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Posted By:   |  27 Oct 2013   |  1:15 pm GMT  |  359 comments

Fangio, Prost, Schumacher, and now Sebastian Vettel. The Red Bull driver has become only the fourth four-time Formula One World Champion with an untouchable drive to victory in the Indian Grand Prix, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean, who put in one of the drives of the season to go from 17th to 3rd in the Lotus.

It was fitting that Vettel should clinch it with a win. It is the 36th victory of the German’s career – his sixth in succession, a new record – taking his tally of wins in 2013 to ten. It is the 36th victory of his 117 race career.

“It is a pleasure to jump in the car and go out and drive for the guys and give it all I have,” he said. “The car was phenomenal today and has been phenomenal all season to be honest.

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone who is behind the team, it has not been an easy season,” added 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.”

It is also the fourth consecutive Constructors’ Championship for Red Bull. As the current V8 formula comes to an end, with hybrid turbos and new rules wiping the slate clean next year, Red Bull and its technical chief Adrian Newey have been as dominant as their young Champion these past four years.

Meanwhile Mercedes moved ahead of Ferrari into second place thanks to Rosberg’s result.

Several teams, including Lotus and Force India, defied Pirelli’s advice and ran the medium tyre for longer than the stipulated 35 laps. Raikkonen did over 50 laps on a set of mediums, Grosjean 47. The FIA refused to enforce Pirelli’s advice, but there were suggestions that there would be trouble if safety was risked.

Despite his large winning margin – almost 30 seconds over Rosberg – it wasn’t a straight forward win for Vettel, as he had to pit as early as the second lap to get off the unfavoured soft tyre, he then had to pass a lot of cars. He set about charging through the field to second and hunted down long-running Mark Webber, who had inherited the race lead as those ahead pitted.

But Webber’s chance of the win had been compromised by a poor start dropping to seventh from fourth as he tangled with Alonso and Raikkonen. Later in the race his alternator failed and he retired the car.

Webber began the race on the medium compound tyre, established an eight second lead as the cars on softs pitted. He went on to lead the race until his first stop on lap twenty-nine. On the softs he had hoped to chase down Vettel for the race lead, only for the grip levels to drop within three laps and necessitate a switch back to the medium tyre, leaving the Australian out of contention.

From here Vettel established a twenty-seven second lead over second place and was able to cruise home to a historic feat in motor sport.

Behind him there was some exciting battles for the final podium places.

Felipe Massa jumped the Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap and maintained his lead over them for two thirds of the race. As Rosberg closed in on Massa, the German pitted to under-cut the car ahead.

When Massa followed suit two laps later, Rosberg had taken the position and set about chasing the long-running cars ahead. This included Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and Adrian Sutil, each running long stints on the medium tyre.

As Perez and Sutil pitted, Raikkonen tried to complete the race on one-stop but quickly fell in to the clutches of the cars behind. First, Rosberg took second place from the Finn, before the sister Lotus of Romain Grosjean claimed third place following a slight touch between the two. Raikkonen had suffered with overheating brakes in the first third of the race.

Grosjean started in 18th place and went deeper in to the race on the soft tyre than others could. A pit-stop to change to the medium tyre proved to be the only stop necessary as he nursed his car through the field on ageing tyres to take a third podium in a row.

After losing out to Massa, Perez and Hamilton, Raikkonen pitted on the penultimate lap with a large gap behind him to end the day in seventh place.

The top ten was completed by the Force India pair and Daniel Ricciardo. Paul Di Resta led Adrian Sutil home at an important Grand Prix for the team, in the process collecting important points for the Championship.

Ricciardo had a strong race to tenth, keeping Fernando Alonso at bay in the closing stages.

Alonso began today as the only driver who could stop Vettel winning a fourth consecutive title, and his chances were ruined after one corner. Contact with Webber saw him sustain damage to his front-wing and pit on the second lap, after hoping to run long in to the race on the medium tyre.

Vettel celebrated his win with a string of doughnuts and burn-outs in front of the pits grandstand. He was reprimanded by the stewards.

INDIAN GRAND PRIX, New Delhi, Race, 60 Laps

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1h31:12.187
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes + 29.823
3. Romain Grosjean Lotus + 39.892
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari + 41.692
5. Sergio Perez McLaren + 43.829
6. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 52.4
7. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus + 1:07.900
8. Paul Di Resta Force India + 1:12.800
9. Adrian Sutil Force India + 1:14.700
10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 1:16.200
11. Fernando Alonso Ferrari + 1:18.200
12. Pastor Maldonado Williams + 1:18.900
13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso + 1 lap
14. Jenson Button McLaren + 1 lap
15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber + 1 lap
16. Valtteri Bottas Williams + 1 lap
17. Max Chilton Marussia + 2 laps
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia + 2 laps
19. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber + 6 laps

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1

What I wonder is if RB as an exercise funded a car with no limits on budget and tech raced against this year’s RB how much faster it would be? At this point, RB are in a class of their own but I wonder how much faster they’d be if they were allowed to take the gloves off? I am guessing Adrian’s car would be anywhere from 1 to 2 seconds a lap faster….And sadly, we should be watching a sport where that speed was allowed to be seen

2

Thankful that this ridiculous title is over. It was won and lost within the first half of the season, particularly after the tire debacle. I won’t get on the bandwagon singing high praise for a guy with the only functioning car in the fastest team. He did what he was supposed to do.

I’ll still boo Vettel any chance I get, simply because he has a distinct advantage over his rivals because of his team. Its not his fault, but he can’t have everyone bowing in adulation surely? I don’t buy the nice guy act, I think he’s been coached by Red Bull’s PR team (and PR is Red Bull’s game after all) because of obvious traits that fans dislike about him.

The least impressive of the four time world champions, and I think I’d rate a couple of drivers with fewer championships above him. Easily. Hoping for a more competitive Formula One instead of another farce next year. Otherwise I guess we’ll be toasting a five time champion in a car that is a second a lap faster than every other car this time next year? What a sport.

3

wonder what will happen in the next few races regarding Kimi and Lotus. Seems like a total loss of respect for each other.

4

RBR must hope that Renault will have sorted out their alternator problems for 2014.

As an aside, would a failed alternator lead to penalties in 2014?

5

Good question, I believe it would

6

Vettel-great driver, great champion with a lovely personality. Formula one -yaaaawn.good bye boring clueless sport 🙁 sniff sniff 🙁

7

i need to swallow my pride and eat my hat. I’ll admit afetr the “multi -21” affair even i demonised Vettel as a bad sport etc…

However, 26 years old, 4 titles, 36 race wins (5 away from Senna), 6 straight wins…there can be no denying that SB is the real deal.

I’m sure he will go on to beat MS record of wins and titles, and most likely poles as well.

IMHO the Vettel of 2013 is a diffrent man to the boy wonder of 2010 and 2011. He wins from pole, he wins coming from the pack, he can pass, he scythes through traffic (Ok, so a dominant car helps!)…

Many congrats to Seb and Red Bull. they’ve put in the effort, maximised everything in the car, and have the results to show.

At the same time, Kudos to Merch for thier improved showing this year, and then of course, the little team that could, Lotus…great to see Grosjean developing this year and getting some fine results now…

Ferrari started ok, went pear shaped from mid-year. Mclaren…hmm…1st season without a podium in 33 years (thus far) must hurt a teasm with thier history…

Great to see SV doing donuts on the start/finish…we need a bit more “show” instead of the sterile environment which F1 has become since the 90’s…

I mean, remember when Senna decked Irvine in Japan, or Schuey stalked Coulthard in Spa…

These are people with emotion…not androids in race suits.

Great to see Vettel a bit choked up after the win…great drive!

8

What a drive, what a champion!!!

Instead of praising and congratulating the amazing achievement, many just keep on pouring schizophrenic theories and increasing shameful hate

I wasn’t a Vettel fan, but always recognised him as great, when most thought it was the car

It were all you haters who’ve made me one, when failing to to give him credit, booing him at a podium and then Vettel awnsering at the track

I hate injustice

Bravo Sebastien, you truly deserve everything you’ve achieve so far!!!

9

It is a pity that such a poor sportsman has won in such a great car designed by Adrian Newey. SV has admitted to breaking team rules and stated that he would do it again. What is even a greater pity is that the team has condoned such behaviour. SV broke team rules once again today with his childish smoky spin. Oooh, what a man ! He even asks why people boo him ! I have been following F-11 since 1955 and have never heard any other driver booed.

10

Bad sportsman? Like driving other cars off the road? Prost, Senna, Schumacher. Or braking team orders/agreements? Hamilton, Ascari. By the way, you didn’t see the podium at the Austrian GP where Ferrari ordered Barrichello to give Schumi the win?

11

I honestly don’t understand how some people feel this race was boring or a snooze fest. It was a race no one knew how it’d pan out. So many split strategies to analyze and it was fascinating to see teams react to the tires going off. While I’m not a huge fan of Pirellis, I love the way they make the teams think on their feet. Its brilliant analytically. But on the other hand I do feel sad that we no longer see cars and drivers at their absolute limit. I’d love to see a couple of races where to get a strategy to work, drivers drive the wheels of their cars by doing a set of qualifying like laps. I guess they ended with the end of the Bridgestone era.

And yes, congratulations to Sebastian. His reactions to the win and his words were awesome. I admire him a lot as a driver, but this time around, we got a glimpse of the man as well. His sadness at the booing shows he’s as human as all of us. Call him a great or not, but you surely need to respect his achievements. As Ant said in the SkyPad, his ability to extract the max out of the package has to be respected, if not admired and applauded.

12

Agree, I think people think the race was boring because their favorite driver was doing nothing (mi favorite driver is Kimi but I think the race was not boring), or because they are too old and want F1 to be as it was in the past (I started watching F1 in 1998, so I don’t know if it was more exiting before that).

13

I don’t know that I’ll ever warm to Vettel. Probably because he was a kid when he started. But his post-race actions really improved my view of him as a person. I loved the donut after the race, on the main straight and in front of the crowd. Indy, NASCAR etc do it often, V8s in Australia too. I thought it was a great show of his feelings in the moment. I also thought it was the kind of fun that crowds paying the big bucks deserve. Back to his feelings. I could be wrong, but I didn’t see any sign of the “number one” gesture after the donuts or before the podium ceremony (which I didn’t see). What I did see was a fellow lost almost for words, thinking about what he’d achieved. That said to me that immediately post-race, Vettel was relieved, to have won the championship, not that he felt he deserved it.

So I say, well done to the man. Nothing comes underserved in F1, good or bad.

14

Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing; four in a row is a fantastic achievement which we will hopefully look back on in a similar vein to other great driver-team combos in the past (Prost & Senna at McLaren; Schumacher and Niki Lauda at Ferrari; Stewart at Tyrrell etc.).

Also enjoyed Seb’s celebrations with the donuts and throwing the gloves into the crowd; I liked the spontaneity of it. Also nice gesture from Rosberg and Grosjean to hoist him on their shoulders – reminded me of Silverstone 1995!

15

Congratulations to Red Bull, Renault racing It is a phenomenal achievement to have won four constructors championships in a row, and with the same driver.

Certainly a fantastic team achievement, to have established themselves at the pinnacle of motorsport so effectively against established teams and other aspirants.

I’m intrigued to see how the team hierarchy will change in the 1600 hybrid era.

16

Alan Permane [mod] Unproffesional. Ok, we all know you dont like Kimi, but you should be gratefull for what he has brought to your so called team. Im glad hes left, terrible strategy calls and bad pitstops, has cost Kimi podiums and wins over his time there, not to mention late on paying salary. Good riddance i say, showing your true colours Lotus, bitter much?

17

As an Alonso fan I have been through many ‘close but no cigar ‘ seasons. Vettel and red bull are just an amazing combination and although I find the combination very annoying I have to accept it and raise my glass as I drown my sorrows! Also Vettel is just a nice guy who actually deserves it, well done mate. A little reluctantly I’m a big fan. Loved the doughnuts. Irrespective of who you think is the best driver, the facts are that Vettel delivers every time. Now where can I buy the new 4 star RB cap?

18

Congratulations to Seb, he is undoubtedly a fine driver and a deserved world champion. If you use the number of titles as measure of greatness then of course he is up there. He may have the best car, but he never screws up he always delivers. Could the others do the same…maybe, we may never know.

Now back to the Indian race, I think given all the complaints the drivers made about how dangerous the tyres are, than why on earth didn’t the FIA support Pirelli.Pirelli said it was dangerous to do more than 35 laps on the harder tyre so why did the FIA allow this?? I think this is a disgrace and sums up the hypocrisy of F1. If we want to see great racing ban aerodynamics. Gary Anderson is a LEGEND!!

19

Very well done to Vettel. Wish the winner could do donuts everytime.

Now that both championships are secured, would Red Bull ease off and not score any points for the rest of the season?

I only say that, cos for next season, there is an entry fee based on the number of points scored in the previous season. The more points scored, the higher the entrance fee. I think it is something like $500,000 basic fee and then $6000 per point.

They have 470 points at the moment which will cost €3,320,000 or so for next year’s entry.

With three races left, assuming Vettel wins them all and Webber is second or third or fourth, then that is another around 100 to 120 points or so times $6000 making $700,000 (total $4 million) they have to pay on top which could be money saved by not getting into the points.

I guess it is highly unlikely that Red Bull will drive like Daisy, but the chief bean counter at Milton Keynes might be looking at these numbers and say “well that is $700k which we could using for a 3 or 4 front wings for the season”.

20

But they are making way way beyond $4 million so it’s peanuts.

How much will they get for the WCC, it’s gotta be over $100? or more?

21

There are those that would like to have a little written about Alonso. Is he still deserving of your time? What happened?

22

Great achievement, a shame to do it in such a depressing location (heavy grey haze and half the grandstands empty), but a great achievement nonetheless.

23

Now that RB have secured WCC, will we see Daniel Ricciardo in Webber’s car for the remaining races?

I’m sure Webber won’t mind an early Christmas in Oz.

24
Clarks4WheelDrift

Not a chance, I bet they try for a farewell win for Mark, especially after he was stabbed in the back in Malaysia with nothing done about it.

Though after Seb finishing, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st and Mark finishing, Fire, Fire, Bad Strategy Change To Three Stops To Keep Him Away From Seb, Alternator failure – you’d forgive him for leaving early just to see if anyone else took the bad luck! 😉

25

LOL! You’re right!

Since Korea I’m convinced Webber is the unluckiest F1 driver – (1) he had just come out of the pits with fresh tyres – losing places during the pitstop; only to come out immediately behind

(2) Perez’s tyre explosion causing him a puncture – losing him even more places; and

(3) Adrian “I don’t know what happened” Sutil then slides into him on the restart; and

(4) his car goes up in flames!

Webber needs to get out of F1 to change his luck!

26

Congratulations to Seb and Red Bull!! It was a fantastic race. One of the best this season in my opinion.

27

After i had another beech marten damage on my car 3 days ago, the 15th in 7 years, i wonder who has trained a beech marten to sabotage Webber’s electric again,

Was a strange race, youth won?

Vettel younger than Webber

Rosberg younger than Hamilton

Perez younger than Button

Massa, hmm probably the time after his accident counts as second life and restarted the timer.

28

James,

Why does Lotus key personnel find it so hard to cope with Kimi leaving for Ferrari next year? Is the relationship completely broken? It’s only few races to go, you’d think they handle things professionally.

29

I’m with you, guys.

But at least Kimi won the post race shouting match against Parmane so I guess we can be happy.

30

This is starting to look like a general attitude once a driver is seen to be out of a team.

Ted Kravitz notebook, while he is showing us round the Sky broadcasting equipment, said that MacLaren cut Lewis off when he signed for Mercedes – no calls, emails, etc.

A hostile or stand-offish attitude seems to start within Ferarri a lot earlier than even having to sign elsewhere.

31

Surely Kimi would be more compliant if he’d actually been paid his salary…

32
Bread and Circuses

Lotus did not pay Kimi.

Kimi chose to leave as a result of not being paid. After this, Lotus management acted like a petulant child and took vindictive action against Kimi. This is nothing less than pathetic. Lotus as a team will not be around F1 for long in this incarnation, because sensible sponsors will know that an association with Lotus will bring them shame.

One thing is certain : this is not anything remotely similar to the Lotus during the years when Chapman was at the helm.

33
Bread and Circuses

This season has been a borefest. It is obvious that the car was a huge part of the superiority of the Red Bull team,

and the struggles of other drivers who are extremely skilled shows that the car has a disproportionate influence in the outcome of F1.

If nothing else, I’d like to see the return of something

like the Procar series, in which all the F1 drivers raced

each other in cars which were more or less identical.

At least then we would see some racing and we would see which driver was truly the most skilled. As a hint about whether this would really be the case, watch the video of the Nurburgring race in which all the F1 drivers were in identical Mercedes 190 cars. Senna ran away and hid from

the field in a way that made his superiority clear.

34

“the car has a disproportionate influence in the outcome of F1.”

Seriously?

This is what F1 is. It’s what F1 has always been. If anything the car is less a factor in the modern era than it used to be. If it’s still too unequal for you then there are many spec series out there which you should check out.

35

“…there are many spec series out there which you should check out.”

That’s funny – you keep telling us that F1 is all but a spec series.

“Pick one story and stick to it,” and all that!

36

Wasn’t that race where all the drivers where having fun and entertaining themselfs and only senna was poised to win? Great that he won but dont make too much about races like that to define superiorety.

37
Clarks4WheelDrift

Ok, Monaco in the Toleman then.

38

Thats a better example hehe. Dont forget bellof ho was even quicker then senna. Shame we never could Find out how great bellof would become.

39

For a change, I’d say Webber’s start was okay – I know Brundle and Crofty (and apparently James in his article) were harping on it, but Webber WAS on the mediums while the 3 cars that passed him were on the softs. It’d be expected they’d get past him off the line.

Webber was never on for the win – even with a great start (and without the subsequent alternator failure) – Webber didn’t have the raw pace to beat Vettel.

For proof that the racing gods love irony – the all time points scorer in F1 history, with a helmet announcing his 1571 points to the world – go zero points. First time he didn’t score, barring a crash, since sometime in 2010 (forget the race).

40

I have read another post somewhere that Alonso can re-use this helmet in the next race!

41

His start was fine until he clattered the orange curb on the inside of T1 throwing him into Raikonnen.

42

The reason he seemed to hit the curb was to avoid Raikonnen who was taking a very tight line into the corner cutting Webber off. In trying to avoid Raikonnen he made it worse by hitting the kerb and bouncing sideways. I agree about the start, off the line was fine, only Massa was past him going into the corner. He lost the additional places in the bumping and having to go tight into turn 3 allowing HUL to go round the outside.

43

Firstly, congrats to Seb and RBR. Quite simply the class of the field.

Gutted for Mark who was a good show for the podium today.

Great, memorable drive from Romain.

Solid drive from Rosberg too.

Now, what’s the deal with those soft tyres? They were like qualifying rubber of days gone by. The difference to the next step up (mediums) was (and I’ve never used this word) ‘massive’. In some cases the difference was 50+ laps! If we extrapolate that to the super soft tyres, they would not have completed a lap today. They would have worn out on the warm-up 🙂

The next question is, can Seb & RBR win the remaining races? I think they can.

Will Webber retire without making up a place off the start?

DoTD = Grosjean. Honorable mention to Perez.

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