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Czech News in English » Sport » It's a one, two, three – Vet-trick!

It’s a one, two, three – Vet-trick!

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Fernando Alonso finishes second behind McLaren’s Jenson Button, but it was not quite enough to deprive his German championship rival of glory, as Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa secured third.

In claiming the title, Vettel joins the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as only the third driver in the sport’s history to win three or more championships in a row. Seb’s third was hard-won, however. Starting from fourth on the grid, he suffered a first-corner collision with Williams’ Bruno Senna that left him with damage to his car’s sidepod. Remarkably, though, Vettel was able to carry on, though he was dropped to the back of the field. Up ahead, arch-rival Fernando Alonso was taking the fight to the leading McLaren pair so if Vettel was to have any chance of taking the title he needed a swift response. It wasn’t long in coming. The defending champion scythed his way through the pack and by lap eight he was up to sixth and pushing hard. As the topsy-turvy race unfolded, Alonso climbed to second, passing team-mate Felipe Massa with 10 laps remaining. That meant that Sebastian needed seventh or better to take the title. After a long battle with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, Vettel eventually slotted into the required position and then, to secure the title, chased down and passed boyhood idol Michael Schumacher to seal his third championship victory.

Car 1 Sebastian Vettel, Finish Position: 6th, Start Position: 4th

“It’s difficult to imagine what goes through my head now, I am so full of adrenalin. It was an incredible race, everything that could have happened to make it more difficult for us today, happened! I got turned around in Turn 4 for no reason and was heading the wrong way; so I had to get straight and was lucky no one hit me. The car was damaged and we lost speed in straights, even more as it dried up, but fortunately it started to rain again. All weekend people tried to push us in a certain direction and said if it rained it would be harder for us, but we have proven today that we like rain conditions as much as the dry. I am very, very happy. The most important thing throughout the season is that we kept pushing and remained ourselves. We just try to do our thing and stick to the route that we know and that’s what made the difference. Some people try to play games, but we never get distracted, we keep going our way. Everyone at Milton Keynes and here at the circuit, they are always pushing so hard and we really stepped up our game in the second half of the season. I would like to thank everyone in the team and at Renault. There’s no one in this team that feels more important than anyone else, we all push together, alongside each other, it’s one big force and I’m very proud of that. It’s unreal what has happened. To win a third title, especially here where one of my heroes Ayrton Senna was from, it’s difficult to put into words. I was crying in the car but my radio wasn’t working, so I’m maybe happy for that! Tomorrow I can probably say more, but now I just don’t have the right words.”

Car 2 Mark Webber, Finish Position: 4th, Start Position: 3rd
“The race lived up to expectations today and the conditions were obviously very tricky for all of us. We weren’t particularly strong today pace wise and both Seb and I were pretty vulnerable on restarts, as well as the start of the race on slicks. I got hit pretty hard on the inside, I think it was one of the Sauber’s, and we had to press on from there. We got probably what we could have out of today and we made a good call to go to the intermediate tyres when we did. For Sebastian, it was a great effort. He has joined a pretty decent club now and has even set his own some ways, the youngest ever World Champion and now a triple World Champion – you’ve got to take your hat off to him. The season has gone fast, there have been a lot of different winners, some ups and downs, a lot of crashes and a couple of nice wins for myself. I’m now looking forward to having a break, to recharge and then it’s on to 2013.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “An unbelievable end to what has been a really incredible season. We always knew this Championship was going to go right down to the wire and I don’t think anybody could have expected the kind of race we got today. But, to have achieved a triple double World Championship is quite phenomenal. Sebastian has driven better than ever this season and has fought his way back into this Championship; he’s never given up and you saw that in today’s race. After being knocked out of position and going to the back of the field with a load of damage, he fought his way back into the race, he never gave up and it was a race of maximum stress today with rain and no rain, then incidents, spins, you name it, it happened – safety cars, radios that didn’t work – but you have to reflect on the season as a whole. Over 20 races the team has done an unbelievable job and Sebastian truly deserves this World Championship. Having gone up against an incredible opponent in Fernando Alonso, and we have to pay tribute to him and the way he’s driven this year, it has made this Championship even more appreciated because of the level of competition we’ve had to compete against. So, all I can do is thank every single member of the team for everything that they’ve put in. I’d like to thank Dietrich Mateschitz for his commitment, backing and support, and the encouragement that he’s given all of us. To all the members of Red Bull who have been with us all the way through this, and of course to all of our partners that have grown and been on this journey with us over the last three years, A big thank you on behalf of the whole team to all of them. It’s going to take a little while for the success to sink in.”

Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer: “The whole season has been an amazing ride, but today, to finish it like that down to the wire with so many obstacles – the first lap incident, the concern about the damage to both the bodywork and the exhaust, the fact that the car was then hard on its tyres, the radio failing – was just great; you know, we had so many things thrown against us. I think to come through all that and still get enough points to win the Championship was a real testament to team and driver. For Seb to get three championships, I don’t know how you’d be able to describe that, but I think the hallmark of the year really has been the tenacity shown by the team. We struggled with the car at the start of the year, trying to understand how it worked with the loss of the side exhaust, and to turn around a slightly difficult sub car at the start of the year, to get it to the point where we were able to seal the Constructors’ a week ago and then again here with the Drivers’ – it’s just been a great tribute to everybody.”

In his Formula One career, Sebastian Vettel has achieved:
101 RACE STARTS (26 before Red Bull Racing, 75 with)
RECORD: Most poles achieved by a driver in a season (2011)
RECORD: Most laps led by a driver in a season (2011)

Only two drivers have previously won three consecutive championships (neither won their first three consecutively)

Juan Manuel Fangio: ‘51, ‘54, ‘55, ‘56, ‘57
Michael Schumacher: ’94, ’95, ‘00, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04

Top 10 Overall Standings 2012
1 Sebastian Vettel Ger, Red Bull Racing-Renault 281
2 Fernando Alonso Spa, Ferrari 278
3 Kimi Raikkonen Fin, Lotus-Renault 207
4 Lewis Hamilton GB, 190
5 Jenson Button GB, McLaren-Mercedes 188
6 Mark Webber Aus, Red Bull Racing-Renault 179
7 Felipe Massa Brz, Ferrari 122
8 Romain Grosjean Fra, Lotus-Renault 96
9 Nico Rosberg Ger, Mercedes GP 93
10 Sergio Perez Mex, Sauber 66

Red Bull Racing:
Sebastian Vettel:

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