Sebastian Vettel became the youngest man ever to win four consecutive Formula 1 Championships after winning the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday.
At the age of just 26, the Red Bull driver could break the all time record of nine Championship wins, set by fellow German Michael Schumacher in 2004.
After an early pit stop and a tyre change, Vettel’s championship was never in doubt.
He fought his way back up the field from 17th place to claim a historic sixth consecutive victory of the season, despite only needing to finish in fifth place to secure the title.
His closest rival, Fernando Alonso finished in 11th position following damage to his front wing in the early stages of the race.
After becoming the youngest ever driver to win a World Championship in 2010, the German has never looked back, winning an astonishing 26 races over the course of the last three championships to claim all three titles in style.
Speaking after the race, Vettel told the BBC: “It has been an amazing season, the spirit in the team is great and it is a pleasure to jump in the car and drive.”
This latest victory for Vettel also confirms Red Bull’s fourth consecutive constructors championship, an incredible achievement for a team that has risen from the ashes since being bought from Jaguar in 2004.
Whether the team can maintain this high standard with the retirement of Vettel’s long-standing teammate, Mark Webber, remains to be seen.
Before the race, F1 management CEO Bernie Ecclestone caused controversy in the media,claiming that Vettel is “probably the best (F1 driver) we’ve ever had.”
Legendary former F1 driver Niki Lauda added his weight to these claims, telling Indian news channel IANS that Vettel deserved to be listed alongside the likes of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.The 1975, 1977 and 1984 World Champion was quoted as saying: “I think Sebastian has done a great job so far, he is simply outstanding…. I would put him right alongside greats like Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.’
Only time will tell if Vettel can make history and become the most successful F1 driver of all time, but he should take great pride in what is a monumental triumph from a truly outstanding driver.