Agencies, Greater Noida
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel scripted history becoming the Formula One’s youngest four-times world champion after winning the Indian Grand Prix 2013 for the third year in a row at the Buddh International Circuit here today.
With the win, the 26-year-old German driver has also sealed his the constructors’ trophy. It’s another pole to podium finish for the Red Bull driver after he finished at the top at the qualifiers’ yesterday.
Pole-sitter Vettel pitted early to change his soft tyres but then roared through the field to win 30 seconds ahead of Mercedes’s Nico Rosberg, with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean third.
Despite team-mate Mark Webber’s retirement with a mechanical problem, Red Bull also sealed their fourth straight constructors’ title in what has become an era of dominance.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who was Vettel’s nearest challenger going into the race but 90 points adrift, managed only 11th place.
Vettel’s sixth win in a row, 10th in 16 races this season and 36th of his career left him poised to shatter more records in the remaining three races in Abu Dhabi, America and Brazil.
If he wins all three, Vettel will equal Schumacher’s record of 13 wins in 2004 and become the only driver to secure nine consecutive victories in a season.
The German, who won the Indian race in both 2011 and 2012, once again dominated the circuit with record times in all three practice sessions this year and a perfect qualifying round yesterday.
Vettel, made a quick change to medium tyres after the second lap and dropped to the back of the field, but was he returned to second place by the 21st lap behind Webber.
The German regained the lead in the 30th lap but then saw Webber drop out of the race in the 40th due to gearbox problems.
As Vettel took charge in familiar fashion, his team were taking no chances in the pitlane and at one stage even admonished him for trying to set the fastest lap.
The German has now joined the elite club of Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio as only the third driver to become the world champion for the fourth time.
The big turnout at Buddh International Circuit would have pleased the organisers, who hope to return to Formula One in 2015 after being left out of the 2014 calendar.