Motorsports, Reviews

F1: Vettel is the best F1 driver in the world, for now

By the end of the Indian GP, Sebastian Vettel is now the 2013’s driver’s world champion for the fourth consecutive year. Vettel’s dominating form has helped Team Red Bull Racing to win the 2013’s constructor title also for the fourth consecutive year. The youngest quadruple champion has also joined the exclusive club of four F1 legends (the others were Michael Schumacher, Fangio and Prost) who won four or more F1 drivers title. Ironically, we will not see the fourth edition of the Indian GP in 2014 as it was dropped by the FIA due to bureaucratic reasons.

After the finale in Brazil, Vettel finished with an impressive 13 career wins out of 19 races, with an amazing nine consecutive victories, equaling the record of F1 legend Ascari, which was set in the mid fifties.

Even his rivals conceded defeat and sung praises to the 26 year old German. His nearest rival and two time world champion, Fernando Alonso, threw the towel in India and admitted that Vettel is a fantastic driver. The simple quote from the Spaniard, “Sebastian is ahead because he does the best job. The best one wins.”

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton added: “It is an incredible achievement for such a young individual. He is in a class of his own, and he is on his way to becoming the greatest driver in F1, if not already”. Adrian Newey, the chief designer of Red Bull Racing, admitted that Vettel is flawless. Team boss, Christian Horner, praised Vettel for his fantastic high level of driving all the time. Interestingly, no word came from Vettel’s bitter team mate Mark Webber who will be retiring from F1 by end the of the 2013 season.

By no means there are four world champions on the current F1 grid excluding Vettel, but yet the German’s dominance in 2013 has made Alonso, Hamilton, Button and Raikkonen looked like fools.

Critics and F1 fans detested Vettel’s domination, this was due to the superior RB9 car but yet again it is unfair to judge just by the car alone. Personally I felt that the rest of the competitors fell flat this year, starting from Lotus’s financial troubles, Mercedes’s wrong strategies and tyre degradation issues, and Ferrari’s incompetence when it comes to developing a competitive car for Alonso for years. Not to mention the fall of the once great McLaren whose car did not secure any podium this year.  Apart of the “Multi 21” controversy that stroked the Red Bull Racing team in Malaysia, Vettel was flawless in many races and amazingly he secured all wins after the mid-session break. For that reason he is already a legend in the making and he deserves it.

If that achievement doesn’t amaze you, here the list of achievements Vettel has achieved in his six years in F1.

Most championship points earned in a season– 118 (2013)

Most wins in a season – 13 (2013)

Most consecutive wins – 9 (2013)

Youngest race winner – 21 years, 73 days – 2008 Italian GP.

Youngest driver to be on the podium – 21 years, 73 days – 2008 Italian GP.

Youngest driver to top a grand prix session – 19 years, 53 days – 2006 Turkish Grand Prix Practice Two.

Most front row starts in a season – 18 from 19 races in 2011.

Youngest driver to score a point – 19 years, 349 days – 2007 United States GP.

Youngest driver to lead a race – 20 years, 89 days – 2007 Japanese GP.

Most wins from pole in a season – Nine in 2011. Joint top with Nigel Mansell.

Youngest pole and win – 21 years, 73 days – 2008 Italian GP.

Youngest pole, win and fastest lap – 21 years, 353 days – 2009 British GP.

Youngest pole, win, fastest lap and led every lap – 24 years, 119 days – 2011 Indian GP.

Youngest World Champion – 23 years, 134 days – 2010.

Youngest double World Champion – 24 years, 98 days – 2011.

Championship leader for most races in a season – 19 races – 2011.

Youngest race winner for two different teams – 21 years, 287 days – 2008 Italian GP for Toro Rosso and 2009 Chinese GP for Red Bull.

Youngest winner of same grand prix on two occasions – 23 years, 98 days – 2009 and 2010 Japanese GPs.

Most consecutive top two results in qualifying and the race – 11 – 2010 Brazilian GP-2011 British GP.

Most pole positions at different GPs – 20 – joint top with Alain Prost.

Most laps led in a season – 739 laps – 2011.

Youngest driver to drive on a GP weekend – 19 years, 53 days – 2006 Turkish Grand Prix.

Shortest time as an F1 driver before earning a penalty – Six seconds – speeding in pit-lane during practice for 2006 Turkish GP.

[Image Credit: Red Bull Racing Facebook page]