Record Breaking Vettel becomes first driver to eight straight wins in a season
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By:   |  17 Nov 2013   |  10:35 pm GMT  |  404 comments

Sebastian Vettel took care of some unfinished business in Austin today as he claimed a straightforward victory in the American Grand Prix, ahead of Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber.

It is the 38th win of his career, taking him to twelve in 2013 and adding another record to his ever-growing CV. He is the first man to win eight consecutive Formula One races in a single season.

For Grosjean this was the sixth podium of the season and a hard fought one, built on a strong start and then soaking up the pressure from Mark Webber in the final stages. He held on to claim a season’s best second place.

Vettel’s consistency and speed has offered a fresh challenge to the media, scratching around for superlatives to describe his consistently high level performances. And once again today he was unchallenged on his way to victory, defending his lead in to turn one on the opening lap, and from there rushing to make Hungary the sole track on which he is yet to win a Grand Prix.

It was a one-stop race for much of the field, with the only pit-stops taking place between lap twenty-two and twenty-nine, which made for plenty of action on the track.

Webber lost out to Grosjean and Lewis Hamilton at the first corner, but an excellent move around the outside of Hamilton allowed the Australian to reign in the Lotus and make for an exciting climax to the race.

Webber consistently found himself in the DRS-zone of Grosjean only to run out of straight road and maintain his position. The result gives Grosjean his fourth podium in five races, establishing himself as a top driver in current F1.

The second place for the Frenchman also keeps Lotus in the hunt for third in the Constructors’ Championship. They remain in fourth place on 315 points, eighteen behind Ferrari with Mercedes a further fifteen points up the road.

Mercedes had a positive day in light of their unsatisfactory qualifying. Hamilton had a quiet race in fourth place, offering some entertainment in his radio conversations with his engineer.

After telling his engineer to ‘let him drive’, he subsequently demanded some information on lap times and tyre temperatures just a few laps later. Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn told Sky Sports, “Yes that’s Lewis, we’re getting used to how to deal with him.”

In the closing laps, Hamilton came under pressure from a closing Alonso, but was able to stabilise the advantage and put his team in the hot-seat for runners-up in the Constructors’ Championship.

Alonso had a strong drive at the Circuit of Americas after dropping places on the first lap for only the third time in 2013. He passed Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, who both delivered impressive performances, on his way to fifth place.

From fourth on the grid, Hulkenberg lost out to only Hamilton and Alonso in another eye-catching performance for the German. He is deserving of a top drive in 2014, but looks likely to find himself at Force India once again next year, possibly partnered by seventh placed Perez.

Valtteri Bottas will remember the 2013 US GP as his first ever points in Formula One with a great performance to take eighth.

The top ten was completed by Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button. Rosberg often finds himself in a defensive mood in his Mercedes, but today he was able to attack from his 12th place start and put some good moves on the cars ahead.

AMERICAN GRAND PRIX, Austin, Race, 56 Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1h39;17.148
2. Romain Grosjean Lotus + 6.2
3. Mark Webber Red Bull + 8.3
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 27.3
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari + 29.5
6. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber + 30.4
7. Sergio Perez McLaren + 46.6
8. Valtteri Bottas Williams + 54.5
9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes + 59.1
10. Jenson Button McLaren + 1:17.2
11. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 1:21.0
12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso + 1:24.5
13. Felipe Massa Ferrari + 1:26.9
14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber + 1:31.7
15. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus + 1:35.0
16. Paul Di Resta Force India + 1:36.8
17. Pastor Maldonado Williams + 1 lap
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia + 1 lap
19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham + 1 lap
20. Charles Pic Caterham + 1 lap
21. Max Chilton Marussia + 1 lap

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vettel is the only world champion not to have raced against another world champion teammate.

other world champions have tried to join him at redbull but it appears as though ecclestone doesn’t want his creation to be interrupted.

the funny thing is fans understand how to compare drivers especially teammates.

redbull and vettel have done exceptionally well with the advantage they have.


I’ve been watching formula as a kid, seeing Senna and Prost fight it out at McClaren in the late 80s, through the start of the electronics in the 90s and through the Schumacher years to today.

A lot of people are complaining about F1 today, but what we’re seeing is not unique. Every now and then the great drivers are aligned with the great cars and no one can keep up. Senna and Schumacher despite being great drivers, created some really dull races too! Mansell in Williams during ’92 was complete domination and a bit zzz.

The difference i can see these days is the level of professionalism, reliability and the penalties for aggressive driving which are now present in the sport. In the past decades, you could always count on drama in the chasing pack to keep things interesting.

Teams are able to run thousands of simulations and training sessions and this was just not possible before. Pitstops are near-perfect, race strategies are simulated beforehand to the nth degree. Teams are just not making the mistakes they used to. There used to be a time when the viewers used to worry about every pitstop because of the chance of a wheel being locked on. Tyres were relatively untested and erosion rates unknown.

Furthermore, reliability requirements may have kept costs down, but there used to be a time when these cars were on the very edge and very often spectacular breakdowns. There was always a fair degree of luck whether a car would actually finish.

Add to that a hefty dose of “Penalty!” “You drove to close to that other car,” and voila:

Great car + great driver + no mistakes amongst teams + no breakdowns = a procession of cars going round and round. That’s my 2 cents.


Now this was a boring race, however you look at it. Not taking away anything from Vettel. He did a fanstastic job. But yes, the race was boring at the back as well.


I think he’ll now go onto break the record for the most consecutive wins in F1.


Whew, boy, this is seriously getting old. I don’t know what can be done, if anything, but I am fed up with Vettel winning every race. It is literally sucking the enjoyment out of the sport for me. When you know who is going to win the race after the first turn of the first lap, it annoys me. Part of the fun in watching a race is seeing what happens to get the eventual winner in position, and what happens to the other contenders, but now, in current F1, we know the eventual winner when the lights go out, and there ARE NO OTHER CONTENDERS!!!! I absolutely love Formula 1 and am so grateful that we get good TV coverage of it here in the US, but sadly, I don’t know if I can take another season or two of watching Vettel win 90% of the races.


Jeeze, a yawner. I am stateside and I did not bother to completely watch it.

Seriously, in 5 years time I see serious problems on the horizon. Existing team(s) would be wise to plan for it….


“In 5 years time I see serious problems on the horizon”

5 Years! Just how slow are you driving? 😉


The sport definitely has problems that it needs to address. If it intends to keep moving out of it’s heartland and charging governments for the privilege of it’s existence while not investing in it’s own capital, F1 will end up in serious trouble. That horizon may be nearer than we think!


Yeah, I have to agree with that.

They should also be looking to equalise the money that the teams get a bit – not so much a budget cap, but maybe changing how the prize money is allocated for the championship.

That might help level the playing field a bit and help to give us better races 🙂


Soooo boring, always the same guy who finishes last. Max Chilton is ruining F1, put real racers like Hamilton or Alonso in that Marussia and they would come last in all the races instead of Aeon boy.


I think its quite funny the amount of people that look back with rose tinted spectacles at the “Schumacher era” saying it wasn’t as bad as it is now etc etc. It was as bad as it is now, if not worse, Schumacher used to win by a country mile and there was never much action further back the field either. I suppose it is only natural to remember the good bits though and there were indeed some great races.

The thing I think is different now is the cars themselves are boring, have been for some time. That latter part of the V10 era was exciting purely for the speed aspect, the cars were visibly faster, sounded faster. That coupled with super reliable cars now a days, you used to get an odd freak result but that never happens now.

Hopefully the new engines and regs will shake it up a bit but I’m not holding my breath. The dependence on tyres has gone too far, yes motor sport has always been to an extent about preserving your car but this is extreme. Drivers are being told constantly to slow down, that doesn’t even happen at Le Mans now a days!

I’m almost at the point of saying do away with pit stops altogether, they made the tyres last all race in 2005 and they still pushed like crazy between fuel stops. The racing was not any worse than it was in 2004, if anything it was better due to less marbles and dirt off line. It would also stop all this driving to a delta and “your not racing him” malarky, you race whats in front of you and thats it.

All credit still goes to Vettel and Red Bull he / they have mastered the art of driving with these tyres, an art no other driver has managed.


“Schumacher used to win by a country mile and there was never much action further back the field either”

Thats actually not true.

In the Schumacher era there was plenty of action going on further down the field, Problem was we never actually saw much of it due to the local TV directors focusing only on the leaders.

In 2002 for example you had the ITV broadcast’s with the feed produced by the local directors & the F1 Digital+ service produced by FOM.

The Local directors focused on the leaders & the races always looked boring, However when watching on the Digital service which focused on the best battles through the field the race seemed more interesting with more fights & action going on.

The past few years the FOM guys who produced that Digital service have produced the broadcast for all the races (Bar Monaco I believe) so were now getting to see the racing further back which the local directors never bothered showing.

Wasn’t just 2002 either, Back in 1997 the local director didn’t show this brilliant fight due to watching the leaders, The Digital service director however did-


That it exactly.. During Schumacher’s era they didn’t show as much of the action behind. Now they just occasionally pop in to look at the leader (unless it is a close race)and keep up with the action… Last Sunday we stuck with the Alonso/Hülkenberg duel up to the last second.


Thanks Dizzy, I enjoyed watching that.


Bottas on Gutierrez was beathtaking.

But move of the race was Alonso retaking Hulk. The way he launched that car and took the corner without breaking till way past the apex. As in the last race, he knew when to act decisively to secure crucial track position:- Still THE master racer in F1. Boy am I looking forward to seeing him up against Kimi next year

Other than that I agree the event was not exactly a thrilling spectacle.


Bottas on Gutierrez was beathtaking.

But move of the race was Alonso retaking Hulk. The way he launched that car and took the corner without breaking till way past the apex. As in the last race, he knew when to act decisively to secure crucial track position:- Still THE master racer in F1. Boy am I looking forward to seeing him up against Kimi next year

Other than that I agree the event was not exactly a thrilling spectacle.


It was a boring race but when you’ve been an F1 fan for years and years, you take the rough with the smooth right? I was born in 1981 and watched every F1 race since 1988. The internet and emergence of DVD’s have given me great joy with older classic races too. Is this as boring as the Schumacher era? I am not so sure because there was no overtaking. Now there is overtaking but that brings me to my next point about DRS.

Since when is DRS relevant to road cars? I get the KERS and ERS system. I understand their relevance but how in any way shape or form is DRS relevant to road cars? I don’t suddenly get a DRS button when on the motorway.

Back when we had the Bridgestone tires, we were given an awe-inspiring from Lewis Hamilton who single-handedly showed us F1 drivers can overtake. After years of the Trulli train and people moaning about flowing a Toyota, we had a driver who could overtake. That seemed to wake them all up and suddenly, everyone could overtake.

Until Abu Dhabi when a world championship was lost because a Ferrari couldn’t overtake a Renault and suddenly, we get an overtake button.

Now we have the supposed 22 finest drivers (some finer because of $$$) in the entire world (I’d say rally drivers are up there too) driving around at 80% of their real pace because the tires fall to bits. They don’t ever overtake without a DRS zone.

Why can’t the FIA just sort this out. Get rid of DRS, get rid of enormous wings that make the cars aero dependent, make mechanical grip the key to success and most of all give these young chargers in the elite pinnacle of sport tires they can push to the absolute limit.

As an F1 fan, I feel robbed. I feel robbed that Webber has been made to look ordinary because he can’t push on tires that fall to bits. I feel robbed that potentially the fastest guy in F1 Lewis Hamilton cannot push without tires falling to bits. How I long for the years of 2007, 2008 and 2009 once again because drivers pushed. I want to see Vettel push 100% and I don’t care if he wins by 5 laps if they are all going flat out. I just want to see effort. Mistakes get made, the greats emerge from the pressure and we see stand out performances. Now we have a race of engineers saying blah blah nurse the tires.

I support next year the introduction of an ERS and V6 engines. It has to be relevant to road cars to justify manufacturers in the sport but someone somewhere forgot that fragile tires and DRS are not relevant to road cars in the slightest. It is a contradiction in itself to call F1 relevant to road cars and then allow tires like this and DRS.


I agree with all of this. I would rather watch a race with no overtaking but with plenty of attempts, than a single pass with DRS.

Overtaking per se is not fun to watch. It is only thrilling if it requires real skill. Cars in front helpless to defend is not right.

Bring back refuelling, get some proper tyres, decrease aero dependency, stop handing out penalties for everything, and let these people go and race!



so true – well said!


“Some finer because of $$$”

Hit the nail on the head right there 🙂

If I had to choose between no DRS and no overtaking or DRS and dodgy overtaking I’d still go with DRS…just.

Sometimes I think they should just stick a big guard rail around the cars and let them go at it 🙂


“If I had to choose between no DRS and no overtaking or DRS and dodgy overtaking I’d still go with DRS…just.”

Personally I would rather watch a race with only 1 real overtake than a race with 10 boringly unexciting DRS highway passes.

DRS (As well as these stupid pirelli tyres) has pretty much killed my love of F1 to be frank. I loathe it, Its nothing but a silly artificial gimmick & should be banned before it kills the sport completely.



It is not real racing now. Everything these highly skilled drivers learn when kids in other racing series is nullified.


DRS is a bandaid for excess aero, that kills true slipstreaming/overtaking…

It is another skill killer.


The thing is anyone who has raced in any format including karts knew the perfect overtake was being better out of the previous corner, taking advantage of the physics of air movement and braking later than the guy in front. All in the same level machinery.

To suddenly get 10mph down the straight extra with the guy in front not getting the same is cheating in my opinion.

I’d rather just see big fat tires that don’t wear out fast, cars that can follow each other and say to these guys, ok you are paid millions for a reason so go out and race. None of this easy stuff.

I see your point about no overtaking would be boring but to eliminate the reason there is no overtaking would be the solution. I am sure if they banned aerodynamics to an extent, the F1 cars would slow down and maybe for a year or so, they might even drop below Indy pace but freeing up the regulations to allow for a much larger traction performance from the car would soon bring the cars back up to spec.

They wouldn’t even lose too much because they would still break way later than any other racing car series. Anyways rant over, I just feel F1 is sadly broken 🙁


It is broken – has been for a long time really – but it can still be fixed.

From the sounds of it Pirelli will be giving the drivers drastically different tyres next year with much more durability and less grip. Combine those with the increased torque of the new power trains and the driving should be a lot more seat of the pants rather than the slot car driving it is now, so as a result most if not all of the drivers will be starting to make mistakes again – especially under pressure – so we should see some proper overtakes like the ones you described.

Sure the cars will be slower, but it should still be a good start i think 🙂


BORING, that’s what F1 has become, so boring and that stupis ‘drs’, dies anyone, fan or driver get any satisfaction from that?

No matter with the rule makers listen? Of course not, F1 is about money and the real fans are simply not important.

We all need Newey to go off and sesign an America’s Cup Yacht then maybe the field would bunch up again.

What annoys me is the recordes would imply the likes of Vettel is better than the likes of Clark and Senna, which as a fan of nearly 50 years is so off the mark.

Give Alonso or Hamilton Vettel’s car and they’d be the ones setting the records.

Yawn, I for one am fed up with what F1 currently serves us, it’s rubbish!


My main gripe with the race was not the racing, which was interesting enough on current form, nor the layout of the track, which is very decent, but the lack of gravel traps.

I cannot abide the modern tarmacked/grippy run-offs, as epitomised by Paul Ricard. If a driver makes a mistake, it shouldn’t just be a case of avoiding the barriers and you are alright. Suzuka is much more interesting for this reason. Austin is a similarly great lay out, but a lot of the drama is removed by little penalty for off track excursions.

May sound an odd detail to focus on, but I am convinced it makes a real difference.


Too true.


I did not watch it.


We need more people to switch off, before F1 gets back to racing for real.


OMG I’m so happy you shared that with us mortals.


That’s OK, but you should know that we’re watching you 😉


It was so boring I switched off halfway through and went and watched something else; something I’ve never done before. Sad.


Vettel looked like he was out for a Sunday drive; his in-car shots were almost hilarious, as it was clear that he was not having to push while still utterly dominating.

It reminded me of when I was a little-guy, in 1970, at an SCCA regional at Bryar Motorsport Park, the weekend before the Trans Am. Mark Donohue was there in the AMC Sunoco Javelin, at the regional, practicing and setting up the car, amongst the MGBs, Lotus super 7s, Austin Healy Sprites, etc. Mark was motoring around Bryar with his left elbow on the window-sill, hand on the roof, like he was driving to the shop. A Fantastic memory.


Get rid of Pirelli tyres, DRS, restrict aero, increase mechanical grip, relieve the boredom!

Anyone who thinks this is proper racing needs to take the blinkers off and watch a previous era. What more I actual heard Gary Anderson say it! Let’s have no more racing from the tyre strait jacket.


Trying to decide if this race was as bad as some from the Schumacher era, or worse – whilst it did have overtaking, it was certainly indicative of how the ‘formula’ is broken right now. I’ve been defensive of Pirelli but it’s hard to see past the negative impact the tyres are having on the racing now.

Very happy for Bottas and Williams to score points. He was excellent on Saturday and deserved something from the race; his talents stands in stark contrast to his current teammate. Glad to see Grosjean getting better and better as well, it’s just a shame that next year will almost certainly see Lotus drop backwards following their lack of funding and the engineer exodus.

Congrats to Vettel and Red Bull for another record; man and machine in perfect harmony yet again it seems. Let’s just hope that next year the machine doesn’t have quite the same advantage, it’d be nice to get another marker on where the man is in that equation. Also congrats to Alonso for settling second place – a bit underwhelming given Kimi’s nonattendance, but impressive still given how much the Ferrari’s performance has tailed off since the summer break.

F1 2013 then: How to Go Out With a Whimper. Let’s hope Brazil gives us all something entertaining to watch…


I’d like to see pod racing in F1 cars. Not the current debacle of fuel and tyre management.


I can take Vettel’s dominance and that F1 is a bit boring at the moment

However I absolutely cannot handle Rocky’s radio messages!!!


Vettel is a 4 times wc I dont think he needs to be spoken too like a 2 yr old

He didnt end up a 4 times wc by accident
Quite obviously he knows how 2 drive a car!
I really don’t think a 4 time champion needs to be told how too F’n drive!!

Currently Vettel is the best driver in F1 this season in understanding the F1 tires and how 2 make them last!!!

So really Rocky needs to put a cork in it!

Red Bull would have won squat over the the past 4 years if it were not for Vettel and this years “titles” are already sealed so give the guy a break and let him have some fun!!

Can u imagine what would happend if Rocky had to engineer Kimi??lol
I think Kimi would go ballistic over the radio telling him 2 shut up!!

Seriously Rocky is starting to spoil everything Vettel has achieved.

People say Vettel is a champ because of Newey
But nothing underminds Vettel’s talent more then his engineer telling him how freakin drive every second lap!

U can hardly imagine Senna or Schumi or Prost been told how to drive by their engineers in their days!!

What makes is even worse is Rocky has a monumentally annoying voice!!


Where I work we used to have a brilliant little forum of F1 fans who’d discuss the race on a Monday morning and lightheartedly take the p*ss out of each other when our teams and drivers screwed up.

Alas, our little club started on a steep decline during the second half of the 2012 season (having just about survived 2011)and now no one has the enthusiasm to talk about it any more are it’s all too predictable.

That’s my observation on the current state of F1.


Just read on another site that Pirelli are “threatening” to make conservative tires and one stop races next year. Personally, I don’t care if the cars don’t stop at all, as long as the drivers can push and actually race each other without worrying about tires so much.

And pitstops that involve a car barely stopping are impressive, but don’t add anything of much value.

Tires that wear out – great!

Tires that thermally degrade after a couple laps – rubbish!!!


It’s Lotus that really underlines the degree to which there have been winners and losers with the current tire situation. They are a team in supposed disarray and financial peril, yet they’re 20 seconds ahead of everyone but the Red Bulls, and would I’m sure overhaul Ferrari for third in the Constructors if Kimi was driving.

It’s very concerning that the other teams haven’t been able to optimize for the post-Silverstone tire (which Pirelli had to change). I hope very much Mercedes and Ferrari et al have made a conscious decision to focus resources on 2014, but even then they’ve spotted Red Bull such a lead this fall that the latter will have been able to shift resources to the new car too. At this rate, Red Bull will overhaul everyone in the latter part of next year even if they start out uncompetitive.


I still love f1 and would never rubbish it-sure some races are a bit boring,but…. you are all on these forums getting any extra bit of f1 coverage to satisfy your interest,but at the drop of a hat you all spread nothing but negativity.

Take the good with the bad or just take off.

On another note could you add weight for each win for the next race?


So I managed to get up about 6.20 and missed the first 7 odd laps and apparent safety car. Was annoyed with Hamiltons “c’mon man” comments on the radio every few minutes. Impressed again by the pace of the Saubers throughout the race but very annoyed that Hulkenburg was outclassed by Fernando so close to the end..which now makes it near impossible for Lewis to make challenge to him in the standings at Interlagos. It’s interesting that many passes were made on the outside it T1 even before FA onHulk . You would think drivers/ race engineers would protect instruct that first.! If passed on the inside the attacking Driver is on the outside into t2.anyway ( though that never bothered Kimi last year)

The one thing I was really pleased about in that race was Valtteri Bottas producing a solid points finish in that Williams – he has always lived up to expectations even since he first turned a wheel on an F1 car. I really hope the 2014 Williams is a decent car. Because this guy is potentially the next Kimi behind the wheel and deserves a top drive very soon. I always expected Heikki to make P8, but for incidents/ Kerrs he may have held that spot.. But now all of Fridays lovers are back down to earth. Heikki was rarely more than a mid field racer even at Mclaren so I think he will struggle to get a drive with Lotus for 2014 and Valseche should be the man they take if they get money . But it looks like all of Kimis / Romaines good work can be undone if Cashdonado comes in.. Shame, shame

For those crying about boring perhaps James can write in to Bernie and tell him fans

A) don’t like unlimited budgets and Red Bull spending

B) fans don’t like Pirelli and degrading tyres – I never did

Maybe we can do away with DRS since we have such powerful ERS with more flexibility next year. The good drivers always find a way.


What really annoyed me was that after basically telling his engineer to go away and leave him alone several times Hamilton then came back and demanded that he get more information.

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