Adrian Newey says he feels Sebastian Vettel has now firmly established himself as one of the greatest drivers in F1 history after wrapping up his fourth successive title with victory in the Indian Grand Prix.
Vettel maintained his winning run at the Buddh International Circuit to ensure he added another championship crown to his already impressive resume, meaning he joins Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio and Alain Prost as only the fourth four-time champion.
The German is already being quoted with one bookmaker at 16/1 to win the title for the next four seasons to beat Schumacher's tally of seven titles and Newey said he already deserved to be mentioned alongside he countryman as one of the best there has ever been.
“Sebastian must now be considered one of the all-time greats,” he said. “He makes mistakes sometimes, but he always learns from them; he's very humble and the success and fame he has achieved over the last few years has never gone to his head; he remains with both feet firmly on the ground.”
Success for the German in the race was also enough to secure the constructors' championship for the Milton Keynes-based team despite Mark Webber's retirement and Newey said it was a just reward for everyone within the team.
“It's difficult to verbalise what these Championships mean to be honest,” he said. “Coming into the weekend we knew we had a good chance for both titles, but it's one thing thinking you have a good chance and quite another to achieve it. It's almost a relief that we've done it, it's going to take a while to sink in. It's a tribute to all the hard work, talent and focus of the guys and girls back in Milton Keynes.
“We started off with a very good season in 2009, against all expectations, and to have built on that with four consecutive doubles is absolutely stunning. More than anything I'd like to thank every single member of the team for that. The atmosphere we have in the team is very good; we're just a straight forward team and we don't pretend to be anything we're not. These four Championships are a result of all the hard work, creativity and enthusiasm of everyone in Milton Keynes.”