7 December 2013
Vettel officially picks up fourth F1 drivers’ crown at FIA prize gala
Sebastian Vettel: I don't have words to describe how incredible it is to retain the F1 Drivers' Championship for another year, I would like to say a huge thank you to the team and everyone who supported me.
Sebastian Vettel was presented with his fourth F1 Drivers' trophy on Friday night at the FIA Prize-Giving Gala in Paris.
Vettel, who clinched the title in India, with three races still to go, dominated in 2013, winning 13 of the 19 races, including all nine in the second half of the season.
The nine wins recorded between the Belgian and Brazilian GPs not only assured the German of the title but also the record for the most consecutive wins in a single season. The run also put him level with Alberto Ascari for overall consecutive wins, though the Italian racer took his nine victories across the 1952-53 seasons. Vettel's total of 13 wins during the season also puts him alongside Michael Schumacher as joint holder of the record for most wins in a single campaign. The Red Bull man eventually ended up with 397 points on the board – 155 more than his closest rival.
The German was presented with the 2013 F1 Drivers' Championship trophy by FIA president Jean Todt, while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber also received awards having finished second and third respectively.
“When I think of the times I've experienced with the team over the last few years, it's incredible,” said Vettel, who becomes just the fourth driver in F1 history to claim four world championship titles, following in the footsteps of Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost and Schumacher.
“It's a pleasure to jump in the car each weekend and to try and give it all I have. I'm pushing very hard along with the team and what makes us strong is that we love what we do and we're passionate about racing. This year was not an easy season, but to overcome that and give the answer on the track makes me very proud.
“I don't have words to describe how incredible it is to retain the Drivers' Championship for another year, I would like to say a huge thank you to the team and everyone who supported me.”
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner meanwhile received the Constructors' Championship trophy on behalf of the Milton Keynes-based squad. Red Bull scored a massive 596 points in 2013 – 236 more than Mercedes.
“Winning a fourth FIA Formula One World Champion Constructors' title this year is something that the team could only have dreamt of when we began our first season in 2005. What has gone into this achievement should not be underestimated; the whole team has worked together with enormous commitment and determination,” Horner said.
“When we won the Championship for the first time, the pressure was to defend it,” he added. “We defended it and then retained it. Having achieved the triple, you think it doesn't get any better than that and the likelihood of doing a quadruple double just seemed statistically unlikely, if nothing else. But the passion, the determination and the dedication within the whole team, along with the way that Sebastian and Mark delivered this year, has been absolutely phenomenal.”
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