Nary a race goes by when 2013 World Champion Sebastian Vettel doesn’t set some ridiculous new record in Formula 1. With the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Vettel has again proven his dominance of the sport by winning his 8th consecutive race, something that has never been done before in a single season (Alberto Ascari holds the record at 9, accomplished during the 1952-53 seasons). It was the second Grand Prix hosted at the purpose-built Circuit of the Americas, and Vettel’s first win at the track. That means that Vettel has finished in first at every track on the 2013 F1 calendar at one point in his career except for Hungary.
F1 Update: Räikkönen Ends 2013 Season, Massa to Williams in 2014, and Kevin Magnussen Replaces Pérez at McLaren
Much to the disappointment of the Formula 1 faithful, Lotus frontrunner Kimi Räikkönen will sit out the last two races of the season (Sunday’s US Grand Prix and the Brazilian GP on November 24) due to back surgery scheduled for this week. That means his third place seat in the drivers’ championship is under fire more than ever, with current fourth place racer Lewis Hamilton only 8 points behind; with 26 points separating Lotus from Ferrari, the British team is expected to throw in someone else to try to advance its position in the constructors’ championship (Racer postulates that Lotus reserve driver Davide Valsecchi will take Räikkönen’s spot). In other Formula 1 news, Felipe Massa, who is dropped from Ferrari after this season, will land back on his feet at Williams, where he will replace Pastor Maldonado; he will undoubtedly pull Williams out of the bottom of the barrel that Caterham and Marussia typically swim in. Also out is Sergio Pérez, who has had a less than stellar season with McLaren. He will be replaced by 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 Champion Kevin Magnussen amid McLaren’s apparent disappointment over Pérez’ results this season, which have contributed to the team’s distant 5th place standing in the constructors’ championship.
Sebastian Vettel took first place yet again in Abu Dhabi today, making this Grand Prix his seventh consecutive win and eleventh overall in 2013. Mark Webber, Vettel’s Red Bull teammate, recovered from a string of recent retirements to secure not only pole position during qualifying but also locked down second place on the podium. For the second race in a row, Nico Rosberg outpaced Lewis Hamilton to end in third place, bringing a few much needed points to the Mercedes camp as the team struggles to fend off Ferrari. The sole retiree of the race was Kimi Räikkönen, whose glancing blow against Giedo van der Garde led to the failure of the Finn’s steering in the first turn of the race.
Although three races remain in the 2013 Formula 1 season, both Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team have taken their respective championships with a stunning (if predictable) victory in India. Last week, Vettel’s closest competitor in points, Fernando Alonso, admitted that while it was technically possible to pull off a Championship victory, claiming first from Vettel was virtually impossible. Now, with Vettel’s commanding 30-second win in India, the German cemented his fourth consecutive Formula 1 title. And while Mark Webber’s retirement in Lap 40 added no points to Red Bull’s standings, the team has enough to claim the Constructors’ title as well.
Sebastian Vettel added another notch in his belt today by taking first at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, one of the best tracks on the Formula 1 calendar. With a second place start on the grid behind pole sitter/teammate Mark Webber (!) and stunning takeoff by Romain Grosjean, Vettel had to bide his time in third place for the first half of the GP. As opposed to the last few races where Vettel’s early lead allowed him to keep the others from nipping at his heels, the German really felt the pressure to perform well at Suzuka. He was able to pull it off, however, and Webber’s victory over Grosjean late in the race allowed Red Bull to take a 1-2 victory in Japan.
Sebastian Vettel has again decimated the competition despite his early lead being wiped twice due to the emergence of safety cars at the Korean Grand Prix. Lotus teammates Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean finished in second and third, respectively, while Nico Hulkenberg held his own and fought off Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, and Nico Rosberg to win a few much needed points for Sauber by finishing in fourth. It is Vettel’s fourth straight first place finish, and his fourth straight World Championship is practically cemented.
Another Formula 1 Grand Prix means another commanding Sebastian Vettel victory, this time at the Singapore GP, where he left Fernando Alonso, Kimi Räikkönen, and every other driver in the dust for the third race in a row. The German started in pole position, led the entire race, and finished 30 seconds ahead of the second place Alonso. Barring some sort of catastrophic incident, a Vettel victory in 2013 is all but guaranteed. Second and third place are still up for grabs, however, as Alonso, Hamilton, and Räikkönen are separated by only 40 points combined.