There was no all-night party for Sebastian Vettel as he preferred to board a plane in the early hours of Monday to spend a few precious days with his girlfriend Hanna Prater at their Swiss home after winning a fourth Formula One world title.
“I’m way too young to understand what it means. I might be 60 one day, maybe then I will understand but nobody cares any more. I care, it’s difficult to realise something that nobody can take away from you, basically,” Vettel said.
Vettel emulated Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher with four straight world titles — and Alain Prost with four overall — on Sunday, doing it “in style” — according to his team principal Christian Horner — by winning the Indian Grand Prix.
And just as in past weeks, he didn’t simply win, he obliterated the field, with second-placed Nico Rosberg half a minute behind and his only title rival left at the time, Fernando Alonso, almost lapped in 11th place, 1 minute 18 seconds behind.
“His consistency and permanent high speed he is able to maintain over a race distance will be very difficult to top,” Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz told the Salzburger Nachrichten.
Some have suggested that Vettel simply has a superior car thanks to chief designer Adrian Newey and that basically anyone could win in world title in this Red Bull.
However, Sunday showed Vettel’s extraordinary driver skills again.
When he and Alonso pitted in the very early stages they found themselves in 19th and 20th place when back on the track. Twenty laps later Vettel was back up in second, Alonso stranded in 14th.
Add to that his complete dedication and the long hours he spends with team officials and mechanics to make the car better. After all the champagne on Sunday, he was in the Red Bull paddock helping his crew pack up for Abu Dhabi.
“He has fantastic a work ethic. He always questions himself and inspires the people around him,” Horner said of Vettel, who himself has praised the team on countless occasions. “Sebastian has grown this year. The way he drove, what he delivered, it was his best year.”
Raching Fangio’s five titles or even Schumacher’s seven is not out of the question for the youngest quadruple champ.
He already holds all but every age record, has most poles in a season with 15, can beat Schumacher’s record seven straight wins in a season with a current streak of six and equal Schumacher’s 13 overall wins in one season with three races left, having so far won 10.