Sebastian Vettel secures fourth F1 crown
Published 27/10/2013 | 11:20
The Red Bull driver led home by 30 seconds from the chasing pack to register his sixth win in succession and 10th overall in 2013, moving him into an unassailable 115-point lead in the standings with three races to spare.
Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber had been on target to make it a Red Bull one-two but a gearbox problem forced him out at two-thirds distance, paving the way for Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean of Lotus to complete the podium.
Vettel, who entered this weekend's race with a 90-point leader over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and needing only to finish no lower than fifth to retain his title, drove a controlled race to secure a result that was never in doubt after Alonso was involved in a first-lap collision that wrecked his faint hopes and saw him finish 11th.
At the age of just 26, Vettel is six years younger than Schumacher was when he became a four-time champion in 2001, and must surely fancy his chances of eclipsing his fellow German's outright record of seven world titles in the years to come.
Vettel's win also wrapped up the constructors' title for Red Bull and continued his dominance of a race he has made his own since it made its debut on the F1 calendar.
After winning the inaugural race in 2011, Vettel topped every practice session and qualifying on his way to victory in 2012 before repeating exactly the same trick this time around.