How Sebastian Vettel dominated the 2013 F1 season

Published: 26 November, 2013 01:26 IST | A Correspondent |

As German driver wraps up another successful F1 season with a win at the Brazilian GP on Sunday, mid day deconstructs the 26-year-old's dominance en route his fourth world title

Australian GP (17 Mar)
Grid Pos: 1; Race Pos: 3; Points: 15
After clinching his 36th career pole, Sebastian Vettel appeared to be the favourite to win in the first race of the season. However, Kimi Raikkonen, returning to the sport after a two-year sabbatical, triumphed with Vettel only finishing third.

Sebastian Vettel

Malaysian GP (24 Mar)
Grid Pos: 1; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
Vettel’s win at Sepang was marred by a post-race spat with Red Bull teammate Mark Webber. Webber, who finished second, was leading the race until the 46th lap when the German ignored team orders to hold positions.

Chinese GP (14 Apr)
Grid Pos: 9; Race Pos: 4; Points: 12
The Red Bull driver could only manage a fourth-place finish after qualifying in the ninth position, but not before he gave Lewis Hamilton a tough fight for the last podium spot. He eventually finished 0.2 seconds behind the Briton.

Bahrain GP (21 Apr)
Grid Pos: 2; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
Vettel won his second race of the season with consummate ease and extended his lead over Lotus’ Raikkonen to 10 points.

Spanish GP (12 May)
Grid Pos: 3; Race Pos: 4; Points: 12
Fernando Alonso gave the home fans at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya something to cheer about with an imperious run after starting the race on the fifth place. Vettel, on the other hand, could only finish fourth, behind Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Hamilton.

Monaco GP (26 May)
Grid Pos: 3; Race Pos: 2; Points: 18
In a race which saw a red flag stoppage and two separate safety-car incidents, Vettel finished second behind Nico Rosberg. However, dismal performances from Alonso (seventh) and Raikkonen (10th) meant Vettel extended his lead at the top to 21 points over the former and 31 over the latter.

Canadian GP (9 Jun)
Grid Pos: 1; Race Pos 1; Points: 25
Despite brushing a wall on lap 10, and then making an uncharacteristic mistake in the 52nd lap, Vettel cruised to victory without any discomfort. In fact, there was a 15-second gap between him and Alonso, who finished second.

British GP (30 Jun)
Grid Pos: 3; Race Pos: Ret; Points: 0
The British GP was the only race in the 2013 season where the 26-year-old did not finish among points. Vettel retired from the lead in a race that witnessed six tyre failures (and two safety car interventions).

German GP (7 Jul)
Grid Pos: 2; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
Vettel finally won his home Grand Prix, withholding intense pressure from the Lotuses of Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean at Germany’s Nurburgring circuit. The win helped extend Vettel’s lead in the World Championship to 34 points.

Hungarian GP (28 Jul)
Grid Pos: 2; Race Pos: 3; Points: 15

Going into the summer break, a third-place finish for Vettel ensured he led the drivers’ championship battle with 172 points — 38 points ahead of Raikkonen.

Belgian GP (25 Aug)
Grid Pos: 2; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
After overhauling pole-sitter Hamilton on the opening lap, Vettel never looked in any trouble for the rest of the race. The win was the first of an astonishing run of nine consecutive wins — a record.

Italian GP (8 Sep)
Grid Pos: 1; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
Vettel overcame a series of minor issues to take his Red Bull to the sixth win of the season at Monza. He eventually finished 5.4 seconds adrift of Alonso.

Singapore GP (22 Sep)
Grid Pos: 1; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
Such was Vettel’s dominance at SIngapore that by the end of the first lap he was 1.9 seconds ahead. A lap later, the gap had increased to 4.1 seconds. With the win, he extended his lead over second-placed Alonso to a whopping 60 points.

Korean GP (6 Oct)
Grid Pos: 1; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
In a race marred by tyre problems, Vettel seemed less dominant than he was at the previous races. The 26-year-old, nursing his right-front tyre, was rebuked for setting the fastest lap in the race with just two laps to go. In the end, he managed to pip Raikkonen to the post by just over 4 seconds.

Japanese GP (13 Oct)
Grid Pos: 2; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
Banking on a brilliant two-stop strategy, Vettel cruised to his ninth success of the season (fifth consecutive). The win meant he was just one win away from sealing his fourth consecutive world title.

Indian GP (27 Oct)
Grid Pos: 1; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
The German only needed to finish in fifth place to secure the title, but ended up reaching the chequered flag in first position, thereby sealing his title in some style. The victory also clinched Red Bull their fourth consecutive constructors’ crown.

Abu Dhabi GP (3 Nov)
Grid Pos: 2; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
The German’s form in this race was so imperious that teammate Webber even suggested afterwards that he was “in a different category.” Vettel eventually finished 30 seconds ahead of second-place Webber.

United States GP (17 Nov)
Grid Pos: 1; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
The newly-crowned champion only relinquished the lead once during the entire race — when he made his sole pit stop. In the end, he trumped lotus’ Grosjean by 6.2 seconds.

Brazilian GP (24 Nov)
Grid Pos: 1; Race Pos: 1; Points: 25
Vettel ended the 2013 F1 season on a record-breaking high. The win meant he extended his own record of consecutive wins in a season, equalled Italian Alberto Ascari’s historic record of nine straight wins from 1952-1953 and also equalled Michael Schumacher’s total (13) for one season, set with Ferrari in 2004.

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