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Red Bull: Vettel's record trumps Schumi

2013-11-05 08:48

AN F1 LEGEND IN THE MAKING: Sebastian Vettel has claimed his fourth consecutive F1 title in 2013, his seventh F1 victory in a row and 11th of the season. Image: AP

LONDON, England - Sebastian Vettel's run of seven Grands Prix wins in a row may be even more impressive than Michael Schumacher's streak in 2004, according to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

Vettel, already the sport's youngest quadruple champion at 26-years-old, was utterly dominant at the 2013 Abu Dhabi GP on October 3 as he chalked up his seventh successive victory with ease.

No driver in the modern era has won more than seven in a row and only Schumacher and Vettel have done so in a single season.


Alberto Ascari racked up nine consecutive victories but that was over the course of the 1952/53 seasons - when the calendar, admittedly, had a fraction of the number of races in 2013.

Horner said: "The times are very different. We're all on a standard tyre now, there's no testing, we're limited on the number of engines we can have, the amount of wind tunnel time and so on. So it's a much more even playing field (now).

"It's always difficult to compare generations with generations but the level at which he's performing, I don't have words to describe how phenomenal it is. It's just truly impressive."

Vettel finished more than 30seconds ahead of second-placed team mate Mark Webber in Abu Dhabi, the best benchmark of performance given that Webber was in an identical car and had started on pole. He was 40sec clear of the rest at his second pit stop.

Under the Singapore floodlights in September, vettel’s most dominant win of 2013 before Abu Dhabi, he took the flag 32.6sec ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. In India he was 29.8sec clear of second-placed Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.

Horner said: "It was absolutely mind-blowing in many respects. After the start, Seb just got his head down and disappeared."


Vettel won 11 races in 2011 - a number he has matched already this year with two rounds remaining - and is now on course to equal Schumacher's 2004 record of 13 victories in a season.

Horner said: "It's just truly dominant. He has hit a patch of form that is incredible. We know Mark Webber is a very fine racing driver and in a race that didn't have any safety cars or any issues, to achieve what he's done is quite mind blowing. I think Sebastian's just stepped up another gear."

While others have struggled to get the most out of the tricky Pirelli tyres, or indeed make them last, Vettel seems to have unlocked their secrets more than anybody else - even if he denied there was any great mystery. The tyres, he said, remained difficult to drive because of their extreme sensitivity but it helped to lead and have clean air.

Vettel said: "Somehow we got the hang of it. More and more so towards the end of the year. And looking after the tyres, really listening to them and being able to extract maybe a little more performance than the other guys.”

The comparisons with  Schumacher have followed him throughout his career but the numbers tell only part of the story.
Vettel said: "The thing is that people see seven races. People don't see the challenge it takes every single race to nail it."
Webber, on pole in two of the previous three races, has yet to win a 2013 race, knows what it takes, and recognises his team mate was simply "on another category".

Webber said: "I think he's in a sweet spot, for sure."

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