Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel clinched his fourth consecutive world title with a victory in the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday, according to BBC. Vettel’s Red Bull team also won the Formula 1 constructors’ championship for the fourth consecutive year.
The German, 26, drove a perfect race to secure his sixth consecutive victory this season and become only the fourth man in history to win four titles.
Vettel joins legends Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher. The victory keeps Vettel on target to equal the all-time record of nine consecutive F1 world championship wins. “I’m speechless,” said Vettel quoted by BBC. “I don’t know what to say, I crossed the line and I was just empty. You want to think of something to say and I just can’t. 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.”
He only needed a fifth-place finish to be sure of the title no matter what his only remaining rival Fernando Alonso did, while the Spaniard had to finish in the top two to have any chance of taking the championship to the next race in Abu Dhabi next weekend. But those hopes were over by the first corner, when Alonso was clipped by Vettel’s team-mate Mark Webber, who was knocked sideways by Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus.
The touch damaged Alonso’s front wing, and he had to stop for a new one on lap two, wrecking Ferrari’s strategy of starting on the harder ‘medium’ tyre and running a long first stint. He fought back to 11th place.
Vettel celebrated by doing ‘doughnut’ spins on the pit straight, before bowing to his car and abandoning it there against protocol.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took second place, ahead of the Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, who did a one-stop race, running way beyond the maximum amounts of laps recommended by Pirelli before the race. The Frenchman caught his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen with four laps to go, and passed his team-mate at Turn Four but had to give up the place again because he completed the move by running off the track.
Perez finished fifth ahead of Hamilton in by far his best performance for McLaren, and one that may secure his future at the team next season.