Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel realised a dream in Abu Dhabi today when he won the race and took the F1 2010 drivers' title.
Vettel, who started from pole, put in a convincing performance at the wheel of his Adrian Newey-designed RB6 and eventually came through to take his second win on the trot and his fifth of the season, 10 seconds up on Lewis Hamilton.
With Fernando Alonso, the championship favourite going into this event, only seventh – and team-mate, Mark Webber only eighth - that was enough to give Vettel the 'ultimate prize'.
“I'm speechless,” Vettel reflected. “I don't know what you are supposed to say in these moments, it has been an incredibly tough season for myself and all of us, physically and mentally.
“We always kept believing in ourselves – no matter what people said – in the team and in our car. I kept believing in myself and today was a special day all round. I got up this morning and tried not to think about anything; I tried to avoid contact with people and just tried to do my own thing. I knew all I could try to do was win this race and do my best.
“We only led this Championship once this season, but it was when it mattered. The car was phenomenal today; the start was very tight with Lewis, and I had some graining in the first stint, but then the car stabilised and was a dream.
“To be honest, I didn't know anything until I passed the chequered flag. I was wondering, because my race engineer Rocky [Guillaume Rocquelin] was trying to give me advice every lap to help me carry the car home and I was thinking 'Why's this guy so nervous, we must be in a bloody good position!'
“Then crossing the line he came on the radio and very silently said 'it's looking good, we have to wait until all the cars finish'. I was thinking 'what does he mean,' as I hadn't seen the screens - I just wanted to make sure I didn't get any distractions during the race and focused on myself.
“Then Christian [Horner – team principal] came on the radio and screamed at me that we had won the World Championship – I have to say thanks to so many people.
“To start with, the team: that's all the people here at the track and all the people in Milton Keynes – they are pushing like hell and I think they will be enjoying this moment as much as last week. Also everyone back in Austria, who has supported me from the beginning – it's been an incredible journey with Red Bull and, after all the ups and downs this season, to come here now and win the Championship is unbelievable."