Once, Twice, Three Times A Champion

As the dust settles after the dramatic ending to the 2012 Formula 1 season, it’s time to celebrate the amazing achievement of Sebastian Vettel: three-time World Champion – the youngest triple champion and only the third driver to win the title in consecutive years.

He joins Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher for the latter achievement, who both went on to score a fourth (and in Schumacher’s case, a fifth) consecutive title. You can be sure that Sebastian will be aiming at those stats next.

Sebastian’s luck held out in Brazil (just as it had in Abu Dhabi) in the face of a chaotic opening lap at Interlagos: by turn four he was facing the wrong way as the pack streamed towards him. Surely it was all over, as two other cars self-destructed around him and he was relegated to last place.

But somehow his Red Bull survived the impacts, and the epic wet/dry race that followed allowed Sebastian to show his quality with a race back through the field. Eventually he finished in sixth place, gaining the points he needed to secure the title after a heart-stopping yoyo through the lower-order points positions.

Sebastian scored five victories and six poles in the Adrian Newey-designed RB8 on his way to the 2012 championship, fending off a rampant Fernando Alonso in the slower Ferrari and both McLaren drivers. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button appeared to have the fastest car for a lot of the season but failed to realise their potential.

Sebastian Vettel’s tally of race wins has now hit 26 – from only 101 race starts. If you include just his four seasons at Red Bull, he’s won an astonishing one in three races from the 75 he’s started. And at just 25 years old, he’s only just getting going! There are plenty of years ahead for him to target yet more of the big historical statistics in the sport he loves so much.

With Sebastian heading up a bumper crop of quality drivers, it looks like the new generation of young Formula 1 drivers are now well and truly established at the front of the field. It’s a great time to be a Formula 1 fan.

Jonathan Moore


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45 comments
Barbie Lee
Barbie Lee

Even during qualifying Reb Bull has been very consistent. Ferrari was way down low on the board, and McLaren was giving Reb Bull quite the challenge. 

 

That deciding 1 point advantage, should Ferrari pursue the protest, is going to be a mental tug-of-war for Red Bull. 

Robo_No1
Robo_No1

Vettel comes in for a lot of stick because people don't like such domination. Personally I don't think he's the best driver on the grid, Alonso, Hamilton and Raikonnen all out class him; but I read an interview recently from an ex F1 driver (can't think now who) and he said "Its not always about being the best in the world, but doing the best you can with what you have", in Vettels case he's done just that. 

 

I do wonder though why the FIA cast a blind eye to the blatant pass Vettel pulled under a yellow flag during the last GP? Ferrari are now protesting, but it seems VERY late in the day for the FIA to be doing anything about it, which is a shame, and not what the sport needs.

Jmayhem
Jmayhem

I'd say that Lewis Hamilton proved himself to be the best driver on the grid this year. It's amazing what an unlucky season (incidents with Maldonado and Hulkenberg) and unreliable car will do to a driver's championship hopes.

PaddyMcGrath
PaddyMcGrath

Although I would be more of a Hamilton fan, I was delighted to see Vettel come away with the title on Sunday. I've been listening to a lot of people complain that it was easy because he had the fastest car, and that Alonso is the 'peoples' champion because Ferrari gave him such a bad car in 2012. I guess that explains why Ferrari finished second in the constructors championship even with Massa mis-firing for most of the year? Oh, and there's no such thing as an easy F1 title. 

 

It's to their credit that Red Bull built a better car, and that shouldn't be taken away from them or used as ammunition against Vettel. F1 is about more than the driver, it's a team sport. 

 

Corey K
Corey K

What an incredible achievement for the Red Bull team and the young driver. Fantastic race! I was disappointed to see Hamilton shunted on his last race for McLaren, and too bad also that Hulkenberg got squirrely in that turn, as I think he could've won it. That team took a very rewarding gamble, keeping the slicks on during the rain when everyone else was switching to intermediates.

TheShinigami
TheShinigami

Funny to read complains about better car and so on. You know I read quite a while about kind of Tech problems during season and past years , management fails and I must say - NO, they didn't have an advantage, simply the fact that Vettel got in his pace and understood how things go on in F1 (don't mean the 12 season, but F1 '10 where he began his streak).

I enjoy the fact, that fresh blood brought back the thrill in the championship which was overly bored with TOO many rules and regulation.

I mean, I love to see cars collide and go close to each other, where you can feel the fight. Sure we know of the consequences in open wheel series but yet, this is racing, it's supposed to be hard, tough and dangerous. F1 was more and more becoming a parade .

Porselanero
Porselanero

I only compare Alonso's driving with Senna's driving in 1991 season... Alonso has been much better driver than Vettel during the season...Vettel overtook 2 drivers with yellow flag so for me and for big amount of people is a dirty championship...He should be penalized

xracer6
xracer6

Honestly a great win this season on his part, he faught hard for his championship especially on the last race! This season really was astonishing. A lot of great championships had competitive years! WTCC, BTCC, Grand Am, and NASCAR to name a few. Howver this year's F1 seaon really stood out from the beggining to the end with an epic finale! A very iconic season indeed.

Jordan_Burgess
Jordan_Burgess

Bit biased because I love him, but Kimi Raikkonen is my true hero of this season. Finished 3rd in the standings overall after 1 race win, 7 podiums, 19/20 points finishes, and 0 retirements (the only man on the grid to finish EVERY race this year). All while not giving a f@!#. What a legend. Great comeback for him.

maxproof
maxproof

I'd like to refer to Inglorious Basterds on the first shot ;)

TomHoward
TomHoward

In Vettel's Toro Rosso days he drove a far inferior car to the points in some great drives. He is superior to Schumacher. Mark my words.

DomoKun
DomoKun

Well done Vettel but if you know f1 you know Alonso is a far superior driver.Ferrari were shite all season and look what he did with the car he had. The man is the best in an f1 car at the present time in my opinion and KERS= LOL DRS=LOL  v8's=LOL..

Nikhil_P
Nikhil_P

i dont know what people are complaining about...as i like to say...Haters gonna Hate!

but i think that was the best season of F1 in a very long time and deffinately one of the best races of the seasons!

congrats Vettel! hope Mclaren breaks his winning streak... :p!

WilliamCho
WilliamCho

Was hoping this was Kimi's year as his only the few F1 drivers that I like and respect along with Kobayashi.

 

F1 has turned into a utter boring joke but congrats to Vettel though he deserved it.

alexflames
alexflames

Best F1 race that I never seen!

 

PaddyMcGrath
PaddyMcGrath moderator

Ferrari have not challenged the issue, the deadline for which is today. As far as I'm aware there is no fear of Vettel losing his title.

nickthaskater
nickthaskater

 @Jmayhem Vettel was twice caught out by alternator failure and twice caught out by the meandering Narain Karthikeyan, just to name a few incidents. RBR also started the year as being write-offs (go back and look at news articles wailing about how RBR had lost their way and how they were going to fall by the wayside this year). It's been far from easy and it certainly wasn't handed to Vettel. He earned this title just as much as Alonso would have should he have won it. 

CarsonCook
CarsonCook

 @Porselanero What? Show me some proof where he overtook drivers during a yellow flag. Take the blinders off man.

RearSlip
RearSlip

 @zamm333 They have the same car. Webber would win more if he was better than Sebastian.

Option13
Option13

Because Adrian Newey has as much to do with the three championships as does Vettel. He's very quick, but often has trouble moving through traffic and has done some very immature driving on the way.

 

yotafan
yotafan

 @WilliamCho  If you have been an F1 fan for any length of time you woudl know that this season was one of the best, tightest and most exciting in a while. Maybe F1 is not your thing.

siliciferous
siliciferous

 @DavidMonteroVega Being a better driver is only one part of racing. Driver, car, team, strategy, and a little bit of luck combined are what translate into consistent podium finishes.

PaddyMcGrath
PaddyMcGrath moderator

 @Robo_No1 If you're referring to the over take on Vergne, there's clearly a green flag being waved on the left hand side of the track. The FIA have said that he (Vettel) has no case to answer to ...

Sam
Sam

 @RearSlip  @zamm333 There are lots of differences between the two cars. Webber would win more if he wasn't considered second in the team.

TomHoward
TomHoward

@Option13 'trouble moving trough traffic' Twice this season alone he has come from the back of the field to score points, one of those times was a podium.

WilliamCho
WilliamCho

@yotafan @WilliamCho Was a F1 fan until the Muppet Eccelstone ruined the sport and nothing will ever compare to the V12 and the golden era that was the 80's and early 90's bah I'm getting old lol.

blah
blah

 @alexflames  @DavidMonteroVega Ah yes he does... Alonso is without doubt the better driver. Vettel had a far superior car this season. This is not to say that Vettel is not a good driver though, for that he definitely is.

 

Robo_No1
Robo_No1

 @PaddyMcGrathSH Ahh, I think I see him. I'll hand it to Vettel, his eyesight is clearly a damn site better than mine! 

Robo_No1
Robo_No1

 @PaddyMcGrathSH Yeah I just heard it on the news Paddy. Did you check out the vid in the link above? The Green light on the inside looks like its after the pass. 

nickthaskater
nickthaskater

 @Robo_No1  @CarsonCook  @Porselanero Good thing that there was a green flag being waved the the track-side marshal, which overrides the yellow. There's also a point to be made that JEV lifted and let Vettel pass. 

jjpae86
jjpae86

 @RearSlip  @zamm333 I'm tired of hearing that "Webber has a worse car!". What a load of rubbish! They both had the same RB8 where the only differences are individual set up for the driver. Vettel has out scored Webber 1....2....3....4....5 years in a row! Four times at Red Bull and once in an inferior Toro Rosso. I'm not a Vettel fan, I love Kobayashi as a true racer and overtaker, but anyone that says Webber is better than Vettel needs to stop dreaming.

Option13
Option13

 @nickthaskater  @TomHoward I never said he can't pass. However, it's not his strongest suit. If he had driven a Ferrari I doubt he would have done as well as Alonso did.

 

In a pretty competitive season he had by far the best car that could really deliver in qualifying. His competitors didn't. 

nickthaskater
nickthaskater

 @TomHoward  @Option13 Indeed. He also spent every race in the old STR fighting through the pack, often coming up with some fantastic performances relative to his starting position. The "can't pass" argument has been well and truly beaten to death. 

nickthaskater
nickthaskater

 @alexflames  @DavidMonteroVega RBR started the season in the crapper and everyone was writing them off left right and centre after they had lost their blown diffuser from 2011. They fought back, just as Ferrari did, only they did a better job of it. RBR also had reliability woes that Ferrari didn't have, yet still they prevailed as both Constructor's and the Driver's champions. Everyone bitches and moans about Alonso being taken out for two races, but what about Vettel having certain victory and another very high points paying position robbed due to the Renault alternators? What about when Karthikeyan decided he was going to "race" Vettel and slashed his tire? What about when Fernando bitched like a schoolgirl at Monza and got Vettel penalized for supposedly running him off the road, despite it being a carbon copy of what Alonso did to Vettel last year? 

 

Yep. 


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