2013 FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
They say that you’re judged by the
company you keep, and in Sebastian
Vettel’s case, that’s now the legendary
likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael
Schumacher and Alberto Ascari.
By securing his fourth consecutive F1
drivers’ title at the 2013 Indian Grand
Prix with three races to spare, the
26-year-old Red Bull Racing phenom
matched Fangio’s 1954-’ 57 feat and is
within touching distance of fellow German
Schumacher’s 2000-’04 streak of five.
As the season headed to its conclusion,
a pressure-free Vettel was also building a
run of consecutive GP victories which, if it
continued through the finale in Brazil, would
equal the nine-straight achieved by Ascari
in the last six races of 1952 and into ’ 53.
As if there was any doubt, he duly
strolled to that record-equaling win at
Interlagos, but was quick to downplay his
feat, noting the unreliability of the cars and
unpredictability of the racing in Ascari’s era.
False modesty? Not really. Sure, Vettel
has the ruthlessness of a serial champion
when it’s required (witness his blatant
disregard of team orders in the Malaysian
GP), but it doesn’t come attached to a
giant ego. For him, winning poles and races
is the joyful, and frequent, confirmation of
what he does better than anyone else.
With only six full seasons of F1 under
his belt, Vettel’s drive and desire are
undiminished. Already one of the greats,
how much else might he achieve?
In this, the golden era of Sebastian
2013 FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPION
Vettel, Schumacher’s seven career F1 titles
and 91 wins seem less than impregnable.
WORDS Mark Hughes MAIN IMAGE Mark Thompson/Getty Images