Sebastian Vettel demolished the opposition once again in India to secure his fourth straight drivers’ title, Red Bull’s fourth consecutive constructors’ crown, and take his place in history alongside Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio and Alain Prost as the only drivers to win four or more drivers’ titles.
As the German crossed the finish line, almost 30 seconds clear of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, his team principal Christian Horner came on the radio to congratulate his young charge. “You’ve done it in style,” Horner told Vettel. “You’ve joined the greats.”
That, surely, is undeniable now. Vettel’s detractors were still questioning at the start of this year whether the 26 year-old was simply being made to look good by his car.
But after yet another season in which he has barely put a foot wrong, utterly dominating his team mate Mark Webber – who was again desperately unfortunate in this race, being forced to retire from second place with an alternator failure – there can be no quibbling.
Vettel’s and Red Bull’s dominance may do nothing to help the overall spectacle – this was the German’s sixth win on the trot, keeping him on target to tie Alberto Ascari’s record of nine consecutive wins by the end of the season – but they cannot be faulted for that.
If you were to build the ideal prototype driver for modern-day Formula One, you would come up with something resembling Sebastian Vettel