As we reach the midway point of the season with this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, we thought we’d take a look at Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel’s performance in 2013 compared to previous years to see if he is on course to win his fourth successive Formula 1 world championship.
The German has won four of the nine races this year, including two of the last three, and holds a 34-point lead over his nearest rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
In the three years which Vettel has won the championship, only once has he led the title race at this point in the season. In 2012, he was third, 29 points adrift while in 2010, he was fourth, 24 behind. In 2011, he held a massive 80-point advantage.
However, the 26-year-old has 57 more points than he did after nine races last season, including three extra race wins, and 36 more than he did in 2010.
As it stands, he is 47 points shy of his total in 2011, when he won 11 races on the way to his second world championship.
Statistically, he has a strong finish to the season, too. In the last two years, he has won at least four races in the second part of the year and roughly scores the same amount of points as in the first half of the season.
To match his impressive total of 392 in 2011, he would need to score nine race wins and a third place in the remaining 10 races.
His Red Bull team are also comfortably ahead in the constructors’ championship, heading Mercedes by 67 points.
They have 34 points more at this point of the season than they did last term, and 36 more than in 2010. However, they are 78 behind their impressive 2011 total at the same stage of the season.
The team have clearly improved their consistency in races, as they have achieved their current points total with fewer podiums than last year. In 2013, Vettel and Mark Webber have had seven podiums between them, compared to 14 last year.
After nine races, the team have won four races, which is the same as in 2010, and one more than last year but three less than 2011.
If they follow the trend of the last three years, and more than double their current points total by the end of the season, the boys from Milton Keynes will, like Vettel, be very difficult to beat, once again.