It was an almost perfect weekend for Red Bull Racing in India, as Sebastian Vettel stormed to his 10th win of the 2013 season and in the process secured both his and the team’s fourth consecutive world titles, with the only blight on their copybook being an alternator failure that ended Mark Webber’s race and lost the team the chance of securing a 1-2 finish.
Vettel, who now stands amongst the greatest that the sport has ever seen, with four driver’s titles, was visibly stunned by his experience on Sunday, stating that it was difficult to even express what joining the esteemed company of Juan-Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher meant to him.
“I’m speechless. I crossed the line and I was empty. I took ages to think about something to say. It’s one of these moments where you want to say so many things but you can’t.
“To join people like Prost, Fangio and Michael is unbelievable. I think this is one of the best days in my life so far. There are so many people that I have to thank; I’ve always tried to listen and learn and it’s incredible to race some of the best drivers in the world.”
The 26-year, who has been the subject of boos on a number of occasions this season, made a point to address the issue, stating that overcoming this unwarranted negativity was one of the seasons highlights.
“It was for sure not an easy season and even though people on the outside thought we had it in our hands, I think it was difficult. It a was tough season for me personally, to receive boos even though we haven’t done anything wrong; to overcome that and give the right answer on the track and get acceptance makes me very proud.”
Vettel’s dominant victory in India, coupled with a poor race for Ferrari, secured Red Bull Racing a fourth consecutive constructors’ title and the now quadruple world champion was keen to thank his team, stating that it was simply a pleasure to be able to win for all those people who play a key part in the success of the Milton Keynes-based squad.
“It’s been such a phenomenal season. I think the team and the spirit inside the team is so strong; I said it on the radio already – it gives me so much power. It’s a pleasure to jump in the car and go out for the guys and girls and try to give it all I have.
“I want to say a big thank you to the team to all the people behind us.
The German, who was issued a reprimand for his failure to return his car directly to pace ferme following the end of the race, instead celebrating with some donuts on the start-finish straight in front of the main grandstand, explained that it had not be a pre-concocted idea, but a spur of the moment expression of joy.
“The car was fantastic today. I didn’t think about the do-nuts before the race today – it just happened.
“My engineer directed for the usual procedure, but I said ‘not this time!’. There are so many people on the main grandstand here, I just had to do it.”
The quadruple world champion, who has won has won all three races held at the Buddh International Circuit added his praises to all those who had come to cheer him on come race-day and admitted that it would be a shame that Formula One would not be coming back to the country in 2014.
“I would love to say thank you to the crowds, it was an unbelievable reception today and it’s a shame we are not racing here next year.”
In a stark contrast to the highs of Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber’s weekend ultimately ended in disappointment, after an alternator problem put him out of the race on lap 40, while seemingly set for a second place finish behind his team-mate.
“Obviously I’m pretty disappointed with today’s race, but there is not much I can do, the alternator went wrong with very short notice so we had to stop straight away. It’s tough because we did a lot of things right this weekend, but I’ve got a smile on my face as I could not have done any more.
Despite the disappointing end to his own race, the 37-year-old, who is set retire from Formula One at the end of this season, congratulated both his victorious team-mate and the Red Bull team on their fourth consecutive titles, stating that the team is now the benchmark in Formula One.
“Well done to Seb on his Championship and also to all the Team; to get a fourth title is amazing. It’s been a great job by the whole team to achieve the title four years on the trot and it has once again set itself as the benchmark for the others.”
Red Bull’s Team Principal Christian Horner, who has led the Milton Keynes-based squad ever since the team’s birth from the ashes of the Jaguar project back in 2005 and who has overseen all but one of Sebastian Vettel’s 36 career wins, called the 26-year-old achievements “incredible”.
“To achieve four double World Championships is the culmination of an enormous amount of dedication and commitment from the whole team. For Sebastian to have joined the illustrious names of Fangio, Prost and Schumacher is an incredible achievement, especially at such a young age and it’s a privilege to work with him.
Horner also took a moment to recognise the importance of all of Red Bull Racing’s staff, and in particular thanked the team’s owner, Dietrich Mateschitz, who without the support of, the team would nOt exist.
“It’s an enormous day for the Team to have won its fourth consecutive Constructors’ World Championship. Without the dedication and determination of all the staff from all of the departments throughout the company and from all of our Partners and the backing of Dietrich Mateschitz and support of Red Bull, none of this would be possible.
“I think it’s going to take quite a few days for this success to sink in and it’s important for the Team to enjoy the moment – we will be pushing all the way to the chequered flag in Brazil.”
Adrian Newey, Red Bull’s Chief Technical Officer, was lost for words following the race, simply stating that this fourth constructors’ title was a tribute to all the hard work by every single member of the Red Bull Racing team.
“It’s difficult to verbalise what these Championships mean to be honest. Coming into the weekend we knew we had a good chance for both titles, but it’s one thing thinking you have a good chance and quite another to achieve it.
“It’s a tribute to all the hard work, talent and focus of the guys and girls back in Milton Keynes. We started off with a very good season in 2009, against all expectations, and to have built on that with four consecutive doubles is absolutely stunning. More than anything I’d like to thank every single member of the team for that.”
Image courtesy of Pirelli Media