Sebastian Vettel joins Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher to become Formula One’s youngest four-time champion after an outstanding win on Sunday at the Indian Grand Prix.
The German pitted early to change his soft tyres but managed to scream past the field to cross the line 29.8 seconds in front of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean in the Lotus third.
‘‘Unbelievable day…‘We did it! Yes! Yes!’’ Vettel said over the team radio.
‘‘You’ve done it in style…‘Brilliant drive – you join the greats.’’ Red Bull team principal Christian Horner responded back.
Vettel celebrated in true style adding some tyre smoke to the already thick smog hanging over the circuit, spinning the car and putting on a show of ‘donuts’ for the fans. He then got out and stood up on the car before crouching to kiss the front in a gesture of worship. He threw his gloves into the grandstand before embracing Horner and designer Adrian Newey.
‘‘First of all I want to thank the crowd for an unbelievable reception. I am speechless. I spent ages thinking what to say; there is so much you want to say at a time like that.
‘‘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.’’
Vettel was appreciative of the support and applause from the Indian crowd particularly after being heckled at his wins in Belgium, Italy and Singapore.
‘‘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.
‘‘I am overwhelmed, I don’t know what to say but it is the best day of my life so far.’’
Despite Mark Webber’s shock retirement due to an issue with the alternator, Red Bull also won their fourth consecutive the Constructors’ title.
‘‘Disappointing, but there’s not much I can do,’’ Webber said. ‘‘There was something wrong with the car, so we had to stop straight away.’’
“I still have a smile on my face, there’s nothing more I could do today,”
Fernando Alonso was the the only man who could put Vettel’s celebrations on hold needing to finish in the top two but all hopes disappeared at the start when he made contact with the rear of Webber’s Red Bull and then also made contact with Jenson Button’s McLaren.
The Spaniard, had to pit for a new front wing but re-joined the race in 20th place and finished out of point contention in 11th.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finished fourth and Sergio Perez picked up his best result of the season finishing in fifth in the McLaren.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was sixth with Kimi Raikkonen in seventh, who struggled with overheating brakes for much of the race. Both Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil were eighth and ninth for Force India.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, handed Toro Rosso the final point.