Straight eight historic winning streak puts Vettel ahead of childhood idol Schumacher

Sebastian Vettel  makes it eight from eight in Texas

Sebastian Vettel makes it eight from eight in Texas

Sebastian Vettel promised that he would never get used to winning, even as he celebrated a record eighth victory in a row at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday.

Asked whether he felt like pinching himself at what he had achieved, Red Bull’s quadruple World Champion grinned: “Not just step back and pinch. I think step back and hit hard. That’s more like it.”

Amid the back-slapping and champagne being sprayed in the Red Bull hospitality suite, Vettel and team principal Christian Horner struggled to come to terms with a season that continues to rewrite the record books.

Red Bull, like their 26-year-old driver, has won every title for the past four years but this year has set a new level of dominance.

Having clinched a fourth, consecutive Drivers title last month in India, and become the youngest ever quadruple Champion, Vettel had managed to find fresh motivation where others might have eased up.

Sebastian Vettel celebrates with the Red Bull team in Austin

Sebastian Vettel celebrates with the Red Bull team in Austin

He showed the same hunger and zeal at the Circuit of the Americas as he had two weeks earlier when he equalled Michael Schumacher’s 2004 record of seven wins in a row in a single season.

“I think the moment you are not hungry any more and are asking yourself what are you doing, it’s time to move on and do something else.” he said. “I jump into the car and I just want to be fastest. It’s still there, same as a couple of years ago.

“Obviously [winning races] was more the case lately than many years back, but still I think you should not allow yourself to get used to it.”

With just one race of the 2013 season remaining, in Brazil next weekend, Horner said that the team will keep its foot on the gas all the way to the chequered flag in Sao Paulo, where Vettel can equal Schumacher’s record of 13 wins in a season after collecting his 12th of the year in Texas.

“I think when we reflect at the end of the season on what we have actually achieved this year, it’s very remarkable,” Horner told reporters.

Michael Schumacher is Sebastian Vettel's idol

Michael Schumacher is Sebastian Vettel’s idol

“[Vettel] was quite emotional at the end of the race because he has beaten the record of one of his idols when it seemed likely that kind of record would not be beaten.

“To have won every race since July is mind-blowing, especially against the quality of opposition that we are up against. I think it will take a while to sink in.”

Vettel had said earlier in the week that he was not driven by records but he was well aware of the magnitude of what he had achieved the minute he crossed the finish line in Texas.

“I’m speechless,” the German told his team over the radio. “We have to remember these days. There is no guarantee they will last forever.”

Later, talking to reporters, Vettel was still trying to put it all into perspective.

“I think you should never lose the passion and the joy and always remember the days when you were just dreaming of these things to happen,” he said. “So therefore I think it’s important for all of us to just enjoy the moment.

Sebastian Vettel won his first grand Prix at Monza in 2008

Sebastian Vettel won his first grand Prix at Monza in 2008

“There’s more time later in our lives to realise what it meant.”

With massive changes to the cars coming next season that could turn the sport on its head, or at least threaten Red Bull’s supremacy, Horner agreed that it was important to make the most of present success.

“In sport whether it is Roger Federer or Ferrari, or Williams or McLaren there are phases of sportsmen being dominant and at some point that does come to an end and then you have to regroup and you have to go again,” said Horner.

“Sebastian is right, it’s important to savour moments like today. It’s easy to become complacent but you have to appreciate every single moment.

“It never gets boring because you have to remember the days when we weren’t winning,” said the team principal, who marked his 40th birthday on Saturday. (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Harys

    I guess no one has any power or the know how to tackle that Vettel’s car in abnormal…Its incredibly obvious how he disappears away from the 2nd every race and impossible to catch even after the safety car. This scenario has nothing to do with racing. F1 as a sport has lost its credibility when it comes to excitement…such a shame. Since the summer break, the bar where we watch the races with few drinks was getting less & less audiences. Last night it was hardly watched by anyone…

    Does anyone know how much of an effect does the aerodynamics has on the cars next season?….in other words…is Newy going to dominate again with his genious input and have the fastest car, or is it going to be the input of drivers to win races while all cars are more or less the same?

  • Tamburello_1994

    Great seeing Webber in the photograph.

  • bobw

    It’s hardly Newey’s fault that the factory teams with all of their personnel and resources can’t compete. On the other hand, his cars were never really winners until they were placed in the hands of an extraordinary driver.

    If people are watching less, then perhaps they don’t appreciate or understand the nuances of F1 and the battles further down the grid. Not everything you watch produces instant entertainment gratification. Take football (soccer) or the Tour ‘d France for instance.

  • superseven

    @bobw

    Having followed F1 for about 35 years, and even designed and supported an electronics box which ran on one team’s F1 cars for a couple of seasons, I appreciate the nuances of F1.

    What we have here is a team with more resources than any other team, who’ve now been given even more money by Ecclestone and his cronies in the latest concorde agreement to further increase the disparity. They have the best designer in the business, and are spending all that money to win by an entertainment killing dockyard.

    Couple that with crappy Pirelli rubber good for one lap, leaving all the drivers to tool around to a target time instead of actually being able to race, and you have a recipe for ruined racing.

    I used to wake up early for every GP and qualifying session. Now I record them. I may watch qualifying if I feel like it, but more likely I’ll just read the reports on the web, then I’ll skip through the boring bits of the procession (most of it) on fast forward, knowing after the end of the first lap that Vettel has won the procession and the only interest is in who gets 3rd or 4th place.

    It’s not even worth using the word ‘race’ to describe this garbage. F1 has been ruined as a race series by ludicrous budgets and even more ludicrous excuses for tyres.

    Eddie Jordan used to run his team on about 20 million quid back in the early ’90s and even then was occasionally competitive. What’s Red Bull’s budget this year? $300 million? More?

    I’m tired of F1. It’s dull as dishwater now. I’m more likely to watch the Aussie V8 supercars, or MotoGP/Moto2/Moto3 which still deliver close, exciting racing across different marques.

    If they are not careful, and fail to put on a real show for another season, they may find their advertising revenues drying up. Red Bull won’t care, as they’ll just up sticks and sponsor something else. The historic race teams in F1 will be left high and dry, wondering whether they should have made a proper resource restriction agreement when they had the chance.

    And I will never buy a Pirelli tyre!

  • manila

    @ superseven

    Some said the same in the scumi era, and it lives still.

  • manila

    As a matter of fact; It will never die.

  • Karlich

    @superseven

    Are you suggesting Ferrari don’t have the budget of Red Bull Racing and then some more because they are Ferrari? What about Mercedes – do you really think they don’t have the matching resources of Red Bull Racing and then some more because they too, like Ferrari, have in house engine engineering?

    All suggestions aside, it is obvious that Ferrari and Mercedes have far higher budgets than say Sauber or Lotus, yet former have lately been darn close or ahead of latter respectively. Sauber and Hulkenberg have been giving Ferrari a good run for their money and Lotus and Grosjean have been beating both Mercedes’ as of late.

    There’s no denying that a lot, arguably too much, comes down to budgets in F1 and the worst manifestation of this, is the rise of pay-drivers.

    However, innovation is much more of a process than a matter of how much money you throw at something. A process that can be cultivated in every team – just the same as it has been cultivated and perfected within Red Bull Racing.

    Now I read all this drivel about the RB9 having “traction control” which is most likely nonsense. Of course, I am in no position to be absolutely sure, but it seems very unlikely that Vettel’s car has an unfair advantage, a hidden gem of which his team mate has been deprived and the FIA fooled. Talk of “hybrid traction control with a nudge of KERS throttling” and the notion that Vettel alone has the privilege to run that gear so Red Bull Racing don’t win by too high a margin (thus incurring much higher fees towards the FIA) is highly unlikely. But this is where opinions may go separate ways.

    Another, more likely explanation is that the RB9 uses a the effect of blown exhaust gasses over the rear bodywork to a much better effect than others. It is widely known that Lotus and (of lately) Sauber are the only other teams to do this. However, the RB9 is more effective at it. Even more so in the hands of Vettel, because, as is suggested, he has adapted his driving style to suite the “requirements” of activating the aerodynamic advantage of the blown exhausts. That, to me, seems like a much more plausible explanation as to why Vettel commands such an advantage in the RB9 over the rest of the field and his team mate. It’s not because Mark is a slower driver, he isn’t, but objectively speaking now, Mark isn’t as adaptable and he ain’t the fastest learner either – well, I can’t judge that factually, just deduce it from his career and past results in light of regulation / technical changes in the past. And as has been said before, Mark isn’t comfortable on the Pirelli tyres. Sum upall that and it’s quite plausible why Vettel has such an advantage over his team mate and others.

    As for F1 being too expensive to run – well go on and run a successful football / soccer team on a shoestring budget in any major league. Would be curious to see how far you get.

    MotoGP/Moto2/Moto3 – yeah, I follow those too and as far as I recall we had a few seasons of Yamaha/Rossi dominance. This season, until Yamaha caught up with their take on the seamless transmission, Lorenzo also fell back to Marquez and MotoGP looked all but dull north of P3 on the grid. Not to mention, that MotoGP has been in the hands of Honda and Yamaha for the eons with the odd exception of Stoner with Ducati (damn, he was brilliant!!!).

    Nah, F1 hasn’t changed any more than the times we live in have changed. Other sports aren’t spared by this either. As for Vettel, I think he put it quite aptly upon winning in Austin “We have to enjoy these days – there is no guarantee they will last” – he is more than aware of the fact that he has had the good fortune of being in the right place, at the right time, with the needed set of skills to accomplish what he and Red Bull have done so far. Can’t knock that… so please, let’s not!

    Enjoy Brazil ;-)

  • manila

    I dont agree Karlich. Vettel is tecnically brilliant and understands the complexity of the car better than the rest, and that is a huge advantage for him.
    When you combine that with working “long into the night” to perfect the setup, you will have a car that is very well balanced.
    In a car like that you will be extremly fast, but not only that, you will not do those small mistakes that cost some tenths a lap wich easy to do with a car without a good setup.
    A Dream Machine, nothing less.

    Remember Rosberg in China 2012. Thats what a good balance gives you. that car was driving on rails.

  • Karlich

    @manila

    What I wrote above isn’t to say that I think RBR and Vettel exploit any of these. It was just an outline of the current theories circulating on the internet as to what kind of an advantage the RB9 could be exploiting.

    Personally, I agree with you – I too am rather inclined to think it is down to Vettel’s superior understanding and handling of all aspects required of an F1 driver – not just straight out speed. As such, without denying that the RB9 is a sweeter ride than all others on the grid, I’d say it’s Vettel himself who is making most of that package and therefore deserves every single achievement so far!

  • Ukwhite

    Good reading gents, thx.

  • manila

    @ Karlich
    Then we agree.
    His Brilliant understanding on the technical part is also very important for the development of the car.
    Vettel just have the right intellect for a F1 driver, not much more to say.
    Hope Kevin will bring the same when he enters.

  • Boycotthehaters

    “What we have here is a team with more resources than any other team, who’ve now been given even more money by Ecclestone and his cronies in the latest concorde agreement to further increase the disparity.”

    But that’s enough about Ferrari, who will get a lot … a LOT … more money for finishing second than RB will get for winning the WDC and WCC.

  • Depmmar

    @ Karlich
    So its fair for drivers to manipulate their adaptation to take advantage of the given puzzled Blown Exhaust Gasses for more advantage allowing them to activate extra positive aerodynamics in their cars where other drivers are not able to do so. This kills pure driving talent.
    Beside, with out a doubt, that RB does have hidden gems in Vettels car & the FIA are fooled. And any potential caliber”s” in the FIA who could probably have the imagination to figure out the mysteries of the car, would most highly be recruited by RB or others before they even know it. Teams pay more than the FIA. RB is out smarting the house & all the competition. Why should there be loopholes in the book? To allow for creativity? I am for positive creativity for useful innovation, but not to conspire & where screams are not heard.
    And is it fair that tiers spec changes half way the season where things just turned around drastically in favour of some teams.
    And is it just pure bad luck that its always Webbers car that had all the technical DNFs except for one this season?

  • torque

    Congratulations Seb, (and RedBull) quite an accomplishment whether or not you’ve got the best car.

  • Ukwhite

    @Depmmar: Without saying “without any doubt” as you are saying for something you cannot prove, my opinion is the comments are a bit convoluted to shed a negative light on RBs and Vettel. The car is definitely good, NOBODY can win championships bare foot running or pushing the car, why not give credit to Seb for it?

    Was RB a wining car by 2009? Nope. Toro Rosso with Vettel beat RBs with Newey in 2008. RBs victories started with Vettel in 2009 when he missed by a few points the championship.

  • Karlich

    @Depmmar

    “So its fair for drivers to manipulate their adaptation to take advantage of the given puzzled Blown Exhaust Gasses for more advantage allowing them to activate extra positive aerodynamics in their cars where other drivers are not able to do so.”

    Of course it is fair! Formula 1 isn’t a one-design (spec) series. Cars are different and that accounts for a team’s and driver’s success as much as the drivers’ talent. So even if the RB9 did have that kind of advantage, which I am not saying it has, it would be perfectly okay as long as the design conforms to the rules set forth by the FIA.

    As for FIA members being recruited by Red Bull Racing – I think now you’re talking in deep conspiracy space without any solid leads. Dismissed.

    What kills pure driving talent aren’t teams like Red Bull nor designers such as Adrian Newey or drivers like Vettel. The real cancer that befalls Formula 1 and kills real talent are pay-drivers! Most obvious example of a talented driver with an uncertain future and below-par drive due to pay-drivers: Hulkenberg.

    The tyre situation certainly played in to the hands of Red Bull Racing, but it’s not like they alone make decisions. However, be it as it is, the tyre change “fiasco” also played in to the hands of teams who can now conveniently point their fingers at Red Bull. Excuses. Dismissed.

    Webber had his share of bad luck. That’s true. There’ve been seasons where Vettel actually had more technical failures and mishaps than Webber and still won the WDC. Accusing Red Bull of hacking Webber’s car to give Vettel an advantage is ridiculous. Sorry, dismissed. That’s where I believe Vettel has progressed much better than Webber in that he is capable of pushing the RB9 without sacrificing it. Webber has admitted that he doesn’t feel comfortable with the current Pirelli’s and they simply don’t suit his driving style – so I am sure he has to push loads harder to achieve similar results to Vettel who is at ease with these rubbers. The harder you push, the more likely you are to end up in some sort of trouble – which is what has been happening to Webber. It’s unfortunate for sure, but I highly doubt there’s some internal team conspiracy to sabotage Webber’s chances. Like I said, point dismissed.

  • bobw

    Karlich-Well said all!

  • Depmmar

    @Karlich….thank you for your clarifications, though I don’t totally agree with you.
    Apparently you seem to be a RB/Vettel fan and that is great news for you. I do respect Vettel as one of the greatest drivers of the his generation & and I do admire Newey’s work now & then. Ofcourse his unparalleled designs are untouchable and & I don’t believe the FIA is intelligent enough to discover the unknowns. Newey is way ahead of them. Most of the time its the other teams that speculate that RB is hiding something here or there. Teams are not fooled & they smell it, but can’t prove it. So why allow so much gray area of loopholes in the book of spec & regulations. So I hope next season cars are somehow straight forward with less gray..any clue? otherwise this legacy of Vettel/Newey will stay for many years to come if all goes well.
    I know RB very well. We sell there products & get invited to there paddocks all the time. The show they put on is no comparison to any other team around. They way they spend money is unbelievable. Again, they own two teams & its peanuts for them. Even the mighty Ferrari cant come close.

    As for the tiers situation, it shouldn’t have happened in the first place because cars are designed around it during winter testings, and not all teams have the resources to adapt to a sudden changes. look at Ferrari for example, they can’t even warm up their tiers enough to keep the car on the track. It was not a fair political campaign.

    I am not saying that RB is conspiring against Webber (they need all the points allowed for the constructors), but it does make you wonder why Webber. Webber did well in 2010, but since then, he has been sailing against the wind. Yes he is a bigger heavier guy, but obviously Webber & Vettel are not driving the same car. I am sure Webber after all those years is able to manipulate his setups. Priorities are for Vettel and you can’t dismiss that.

  • Karlich

    @Depmmar

    Okay, we can agree to disagree. What surprises me is that many Red Bull critics find it easier to accuse the team of throwing bags of money to fund their cheats, manipulate suppliers and the FIA to their liking and conspire against their own “other” driver. I mean, isn’t that a lot, I mean A LOT! of negative speculation? Next thing you know, they are going to accuse Mateschitz of being Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

    Isn’t it more plausible that Red Bull uses their incredible cash flow advantage to actually innovate – produce REAL, rule-abiding advantages?

    Isn’t it more probable that an experienced design guru like Newey and his team, actually do come up with legal ways of gaining a competitive advantage in the RB9 and prior cars?

    Isn’t it more likely the tyre changes were finally made as a result of the incidents preceding the change (blown tyres are no fun in F1)?

    Is it not acceptable that one person can develop faster and better than another – I have had several friends and colleagues who were slower learners of new concepts, each one a capable and knowledgeable person in their own right, but slow to adapt or embrace new technologies or work practices (same goes for me on several occasions). So why should it be different for Vettel vs Webber?

    We all change over time – Schumacher used to be top of the game in his first career stint, just to be notably average in his second. Valentino Rossi used to be top of the game for eons, but now he just can’t find his mojo to compete against Lorenzo and Marquez or even Pedrosa. Can’t it be that Webber wasn’t defeated by the team that nurtured him, but simply slacked off and lost his juice along the way – no conspiracy needed, no slagging off necessary – he is a great driver who came close, is now past his prime and that’s that.

    It is true that I am a die hard Red Bull fan – not just in Formula 1. I love the product, I love the brand, I love the story, the marketing, the image – I love most of the sports Red Bull has helped promote over the years, some less known and others more extreme. Another tiny reason I so love Red Bull is because I am Austrian and the little national pride I do feel does surface here. So obviously I am very biased. However, in all my bias, I try to remain objective to reason – objectively speaking, the probability of Red Bull Racing doing shady business as described in the many accusations and speculations floating the internet and paddock is unlikely because the probability of Red Bull Racing having the resources (labor, capital, knowhow) required to pull off such a streak of success is more likely.

  • Depmmar

    @Karlich
    I admire the Red Bull story, and it was me who pushed hard to include it into our family business & now the young boys in the family are trying so so hard to build up their CV in a couple of sports around the world so perhaps RB can sponsor them. Its a dream for them…this is all understood.
    What we need here in F1 is pure cars designed great enough so all drivers can show their skills, gifts, expertise, strength & techniques. Teams names & setups are important, but I, like many fans enjoy the human abilities, touch & drama for a good show than what a certain driver in a dominant car is able to do. I, again not what so ever undermining Vettels superior capabilities. But drivers like Hamilton, Alonso & kimi (& perhaps the new uncovered talented drivers) are not enjoying their fair chances to show their true colours, share tittles and build up their numbers.

    As its the end of the season, until then, lets hope the full picture will be more clear & solid where all fans enjoy watching races on the edge until the last lap of the last race without forecasting end results half way through the season.
    Have fun & best of luck.