It was a special moment. The man of the moment made it more memorable.
Having sealed his 10th victory of the season, sixth in a row and the third on the trot in the Indian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel celebrated his fourth successive World title in unprecedented style.
After the customary pumping of the fist, the German pulled onto the start-finish area and did some perfect donuts. He then climbed onto the nose of his car and acknowledged the adulation of his fans. He crouched down in front of his car and kissed it. Then headed straight to the grandstands and threw his gloves to the crowd.
“First of all I would thank the crowd for an unbelievable reception. I am speechless and I was empty when I crossed the line. I spent ages thinking what to say, there is so much you want to say at a time like that. I am overwhelmed. I don’t know what to say but it is the best day of my life so far.”
This initial reaction of the champion after becoming the youngest to win four consecutive World titles reflected his sense of gratitude to all those who had played a role in his success story.
“It is a pleasure to jump in the car and go out and drive for the guys and give it all I have. The car was phenomenal today and has been phenomenal all season to be honest. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who is behind the team. It has not been an easy season. From the outside, people will think it was easy but it wasn't. It has been hard, for me in particular, to be booed when I have not done anything wrong was hard. But I think I answered the things on the track which I am very pleased about.”
Looking back at how it all started, Vettel said, “When I started watching F1 properly, Mark (Webber), Jenson (Button) and Fernando (Alonso) were already racing. I remember sitting with my father watching and taking my hat off to them all. The dream was there, but I didn't dare to dream about this.”
Acknowledging those behind his success, the champion said, “When I started to race, Formula One seemed so far away. But there are so many people I have to thank along the way from karting to here. I was taught so many things and I have always tried to listen, but to come out on top of this incredibly talented field is amazing. I am not old yet but I am getting older and maybe I am not grasping it yet. Maybe in 10 years time, I will look back and realise the enormity.”