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Vettel proud of equalling Fangio win tally

Celebrating his 24th Grand Prix victory in Japan, Sebastian Vettel was proud to have equalled the tally of the legendary five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio.
For an appreciative student of F1 history - which Sebastian Vettel has shown many times in the past to be - the Red Bull driver's victory in the 2012 F1 Grand Prix of Japan was a particular landmark.

It was Vettel's 24th Grand Prix win, putting him on an equal footing with one of the true legends of the sport: Argentina's fine-time world champion in the 1950s, Juan Manuel Fangio.

"Obviously I knew these kind of guys, when you talk about records ... We had great drivers in the past, great champions and great characters," said Vettel when this was pointed out to his surprise during the post-race press conference at Suzuka. I'm not aware of those kind of numbers but I think that's a special thing about F1.

"There's only a handful of us, 24 drivers in F1," he continued. "I think first of all you feel extremely fortunate and proud to be one of them and to race a F1 car, stand on the grid, winning a race, driving for championships.

"When I was young, I was following F1 and Michael most of the time. But you never dreamed, never imagined yourself being one of those guys and breaking any kind of record - even if it's just having the best start or something silly, which would already make you extremely proud."

Looking rather moved and emotional as he took stock of the little piece of history this weekend, he said: "I think it's an honour ... I think it's something we should not forget at any stage, and it's something very very special. I think it's one of the best jobs you can have in the world in my - in our - point of view."

The fact that tying Fangio's tally of wins came at the historic Suzuka track first built as a Honda test circuit in 1962 also added to the historic feel of the weekend for Vettel, as did getting to share the podium with Kamui Kobayashi - the first Japanese driver to claim a podium finish in F1 since Aguri Suzuki in 1990.

"The last time I was with Kamui on the podium it was probably in Formula Three and both of us had a dream for F1," he said. "You know you are a young guy, you are racing in Formula Three, you know it's only one or two steps away - but then it's so far away still.

"Unfortunately it's impossible to explain to you how it feels, so it's only something we share amongst ourselves," he admitted. "But then to be successful it obviously starts to feed on itself and makes it very, very enjoyable."




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richard

October 08, 2012 3:42 PM

a great acheivement, but dont forget, fangio had only a quarter of the number of gps to attain his total wins. i think that there were only 5 gps a year then. i think that ratio wise, fangio is still well ahead (over to you ty!)

Taipan

October 08, 2012 3:55 PM

Richard, Thanks for the intro! Fangio won 47.06% or races Vettel has won exactly 25% a few others Schumacher 30.13% Prost 25.63% Senna 25,47% Stewart 27.27% Clark 34.72% Ascari 40.63% Moss 24.24%



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