SEBASTIAN Vettel says his refusal to get carried away with thoughts of making Formula One history allowed him to do exactly that.
Vettel is now the sport’s youngest back-to-back and two-time title winner after he finished third in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka behind race winner Jenson Button.
It was not the result he ideally wanted to celebrate his second championship triumph, remarkably his second worst result of the year, but it was good enough to see him over the finishing line with four races to spare. At 24 years and 99 days, Vettel eclipsed the mark set by Fernando Alonso in 2006 in winning consecutive titles by a few days short of a year.
The German also joins an elite club with successive victories, standing alongside Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jack Brabham, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen and Alonso.
Vettel said: "A lot of people have been quite confident about the title.
"But one of the important things was we didn’t allow ourselves to drift away with the thought. Instead, we concentrated on every single step and everything we have done this year and everything we have achieved.
"It’s phenomenal what has happened. We set ourselves the target to win the championship this year, so to win it in Japan with four races to go is difficult to put into words. I never imagined I would win one championship, to win this second one is amazing."
Vettel praised the entire team who have supported him en route to his 12 poles, nine wins, four seconds, a third and a fourth – a total of 14 podiums in 15 races.
"I want to thank all the guys and girls in the factory in Milton Keynes, as it’s not just us at the track pushing very hard," added Vettel.
Team principal Christian Horner believes Vettel has raised the bar this season with his performances compared to last season when he scraped home in the final race.
"Sebastian has just benefited from more experience and the level that he has operated at has been phenomenal this year," said Horner.