better team with his 2008 performance, when he joined Red Bull.

    2. Craig D says:

      He had a season in Toro Rosso and gave them their first win! He did start in the midfield, compared to say Hamilton who arrived in a winning car from race 1!

    3. F1ista says:

      Nice post. A rare example of thinking beyond the woefully shallow “Driver A has just won a TEAM sport, therefore Driver A is the best.”

      Credit also to James for acknowledging that many F1 fans do not think of Vettel as the ghost of Fangio/Clark/Senna all rolled in to one, by stating:

      “He certainly divides opinion among fans around the world…”

      That he does. All of that success at Red Bull stems from Newey’s genius. Without Vettel, they would still be successful with any one of a number of other drivers. Without Newey? It doesn’t bear thinking about for Red Bull.

      Newey makes the difference, not Vettel.

    4. Tealeaf says:

      You do have some points but then you also missed a great one, his compusure under pressure, to me this attribute has won Seb at least 2 titles and he showed it again the last race! Even under extreme pressure at the likes of Abu Dhabi 2010 or Brazil 2012 he can have a clear head, hold it all together and drive a race like as if it didn’t mean anything whilst the rest crumbles like Webber and Alonso at Abu Dhabi or Lewis Hamilton at China 2007 and Brazil 2008, or some of Schumi’s title deciders. So combine that with his stunning 1 lap speed, machine like consistency and yes a bag full of good luck Seb has come out of nowhere and ready to join the greats , as long as he wins a title or 2 for Ferrari.

    5. Dan says:

      He is very difficult to beat because he always has a huge car advantage over his main rivals. All the nonsense you listed is just an illusion created by this huge advantage. Remove it and Vettel becomes irrelevant.

      1. Oletros says:

        Worst part is that problably you believe that

      2. Zombie says:

        Huge car advantage ? Like in 2010 or 2012 ? Put any of the top 6 drivers in a Caterham or a Marussia , and the chances are none of them will make it to into top 12 let alone be champions ! Those who think a driver doesnt deserve the title because of his machine advantage sadly does not understand motorsports !

        Agostini had the mighty MV Agusta.
        Lawson had the all conquering factory Yamaha.
        Doohan had the entire Honda Corporation around him plus Jeremy Burgees ( the Ross Brawn of Motogp).
        Rossi has had Jeremy Burgees throughout his career.
        Loeb had the firepower of Citroen.

        Fangio pretty much drove for only the best teams of his era, and almost always got the preference over his teammates.
        Senna was Honda’s blueeyed baby and won all 3 of his titles in the mighty Mclaren Hondas. And when the Mclaren lost the edge in 1992, he was found knocking on Williams doors without wasting any time!
        Schumacher had Ferrari’s undying loyalty towards him. And the brains of Brawn,Byrne,Gilles Simons and Martinelli supporting him.

        And we’ve seen Ferrari’s resources concentrated on Alonso, and we’ve seen Mercedes holding back Rosberg and preferring Hamilton. So what makes Vettel so different to the past or present champions ?

      3. Dan says:

        2010? when the car scored 15 poles? it was a class apart and the championship was only close because the incompetence of the redbull drivers

        in 2012 vettel struggled in t he first half of the season when the car did not suit him and trailed the great webber until spa, another waste year but he got lucky again when alonso was taken out twice by the lotus idiots. he is amazingly lucky

      4. Delgado says:

        All hail Sir Stirling Moss!

      5. Zombie says:

        Dan, which 2012 season did you watch ?? Seb was trailing Mark Webber until Spa ?? Heck ! Mark wasn’t even in the picture for the title fight ! Seb relinquished his lead to Alonso at Monaco and took back the lead in Korea.

        If number of poles per team wins titles, pray tell me what stopped Mercedes from taking the title this year ?

      6. JCA says:

        In answer to your response to Zombie, about 2010, have you forgotten that Vettel lost three wins through mechanical failures, thus through no fault of his own? Thats 75 points that turned into 12 (he got fourth in Bahrain) and if he had kept them, people would have called it a boring season. Yes, he made driver mistakes, but so did those greats, Hamilton and Alonso.

        And in 2012 he was out paced by Webber in three races (races, not quali) all year, while also losing a win through no fault of his own. Button and Rosberg have on occasion out raced Hamilton, Massa has also occasionally outperformed Alonso.

  4. All revved-up says:

    SV addressing the booing issue. If that was unscripted, this young man has the instincts of a great politician.

    And very articulate. He has a good head. Just needs to sharpen his delivery. At times he’s just seems to go on and on.

    A remarkable individual and a deserving 4 time champion.

    The 3 doughnuts on the pit straight – a showman’s instinct as well!

    1. JimmiC says:

      I loved the roar of the crowd as he postured in front of his car. Great show.

  5. Jonathan says:

    “to be booed when I have not done anything wrong was hard”

    He obviously fails to understand why he is booed. In this respect he is very similar to schumacher. He has done plenty wrong. A bit of humility, true sportsmanship and some gratitude to the team earlier in the season would go a long way. That and stopping his intensely annoying finger wagging and I doubt he would ever get booed. Oh – it would help if he acknowledged that he has also had a lot of luck on his side.

    As Nick puts it – who wouldn’t wish for a season as tough that!

    1. DaveF1 says:

      What exactly has he done wrong? In comparison to other champions (Schumacher, Senna, even Alonso) his record is a bit catholic.

      Before you mention Multi 21, remember that Webber has done the same thing, more often.

    2. Hanns says:

      Where did you ever miss Vettels graditute to the team?
      He praises them when ever he has the chance to do.
      Can´t remember any complain Vettel made about his team all season.

    3. Random 79 says:

      “He has done plenty wrong”

      A bit of humility, true sportsmanship and some gratitude to the team earlier in the season would go a long way.

      If I remember right, every time he wins the first thing he does is thank the team.

      That and stopping his intensely annoying finger wagging and I doubt he would ever get booed.

      His finger waggling is his trademark, as is Alonso’s “duck” wave when he wins, which is just as if not more silly than pointing a finger. I never heard anyone booing Alonso because of the way he waves. I’m not fond of the finger, but that’s my problem, not Vettel’s.

      It would help if he acknowledged that he has also had a lot of luck on his side.

      Why should he? Obviously you need a bit of luck to win (as well as a good car), but more importantly to need the skill to make the most of it, which is what Vettel does.

      I’m not a Vettel fan and these days I do kind of groan whenever he wins, but I’m not going to boo him just because he’s doing his job to the best of his abilities and I really can’t stand those who continue to do so.

      So tell me again exactly what it is he’s doing wrong. His PR could use some work, but his only real problem is that he’s winning too much.

      I don’t know about you, but I’ve had worse problems.

    4. Steve says:

      Well, there is nothing to understand more than there is a lack of respect from the crowd, they wheren´t to happy about Shumacher either.

      One can wonder why?

      The obvious answer is that these drivers take the thrill away from the game, they are just too good for the show.

      This is entertainment in the raw end and nobody wants the show to be spoiled.

      Is it Sebs fault, no not in my world.

      Alonso may be the fastest driver, but being the best driver is another story, isn´t that obvious?

  6. Andrew S says:

    James – are RedBull changing their PR strategy for Seb? Seems we are seeing more of “him” rather than.just the driver?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes. Understandably!

      1. Bones says:

        Since you are talking about this subject, I read somewhere that Vettel gave an interview and talked about his personal life and then RB’s pr asked the journalist not to print that he has a dog. What is about it?

  7. Valentino from montreal says:

    What , no compliments from Schumacher published on this web-site ?

      1. JB says:

        pfft! millions of F1 fans do care.

      2. Elie says:

        Oh there’s 2 of you now.. !You sure JB is not just another alias for Val..

      3. Lohani says:

        There’s 3 now.

  8. Aaron says:

    Congratulations to Seb. I’m not a Vettel fan, but I have to admit he has been the class driver pretty much all season long, and he won the title in style. The way he carved through the field at the start of the race was superb – something many of his rivals failed to do today.

    And what a way to finish – the image of Vettel standing in front of his car, parked sideways on the grid, surrounded by tyre smoke, was awesome. He owned that grid this season.

    The one disappointment for me was the decision by the stewards to fine/reprimand him for the doughnuts. I know they have to follow the rules, but those rules need to be changed. These guys are driving the fastest cars in the world – as a fan I expect the winner to be lighting up the tyres and doing doughnuts after a victory. Time for the FIA to relax the rules a bit I think, so we can see the drivers celebrating in the way we fans want to see.

    1. KRB says:

      Without doubt, he’s been the best driver this season, even before the car became the beast it is currently.

      He’s been very, very consistent. Of course it’s easier to be more consistent when the car performance is there for you. More than the easy wins he’s been racking up since the summer, I’ve been more impressed by how he and the team handle weekends when they don’t have the best car. They bag as many points as they possibly can, not letting anyone get a big points jump on them. China 2013 would be a prime example of this. They did the same last year, though then it took much longer for the car to come good, and they were very close to cracking under the pressure (Germany off-track penalty, Hungary radio outbursts). They didn’t crack, Newey came through, and Vettel duly went on a great run. He has very good mental toughness.

      I would like to see that toughness tested more next year though!

    2. Darren says:

      Likewise Aaron but I doubt drivers would do it other than in exceptional circumstances.

      The teams hate them doing it, it places a huge strain on the engine and especially transmission doing that. Getting a grid penalty because your gearbox failed due to doing doughnuts at the previous race would make you look a bit foolish.

      I think that says more about the stupid gearbox rules than anything though.

  9. kfzmeister says:

    Vettel speechless? Lol, i’ve seen interviewers literally cut him off cause he yaks so much.
    Congrats on the title, though.

    1. All revved-up says:

      Yes, sometimes he does yak on! I just mute the TV!

      Some of our F1 presenters too – mute!

      Not James of course!

  10. Horno says:

    Allthough i am a big Ferrari / Alonso fan, i have to admit that today something really special happend; Vettel and Rec Bull fully deserve this special 4th consecutive title.. A true master piece, anybody who disagrees is not a true F1 fan.

    1. Elie says:

      Ferrari / Alonso fan – I didn’t think they existed anymore :)

  11. AJ says:

    Great driver, great results, but a polite little boo from me I’m afraid for all the reasons that have been discussed here at length before.

    1. Mitchel says:

      Ha, ha- polite boo. I like it and agree too.

    2. Random 79 says:

      And a polite little boo back for all the reasons I’ve stated here before ;)

  12. AuraF1 says:

    I say congratulations. He’s not my favourite and he isn’t driving for my team. I’d also say Malaysia earned the boos – he knows it and saying he did nothing wrong is utterly disingenuous but then even other legends like Senna had dark unpleasant episodes in their history and he is a very young man barely an adult yet so I’d take back my previous complaints and say Vettel has easily been the most consistent driver all year – he’s had a better car recently ever since the tyre change but then most champions have had great machinery too. He’s raced when he needed to, got his team entirely behind him and worked hard consistently. So congratulations to him and Red Bull. He may not be considered equal to the other legends yet but he’s likely got another 10 years or more in F1 so he’s an era to define yet.

    1. SteveS says:

      “I’d also say Malaysia earned the boos”

      I’d agree with you … if all the other drivers who ignore team orders were booed as well. But since they’re not it just seems like certain fans are two-faced and vindictive.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        The fans aren’t really two faced, it isn’t them who’s confused by the issue. It’s the media who sit there asking why are they booing? When the fans who boo were making it quite clear it was Malaysia. Like I said, Vettel knows that’s what caused it. Right or wrong (for him or the fans) saying he has no idea what he did to cause the boos and that it might be a bit of jealousy isn’t correct. I believe the issue was more that he didn’t apologise, then apologised, then changed his apology, then said it was miscommunication and radio problems, then said he wasn’t apologising and would do it again. To be fair to him, other drivers have done it, yes, although most haven’t gone about it in such an immature fashion – but that’s the thing I was starting to understand myself – he IS immature, he’s only 26! I’m a little older than he is now and even I can see how much I’ve matured since I turned 30 and I didn’t have the same scrutiny on my motives as he does.

        Now if he’d been like Senna or Schumacher he would have just flatly refused to apologise and said ‘I’m better than Mark, I dislike team orders when they are against me and this is payback for Mark screwing me over before’. If he’d been as open and honest as he sometimes is, I think a lot of the boos would have been ameliorated before it set in and gained momentum.

        The difference with Mark was when he disobeyed orders he said ‘yeah, I don’t like them and the team never supported me like Vettel so tough luck.’ Even if you think Webber is a media player, I think that plays into his no nonsense image. And for 90% of the time Vettel shows he doesn’t care about being political and he sees that Marko working to protect him gives a bad impression of him – but for that race in Malaysia, his petty and petulant radio messages played out precisely because it portrayed Vettel as unpleasant and his repeated volte face on his explanations and excuses and apology/non apology was what hurt him.

        As Newey said, he might disobey orders again, but next time he’ll just say ‘yeah that’s because I’m the better driver’ and I think fans will understand that.

      2. SteveS says:

        That’s a really long-winded way of saying, “Yeah, the booing fans are two faced but I’m not going to say anything bad about them”.

      3. AuraF1 says:

        I think we must disagree on what two faced means. It’s hardly hiding their feelings and suddenly revealing it which is what two faced means. Do you mean a double standard? Fair enough then…

    2. Random 79 says:

      +1

      His only real failure there was failing to say that he did nothing wrong at the time.

    3. All revved-up says:

      +10

      A very balanced assessment. Well said!

  13. Cliff says:

    James, In years to come your excellent book ‘Edge of Greatness’ may be superseded by another book, this time for Sebastian Vettel. May I suggest a title, ‘Achieving Greatness’ I’m not his biggest fan, but you have to admire and respect his talent and natural ability.

    1. PK says:

      James,
      Does ‘Edge of Greatness’ mean Michael almost got there, or was there and nearly ‘fell off’ the other side because of his perceived infractions?

      1. CarlH says:

        If that’s what it means then I would disagree 100%.

        7 championships is greatness by any definition.

      2. Cliff says:

        The book is the second of two, its balanced with contributions from some of the key players from Schuey’s era, i’d suggest you read it and then comment on the title!

      3. CarlH says:

        @ Cliff

        FYI, I have read (and enjoyed) it.

        Thanks for the advice.

    2. Nick Wells says:

      Sorry, Cliff, nothing personal but your name immediately calls to mind the tyre controversies that plagued these pirelli years.

  14. Delgado says:

    Will Seb ever have to haul an uncompetitive car up the grid for an entire season? I have no doubt he could but until he does, its perhaps a little premature to speak of him being the best of his era.

    1. Spinodontosaurus says:

      Been there done that – see his Toro Rosso stint in 2007/2008. His worst finish in a wet weather race was a 5th during that time, aside from his DNF in Fuji 07 (whilst running third no less).

    2. SteveS says:

      The new standard for greatness in F1 drivers … finishing a season fourth or fifth with one or two wins! I suspect that if/when Vettel accomplishes this feat, he won’t be praised for it.

    3. Yak says:

      So who’s the best of the era then? Alonso? He won his titles in cars that weren’t in the slightest bit uncompetitive. And he’s certainly didn’t haul his car anywhere in India, except into other cars. Last year he’d basically put in an average quali, then jump two rows with the Ferrari’s questionably good starts and just hold position from there. If luck went his way, someone in front would retire. Without all of the problems Hamilton and Vettel had, he likely wouldn’t have been anywhere near as close at the end of the season.

      Maybe Hamilton? What uncompetitive car has he done anything with? When the Merc this year has been up the front, it’s been because the car has been the best out there. Performance-wise last year the McLaren was great… it was the unreliability of the car and team that got him.

      Raikkonen? Won his WDC in a Ferrari that was right up there with the McLaren for most of the year, plus McLaren ballsed up the last two races, so that didn’t exactly hurt him. Lotus haven’t consistently had a race-winning car, but Raikkonen’s results reflect that. Qualifying well out of position doesn’t make him look too bad in the races either.

      Button? Started his WDC year off in the best car, and then when it wasn’t he was basically just salvaging whatever points he could get to hold on. He’s had an uncompetitive car this year, and I don’t really see him hauling it anywhere special.

      The Red Bull this year didn’t start off as the clear best car, and yet Vettel was right there scoring the big points. He might not have had to fight back from dropping out in Q1, but he delivered what he had to with what he had. And then they gave him a better car…

      1. KRB says:

        The Merc was the best out there for Hungary qualifying? Don’t think so! Vettel should’ve taken that pole, clear to most in the paddock. If he had, it likely would’ve meant another win for Vettel. Good timing for Lewis then, to get that win in before RBR made their Great Leap Forward.

      2. JCA says:

        Hungary was his one big mistake. All drivers have and will make mistakes now and then, even the mighty Alonso and Hamilton.

    4. JL says:

      what ahout wining in a torro rosso? did MW and FA win with in their first year with Minardi?

      1. KRB says:

        Winning with the Minardi Alonso drove would be like winning with a 2013 Caterham!

        Alonso won in his 2nd season, with Renault, before they were a top team. Ironically, Alonso’s first win owed a lot to Webber in 2nd holding up many of the big guns in the early part of the race. Alonso was able to pull a 21s gap in the first 13 laps, b/c of the Webber train.

        Vettel won in his 2nd season, with STR, in very particular circumstances it must be said. It was a wet weekend, which suited the STR3 down to the ground. Vettel and Bourdais both light-fuelled, but qualified 1st and 4th. A very good win for Vettel though; many thought that Heikki in 2nd would have him during the race.

        Would Alonso have won Hungary ’03 if not for the tight confines of the Hungaroring and the Webber train? Probably not.

        Would Vettel have won Italy ’08 if it had been a dry race? Probably not.

        Facts are, it happened the way it happened, and both maximized their opportunity on the day.

    5. Andre says:

      Who has?

    6. Delgado says:

      Good points all. I had forgotten about his days at RBR. (Can’t help but spare a thought for Kubica in all this…how he might have
      affected the play during Seb’s last 3 titles. We were robbed!)

  15. David (Sydney) says:

    Wow!

    Fantastic to see such a driver car combination.

    Like Schumacher’s Ferrari years, It’s not boring – it’s an honour to witness a driver who will go down in history alongside Fangio, Prost, Senna and Schumacher.

    Poor Webber for getting a great car only to be partnered by one of the greats.

    Best wishes to Seb, and his parents, who nurtured a boy to grow into a young man of history.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Also:

      Poor Webber for getting a great car only to…

      A: Have the wheels fall off…twice
      B: Have the engine catch fire…twice.
      C: Have a dodgy alternator.

      End of gripe :)

      1. CarlH says:

        Amazing how it always seems to be his car isn’t it?

        Also funny how something (strategy calls or mechanical failures) always seems to go wrong on a weekend when he’s pushing Vettel hard.

    2. Kenneth M'Boy says:

      Well said.

  16. David (Sydney) says:

    And I’ll bet Red Bull will prioritise Webber from the last few races to help him take one more win – winning his last race in Brazil, an old style circuit more to Webber’s liking, would be a fitting end to a successful career… if only South Korea 2010 turned out differently… grrr…

    1. graham says:

      yeah….and give Seb the car that breaks down while they are at it! :) grrrrr
      I am absolutely certain Mark has upset the Goddess of Luck at sometime in his life!

    2. WellBalanced says:

      I too think that will happen- Seb will play along

  17. Marcelo Leal says:

    Stunning pole lap, impressive race performance, blah blah blah.
    A great driver, no doubt. But best car by a mile.
    I think you (F1 professionals) need to stop selling Sebastian Vettel, and listen to the public and the boos. Stop pretending and face the reality that F1 fans are saying…
    I don’t remember nobody “selling” Senna as a great driver, and he have not 4 WDC in a row. Ask yourself why…

    1. JimmiC says:

      Because there wasn’t nearly the level of mass communication in Senna’s day as there is now. If Senna had rammed Prost/Prost rammed Senna in 2013, it would be endlessly dissected on Twitter and forums and fans opinions would fly. In Senna’s time, the only people writing about Formula One were journalists.

    2. Jolgas says:

      Marcelo, totally agree that ‘you (F1 Professionals) need to stop selling Sebastian Vettel’ as great drivers do not need to be sold. This guy is a good driver but not a great. In fact he is bad for the sport. By the way since I did not watch the race, who won? Actually I knew the answer before the “race” if you can call it that, actually started. And which Red Bull car had problems? Ah, know the answer to that one too.

      1. JCA says:

        Vettel bad for the sport? [mod], blame the other teams for not challenging RBR and Vettel. Experts are praising, or ‘selling’ him because fans are dismissing him, are they supposed to shut up when they believe Vettel is being wrongly meligned? Lets also be clear that the majority of experts and people who work in the paddock have been praising him for several years as an exceptional talent.

      2. jolgas says:

        He is bad for the sport. I for one have stopped watching this season. Not only is it so boring watching with one driver winning all the time but also his attitude is intolerable.

        And I may not watch next year either. If I was Red Bull, I would be questioning the good that his sponsorship is doing their brand, when half the public like him and the other half can’t stand.

        “It’s very difficult for me personally, to receive boos, even though you haven’t done anything wrong,” he said. Well, so he is correct in his behaviour, and every one else is wrong? Why does he not listen to people?

        True champions are not booed – I cannot think of another example of a champion either in motor sport or anything else who has received such malicious treatment from the general public. And, yes I am tired of the F1 pundits praising him. I would not pay too much attention to what Hamilton and Alonso have said recently. Look at their body language – that says it all.

      3. JCA says:

        You think drivers wouldn’t be booed now for driving others off the road? People are being booed more and more in sport, and people write terrible things to, and about, public figures on things like twitter. They now have the power to directly, and anonymously, target celebs. And beware the pundit or colleague who dares to defend the public figure.

        For example, LeBron James (currently the best basketball player in the world) was vilified in 2010 to an unbelievable degree for changing teams, and doing so less than graciously. He won his second championship earlier this year, but is still hated and booed, you should see the things written about him in the comments to articles on ESPN! I remember a Scottish rugby player had to delete his twitter account, because he was flooded with hate for missing a kick! So many sportsmen get death threats, or at least terrible abuse, for simply making mistakes while playing a game, or playing for the ‘wrong’ team, or for changing teams. Many employ bodyguards, if they go out for an evening. You should also see the racist and homophobic things written about athletes on youtube comments.

        As for it being boring, two of their four championships have come down to the last race. In fact, four of the last seven championships have come down to the last race, and one was decided at the second to last race. There have been several years in the last quarter of a century, when one of Mclaren, Williams, Ferrari or Red Bull have had a dominant car, and have run away with the championship, the first three get a pass for being ‘legacy’ teams, RBR are punished for being ‘new money’. As I said, it is Ferrari, Mercedes and Mclarens fault that it is boring, because they haven’t designed a good enough car, or when they did, they made too many mistakes.

        And lets not ignore the misdemeanours of other champions. Senna, Prost and Schumacher drove opponents off the track to win. Hamilton and Alonso have hardly been angels, accusing the team of sabotage, tweeting telemetry, ‘monkeys at the back’, ill advised Ali G quotes and what they both did at Hungary 2007, as well as the rest of that year.

    3. DaveF1 says:

      1) Sure, he has the best car. So has Webber, and he is nowhere close. The driver IS important.

      2) So did Alonso, Schumacher, Senna, Mansell, Prost, Fangio, Clark, etc

      3) Yes, they were PLENTY of articles, documentaries, specials about all great champions. It’s not “selling”, it’s what the sport media it’s suppose to do, report about the very best of each discipline.

    4. john3voltas says:

      Different times Marcelo.
      I won’t say that SV is better than ASdS but at that time teams could test and develop the car in the track all season. Tyres were a lot harder and didn’t leave so many marbles on the side of the track, allowing for other drivers to use the whole track and not only the best line.
      The tyre supplier used to be fair and find a good all-around tyre before the season started and they would make small adjustments during the season. Teams knew the tyres and knew how to use them because they had thousands and thousands of Kms of winter testing them.
      Different times, mate.

    5. Vinola says:

      Can’t agree with you more. There are 2 groups of people in F1; the business (teams, drivers-are in a dual role-, Bernie, JOURNALISTS,etc) and the paying public (you and I). We might all seem to have the same interests on the surface, deep down they are quite divergent. They’d start paying attention when the paying public start voting with their pockets.

      I like the Vettel and he’s a fantastic driver. The irony is that my favorable impression of Vettel was formed BEFORE he joined RedBull; that is being eroded daily by these fawning accolades that fail to place his performances in its proper context. But, its quite predictable; its in their interests to do so.

      1. SteveS says:

        Both Hamilton and Alonso received considerably more “fawning accolades” after their WDC’s with rather less justification than Vettel has. And a lot of fans based their high opinions of these drivers on those plaudits from the pundits. So I don’t see any logic in certain fans NOW claiming they refuse to listen to expert opinion.

        You want to see over-the-top praise for a driver, look at that showered on Hamilton after the 2008 WDC. And even long after that to be honest, you can still see some pundits claiming he is “the fastest driver on the grid”.

        The F1 press has been slighting Vettel for several years now. If they’ve finally started to correct that than it’s long overdue, not something to be complained about.

      2. Vinola says:

        To be clear I think Vettel deserves respect admiration and recognition- for a very effective use of superior machinery against a better than average team-mate. What I object to is the over the top comparison to Senna or Fangio etc. Senna proved competitive against the then 2 time champion (Prost) in the same team. Alonso established his reputation winning against the Schumacher/Ferrari behemoth in a near-competitive car. Hamilton p established his reputation against a 2 time Champion in Alonso. Now, Vettel’s win in an inferior car in the wet is by far his most impressive win for me. I’m sure he’s still a super driver, we just dont have the evidence to start making what I consider outlandish comparisons when his benchmark isn’t the calibre of Prost or Alonso.

    6. Craig D says:

      Those boos are not from the entire public like you’re suggesting. It’s ridiculous the consistent flak he gets. It’s simple jealousy. The guy is clearly as good as Alonso and Hamilton, and in some areas likely better. His consistency is incredible.

      Fact is the established “great” if Ham, Alo and Rai can still be out qualified and out raced at times by their team mates (Gro, Mas, But, Ros), implying that these “no.2s” are also near greats. Yet Vettel, who’s dominated his team mate since 2011 pretty much gets refused to be labelled as such by some.

      I’ve said before, I’m not a Vettel fan but it isn’t hard to give respect to others success and hard work.

    7. Mnmracer says:

      So the experts should start to listen to the Britains Got Talent crowd instead of being experts. Now I’ve heard it all.

    8. SteveS says:

      “best car by a mile”

      As demonstrated by what, exactly? Vettel winning in it? The F2004 was the best car by a mile. The MP4/4 was the best car by a mile. The RB9 is no F2004 or MP4/4 though. Not by a mile.

    9. KRB says:

      It’s true that there was no need for a sales job with Senna. It was clear that he was a special driver, seen thru multiple incidents (not just a few) while racing for Lotus.

      Or with someone like Prost, his multiple runners-up finishes played just as big a part in his status as a ‘great’. Losing b/c of unreliability in 1983 in a lesser car, by half-a-point to Lauda in 1984, and to Senna in 1988 and 1990. Winning in ’86 when the Williams was a better car.

      Those feats are ones where the ‘car factor’ was either neutralized, or was in others’ favour. When that happens, any observer looking for a deciding factor is only left with the drivers as the decisive element, and from there meaningful comparisons are drawn.

    10. John S says:

      He needs to be sold because the people who boo him think winning like this comes easy. This year he has won the title in amazing style.

      Think about it, he’s only 1 win off his tally in 2011, but it’s been so much more exciting and not all his wins have been straightforward.

    11. Tealeaf says:

      Marcelo there’s no ifs and buts and yes you are a hardcore Hamilton fan and I expected nothing less from you, but all I have to ask is who’s the best of this era? Hamilton? He gets embarrased by journeymen drivers when on the same strategy like India or Malaysia and look at Melbourne 2012 or the whole 2011 season, get a grip Vettel will rewrite history in the next 10 years, sure he won’t win half the championships in that period but he doesn’t need to another 4 titles maybe 1 or 2 with Ferrari will cement him as 1 of the top 3 of all time, hopefully Alonso isn’t too scared to stay around and face Seb I hope you enjoy watching Hamilton’s long slide into oblivion in the next couoke of years.

      1. KRB says:

        TL, ‘cept he wasn’t on the same strategy. If the team had favoured Lewis and pitted him first for the second stops, then Lewis would’ve undercut Massa and likely finished 2nd, with Rosberg 5th or 6th. Of course, there would have been a big brouhaha if Merc had done that, similar to what happened with RBR in Suzuka after they switched Webber to the 3-stop mid-race.

        Both Rosberg and Lewis couldn’t clear Massa on track, and they could only get one car past on the undercut.

        Your analysis is “sound bite” simple; nice for those who don’t wish to put much effort or critical thinking into their F1 viewing experience.

      2. Marcelo Leal says:

        Hi Tealeaf,

        You don’t need this: “..you are a hardcore Hamilton fan and I expected nothing less from you”. This post has nothing to do with Hamilton and there is nothing about Hamilton on my comment.

        And your comment, is the reason of my comment. ;-)

        People just do not accept the fact that many F1 fans don’t feel like SV is a great. And look: I really respect him, and as I stated on my comment, I think he is a great driver. And I’m not suggesting anything, as you did write. I’m just a fan of F1, and watching (I think) what the official F1 broadcasts to every home. In that broadcast, I could perceive many people (from different countries), booing him. And before you say I’m suggesting something, let me take this clear as water: It’s wrong! But my point is: as it is happening, let’s try to understand it, as it is a wrong way of expression, but is an expression…

        Do you know how many readers do you need on average to have one comment on any site on the web? it follows a very specific pattern for people’s reaction. To have a movement like the boo’s happening, you need (again), a huge proportion. And we are talking about people that are going to the circuit, in different places, from a very specific sport. I’m sure RBR is not taking this as granted (and I think F1 professionals not either, as we can see on James last posts)…

        Just take a look that SV is not pointing the finger as before. And if you think about your response, you did not respected my opinion even I being respectful and not booing.

        If you care about my opinion, yes I think Hamilton is the best and most talented driver after Senna. I think is the fastest too, but would like to see a season of him and Vettel on the same car, as I’m sure Vettel is fast as hell too. As I asked sometime ago here on the forum, and James answered that most people think SV and LH would be a great fight.

        But I’m sure that all this is just my opinion, and I would like to see LH on the best car not winning the WDC or SV on an average car winning the WDC. If that happens I change my opinion right away. No problems with that…

  18. VetGoodnotgreat says:

    ummmm did they ask Di Resta?

    “Well in Formula 3 in 2006 I beat this new legend comfortably in the same car, that must make me better than Senna :)”

    Did they ask Jean-Eric Vergne?

    “Umm Bonjour in 2011 in Abu Dhabi, I drove this new legends RB7 at the young driver test and went 2 seconds faster than his pole time. Now I rarely get out of Q1 but that must make me better than Fangio :)”

    Did they ask Daniel Ricciardo?

    “Good day mate, at Silverstone this year Christian Horner showed me the data and fuel and tyre corrected I was 2 tenths quicker than this new legend, I think therefore I must be better that Schumacher :)”

    1. JCA says:

      Di Resta – the year Vettel had a bad crash, doing several races while driving with an injury, while also testing for BMW Sauber and racing in another series?

      2011 YDT
      1.Jean-Eric Vergne 1min 38.917secs (after the race, thus track MUCH more rubbered in)

      2011 Abu Dhabi Qualifying
      1.Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 01:38.481

      2013 ‘YDT’, one 3 time WDC with nothing to prove, one young guy driving for his future?

      So to sum up, first point you ignore a serious injury, second point your facts are wrong, third point tenuous at best, Dan had consequences, Seb had none.

  19. john3voltas says:

    He is a great qualifier, he is a very aggressive opponent, overtaking is his middle name and he delivers.
    People boo him mostly because:
    - he is not a nice teammate to have, even capable of betraying the team and his teammate.
    - he could show a bit of respect by not sticking the finger whenever he wins (same goes for Alonso a few years ago counting wins).
    - he is dominant. People don’t like dominance.
    It’s in our DNA, we like to see WDCs decided in the last race, in the last corner like last year or in 2008 (IIRC). 50, 60, 70 points ahead of the 2nd is too much for us. IMHO Pirelli is to blame for such a big point gap when after summer break they chose the softer rubbers. We’ve seen drivers running a couple of laps with the super softs and then going for primes the rest of the race…
    - he (still) leaves room for doubt. If people really knew that he has won all these WDC’s due to hard work and being the best, they wouldn’t boo him. But most people still doubt if it’s the car/team or if it’s the driver.
    I say it’s both. Schumacher wasn’t wrong when he said that SV (at the age of 19) was going to be his successor.
    But I still would like to see him on a McLaren/Ferrari to see how good he is in fact.

  20. Adam says:

    If Seb went to a lesser team and started winning with them, the same trolls would start saying that his new team now has the best car. He should stay where he is, obliterate all the stats, and let the armchair warriors worry about how good he is or isn’t.

    I’m a Button fan by the way, but Vettel is a great driver.

    1. Adam says:

      Also, name a driver that a team would not swap for Vettel if they had the chance.

  21. tim says:

    Best car Webber will wall second – woops another mechanical problem…

    1. WellBalanced says:

      I do think car failures on Webber’s side of the garage are one of the oddities of the season

  22. Oliver N says:

    Sebastian Vettel is the perfect F1 driver at the moment. The perfect driver ensures he is with the perfect designer, the perfect team, has a team mate he manages to domimnate to the level of development driver. Eliminates errors, maximises performance and potential to the point at which his performance in the equation of the many factors that make up performance is 100% dependable. He dominates the headlines to the level that the only variable is ‘who is going to come second this weekend’. It is practically impossible to fault him on anything at all, with the possible exception that he is too driven. (Multi 21).

    Dull isn’t it?

    …but that isn’t his fault, it’s everybody else’s for not being good enough to give a decent chase.

    1. WellBalanced says:

      I quite agree.

      It won’t last forever, we should enjoy it whilst it does.

  23. F1ista says:

    “It has been hard for me in particular, to be booed when I have not done anything wrong…”

    The last seven words of that sentence demonstrate that a) Vettel has a frightening absence of self-awareness/incredible self-delusion b) he will continue to be disliked by many fans.

    To be fair to Vettel, Red Bull (specifically Horner, and above all, Marko) have significantly contributed to Vettel’s deeply unlikeable sense of entitlement.

  24. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    Vettel’s smartest move was passing Webber in Malaysia. This broke his teammate and focused the team even more on supporting his effort this year.

    Really disappointed about Webber. He’s not even close to 2nd place in the championship despite being in the best car.

  25. Hudson says:

    Interesting to read on this website people who are quick to proclaim that they are not Vettel fans. This tells me there is probably something wrong with Vettel. Me thinks it’s not his personality as such, but the fact that he appears to be getting favours from RBR somewhat at the expense of Mark Webber. In Japan 2 weeks ago he was telling the team not to allow Mark Webber to overtake him. In the end it didn’t matter because Webber wasn’t fast enough, but you wonder why such a brilliant driver as Vettel would want such help from his team. The Multi-21 scandal also didn’t help and in retrospect it was probably unnecessary because he has won the Championship with a three races to spare.

    1. Oletros says:

      > In Japan 2 weeks ago he was telling the team not to allow Mark Webber to overtake him

      This is false, he was talking about Perez

  26. David Morton says:

    Congratulations to Vettel. It doesn’t matter what any of us say here because he now has four world championships…..and without deliberately crashing into anybody to accomplish them, or having a secret traction control. The only blemish on his year was passing Mark when told not to.
    Next year different cars, different engines, turbos etc.
    It will take a number of races to establish a front runner, but it all should be interesting stuff.
    When Red Bull start losing it will interesting to see how long it is before they get out of the sport of F1. Go Mercedes and Hamilton.

  27. fox says:

    [mod]
    F1 is a show.

    If Grosjean becomes a champion, nobody will take it serious, because everybody understands it is a car mainly. Seasons when some driver carries the car on his shoulders are rare, but they occur. Such seasons are remembered. Recall Mansell/Newey domination is 1992, but Senna beat them in the rain and Monte Carlo. Recall 2012 when Alonso almost beat Vettel/Newey with strategy and super consistency. When the driver’s batteries are low after such seasons (which is normal thing), then there is no balance and autocar is winning all… If they made equal cars, Webber would win too.

    Looking for the next year opening. Somebody still has something to deliver!

  28. Mobeen Shafaat says:

    1. Vettel can’t overtake (Indian GP)
    2. Vettel can only win from pole (Korean GP)
    3. Vettel can’t handle pressure (Brazilian GP)
    4. Vettel can only win in the best car (Italian GP with Torro Rosso)
    5. Vettel doesn’t have the talent of Hamilton and Alonso (Look the number of mistakes they’ve both made this year and compare it to Vettel)

    I REST my case

    Haters are going to hate but the legends is in front of our eyes. No hiding away from the FACT!

    It’s an honor to watch Vettel race.

    1. JB says:

      great summary.
      I think this is just the beginning. At 26, there is plenty more to come from Vettel.

      You can also add Abu Dhabi in regards to overtaking.
      Points on first ever race.
      Rain mastery – Monza 2008.

  29. Thread the Needle says:

    Well done Seb, loved the doughnuts, perfect way to celebrate

  30. Dan says:

    Hilarious how someone could say he is best driver of his era when he has had a far better car than anyone in this era. Do you not understand what that means? It means they are not fighting with equal weapons.

    Where was Vettel in the first 12 races of last year when he only won 1 race when the car was great but not dominant?

    He is a paper newy champion and nothing more. Amazing he has fooled so many but I guess that happens after 4.5 years of driving dominant cars.

    1. **Paul** says:

      “Where was Vettel in the first 12 races of last year when he only won 1 race when the car was great but not dominant?”

      He was picking up points in a car that wasn’t the best. The McLaren of Button/Hamilton was the best car for ~75% of last season. Neither of them won the championship, it was Vettel again, having had the fastest car at perhaps a grand total of 5 races over the season.

      The only driver who it’s possible to suggest is better than Vettel is Alonso, but his performances are terribly difficult to benchmark, yes the car doesn’t appear good, but he has full team backing with a team mate who moves over for him and also a team mate who is widely acknowledged as not having much pace. So is Fernando lightning quick, or is the car better than he says ? Impossible to know really.

      I think Alonso is the only driver in the sport who gets anywhere near Vettel at present. In like for like cars I’ve a feeling Seb might win though, as he can deliver in qualifying whilst Fernando struggles.

      1. WellBalanced says:

        I agree

      2. KRB says:

        75% of the season?!?! You can’t be serious. A car that is fast but doesn’t finish cannot be the best car! Button only had 5 points finishes from the first 9 races (he finished 7 races). The McLaren was woeful in Bahrain, Valencia, and Britain.

        RBR had the WCC lead from the 4th round in 2012, and Webber led Vettel at midpoint of the season. The RB8 was easily the best car to be in last year.

      3. Dan says:

        [mod] Yes he was scoring measly points for 12 races because he was unable to make the difference and win without the best car, and he would have continued to be nothing more than a points scorer in a great car if newey didnt pull his magic and make it dominant in the last part of the season.

        It proved Vettel is nothing with a dominant ebd car, real champions win races in those situations not just score points. The redbull was stil equal best for the first 12 races yet he trailed his journeyman team mate. Can you imagine Alonso or Senna losing to mark webber until Spa? What a joke.

      4. Oletros says:

        And by the way, you’re repeating the claim that he was losing against Webber when it is false.

      5. KRB says:

        Oletros, how is that false? After last year’s Hungarian GP, Webber was ahead 124-122 over Vettel.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Hungarian_Grand_Prix#Championship_standings_after_the_race

      6. Oletros says:

        KRB

        Hungarian Grand Prix was the 12th race, the 12th race was Belgian Grand Prix and after that Vettel was ahead 140-132

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Belgian_Grand_Prix#Championship_standings_after_the_race

      7. KRB says:

        @Olestros, you’re right, my bad.

        Though I think Webber being ahead after the 11th race still makes the OP’s point.

        Also, his quote:

        Can you imagine Alonso or Senna losing to mark webber until Spa?

        … seems to suggest he was thinking about the standings post-Hungary.

        Lastly, we both shoulda used URL-shorteners, eh? :-)

    2. James says:

      After 12 races of last season the standings were:

      Alonso – 164
      Vettel – 140

      Add back the 25 points Vettel was cruising to in Valencia and remove Alonso’s inherited win and Vettel is leading the WDC by 8 points in a car you accept as not being dominant.

      There goes your argument.

      1. KRB says:

        Why add that back though? You’ve included Alonso’s DNF in Belgium, so it’s fair to keep Vettel’s DNF in Valencia.

        It was 164-122 before Belgium. If you want to use that as your starting point, it would be more valid. Add 25 for Vettel, minus 7 for Alonso, equals 157-147 still for Alonso, in a weaker car.

      2. James says:

        The original post stated the first 12 races of which Belgium was one thus the points above. Alonso’s Belgium DNF is included as is Vettel’s. The only difference is with Vettel’s we know he would’ve won the race, whereas we gave no idea where Alonso would’ve come in Belgium.

        As above, bar a mechanical failure, Vettel is leading the WDC in a car only good enough for 2 wins in 12, compared to the Ferraris 3 wins in 12.

      3. KRB says:

        As above, bar a mechanical failure, Vettel is leading the WDC in a car only good enough for 2 wins in 12, compared to the Ferraris 3 wins in 12.

        Aaah, but see now in this alternate dimension, you’ve removed one of Alonso’s wins, and given it to Vettel. You’ve also forgotten to add in Webber’s two wins when talking about the respective cars. So now it’s 4/12 wins for the RB8, and 2/12 for the F138.

        As for your stance re: Alonso’s DNF, that’s a total cop-out. In your reckoning Vettel keeps his 18 pts from Belgium, and Alonso still gains none? How specifically does that qualify as excluding his DNF?!? Seems the same to me!

        Fact is w/o the Grosjean carnage, Alonso was 4th heading into La Source (and 2nd was the jumped-starting Maldonado), and looking at how Massa fared, I think it’s safe to assume that Alonso would’ve finished ahead of Vettel that day, and likely would’ve been on the podium. Say 3rd to be conservative, with Vettel 4th. So that’s +15 for Alonso, -6 for Vettel.

        Alonso = 164 – 7 + 15 = 172
        Vettel = 140 + 25 – 6 = 159

        Do you get the sense that you’re arguing a losing point? I admire your doggedness though … have you ever considered being a spinmeister for any scandal-plagued governments out there? ;-)

  31. Andre says:

    Blah blah blah.

    For what your F1′fans’ are saying there are equally or more people saying the opposite.

    Ask yourself why…

    1. Oletros says:

      Yes? Do you have done a poll and do you have concluded that?

      1. Andre says:

        It was a reply to a post above. Somehow I pressed the wrong button haha.

        Lighten up man!

  32. sam says:

    i do not think he is the best driver currently on the grid. But i do think he is ruining f1- I have found this season got steadily worse as vettels dominance grew- it is a problem for f1 certainly wouldn’t bother with sky subscription to watch this

    as per all the comments he will not be great until he leaves red bull and does this with another team.

    red bull must be concerned- they are a sports brand – the drink company bit has long been replaced- however this success is interestingly having a negative impact on their brand- true sport requires competition – something F1 just cant provide at moment – I love F1 i have been watching for 30 years – but think i am almost through with it- it did get a bit boring in the schumacher era but at least he played the villain part properly – he didn’t really care if people liked him or not- it is the vettel pretending to be a nice guy, like his boss christian that i find truly annoying (and the finger etc) i think if they were a bit more honest and showed what ruthless operators they both are ( how can red bull be anything other than evil with that Dr evil in charge of grooming racing drivers- if vettel/rb dominance continues next season i for one and i think quite a lot of fans will start switching off.

  33. WellBalanced says:

    For the record: I LOVED Vettel’s pit straight celebrations. A striking and defining image, standing on the car framed by the tyre smoke, that will be remembered.

  34. Darren says:

    Like a lot of others I am not the biggest fan of the guy but you can’t take anything away from him this season, he has been on a different planet to everyone else.

    His ability to make the tyres work over the first few laps of every stint and his consistency from then on is on a different level. He is at one with his car in a way no other driver is this year or has been since Schumacher in 2002/4.

    The way he has destroyed the opposition in the latter half of this season makes his little schoolboy tantrum in Malaysia look all the more foolish.

    But hey a lot of the greats did things like that, none more so than Schumacher or Senna.

  35. luca says:

    Far too much ink is being invested trying to persuade us that Vettel is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. It’s like explaining a joke and expecting it to get funnier. It will not work.

    A little sorry for Fernando. He seems all over the shop these days and if Ferrari flatter to deceive for much longer his legacy could suffer. Shame is, the one year that he was on the brink Renault sent Grosjean out there with a mission … subtler than the Briatore gambit and more effective.

    1. WellBalanced says:

      Do you mean Petrov (Abu Dhabi 2010)?

    2. KRB says:

      Are you implying that Grosjean went out to DNF Alonso, and to do this he would scythe over on Hamilton at the start?!?! That is getting into Glock-Brazil-2008 territory.

    3. Random 79 says:

      Let me get if I have this right:

      Are you seriously suggesting that under the team’s instructions Grosjean deliberately crashed in Spa 2012?

      1. KRB says:

        It wouldn’t even be team instructions, but instructions from their shared engine provider, Renault Sport F1. At least that’s how I read it.

        It’s frustration manifesting itself as silly posts. Luca, it ain’t worth the hit to your cred.

        Next time, try this (I find it helps): write whatever you want in the comment window, go away for 10 mins, come back and read it, and if it’s silly, delete it. If it’s fit to stand, hit Submit. Good advice for many out there.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Very good advice, but somewhat impractical if you intend to write several :)

  36. Paul D says:

    I’m not a Vettel fan, but I take my hat to the guy. A very special achievement.

    I don’t understand people saying its all Newey? Senna won all his titles in the best car. Fangio only ever signed 1 year year deals, so he could make sure he was in the best car every season?

    Vettel is now a true great and up there with any names you care to mention. I just hope Merc / Lewis give him a real run for their money next year!

  37. Dave Aston says:

    In… 35 years of closely following motor sport, I can’t recall such a wave of sentiment giving credit to a car or designer instead of the driver as we see with Vettel. Not Gordon Murray at McLaren, Newey at McLaren, Rory Byrne… Newey at Williams 92-93 comes close, and Prost and Mansell were already legends. I really think Vettel is the difference. He’s consistent, fit, fast, ruthless. If the package was as superior as some want to think, Webber would have been second in the points the last four years, yet he’s usually outscored at a high ratio, like Massa is with Alonso, Grosjean with Kimi. Apart from the Hulk destroying his teammate, and Bianchi, the rest are pretty close.

    1. Dave Aston says:

      * Motorsport.

    2. SteveS says:

      Amen to that. Schumachers cars were far greater then these RB’s, but I don’t recall any relentless wave of praise for Byrne and scorn for Schumacher as a result. The Newey worship is getting completely out of hand.

  38. Bayan says:

    Methinks Montoya would approve of Seb’s donuts.

    1. Random 79 says:

      What kind of donuts are we talking about here?

  39. Paul says:

    Much as I think RBR and Vettel have done a great job, I’ve completely lost interest in F1 again. All the tyre nonsense and DRS and the races are as dull and the result as predictable as in the early 2000s. With only half the races on the beeb, I just got out the habit of watching and found I didn’t miss it, and the utter predictability meant I just didn’t bother to make the effort to watch.

    They desperately need to shake something up because the new engines aren’t going to be enough to liven up the processional borefest this sport has turned into.

  40. NomNomNom says:

    I don’t think these plaudits are as open as they seem. This is just PR, people playing their roles. Prost being magnanimous, he doesn’t need to make headlines for the wrong reasons. Alonso being honest as ever, referring to “they”. As for Seb, I don’t think he gives a damn what anyone really thinks, the only thing he cared about was getting booed in public. And the only reason the booing stopped is because F1 happened to go to the more publicly ‘polite’ countries like Japan and India. If it were in countries where demonstrations were more prevalent he’d have been booed. He didn’t show anything on track. We all know he’s a good driver, its just that the majority still question if he is great.

    Certainly not done enough to claim to be a 4 time champion with his ultra fast Red Bull, apparently the lone Red Bull able to finish races this year. I do wish some of the big names in F1 would stop playing the game and be honest in assessment of Vettel, but I guess most of them got where they are because of playing the game.

    1. JCA says:

      Why is it that people who work or have worked in the paddock are playing a ‘game’? Can’t it be genuine praise? And a point of fact, he doesn’t CLAIM to be a four time champion, he IS a four time champion.

    2. Oletros says:

      People don’t say what I want to hear so they are not being honest.

  41. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    I love F1 and I hope this season is the last one Video-game style.

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