Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing were presented with their FIA Formula One World Championship trophies at Friday evening’s FIA Prize-Giving Gala in Paris, the fourth time in succession that driver and team have taken their respective titles.
At the impressive Cite du Cinema studio complex founded by renowned film director Luc Besson, Vettel was presented with the 2013 FIA Formula One World Champion trophy by FIA President Jean Todt. Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber also received awards for second and third places respectively in the drivers’ championship.
“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 Formula One history to claim four world championship titles. “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.”
With wins in Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada and Germany in the first half of the season, Vettel once again established himself as a major title contender and by the time of the now traditional August break, the Red Bull Racing driver had a 38-point advantage over nearest rival Kimi Raikkonen. But what happened after the break was unparalleled. Returning to championship action at Spa-Francorchamps, Vettel scored a convincing victory to kick off an historic run that saw him remain unbeaten until the end of the season. The nine wins recorded between the Belgian and Brazilian Grands Prix not only gave Vettel 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 puts him alongside Michael Schumacher as joint holder of the record for most wins in a single campaign.
Vettel’s success was naturally mirrored by another glorious year for his team, Red Bull Racing. Alongside Vettel’s tally of wins the team also scored 13 other podium finishes, 11 pole positions and finished the season with 596 points, 236 clear of nearest rival Mercedes.
After receiving the award for winning the FIA Formula One Constructors’ Championship, team principal Christian Horner said: “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.
“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.”