On this day in 2013: Sebastian Vettel won his FOURTH World Championship

27-10-2020 10:00
On this day in 2013: Sebastian Vettel won his FOURTH World Championship

Nowadays Sebastian Vettel can be found in and around the midfield, scoring the odd point at best in his Ferrari. But back in 2013, the German was at the peak of his powers as he stormed to a fourth World Championship. On this day in 2013, Vettel secured title number four!

The 2013 season was the final year the pinnacle of motorsport used the 2.4-litre V8 engine configuration which was introduced in 2006 and it was the last time Sebastian Vettel would reign supreme in a Formula 1 season. The then Red Bull man secured a whopping 397 points, beating Fernando Alonso by 155 points, a truly emphatic season. 

How the season unfolded

The season got underway with a Kimi Raikkonen victory in Australia despite starting seventh on the grid in his Lotus. Vettel could only manage third as Alonso sat between the future Ferrari teammates. However, Vettel bounced back securing wins in three of the next six races, in Malaysia, Bahrain, and Canada before retiring at Silverstone. One of the most infamous and controversial wins came in Malaysia which will go down in history for Vettel's and Webber's 'Multi 21 Meltdown'. With Webber leading Red Bull were set for a comfortable one-two until Vettel took things into his own hands and the rest is history. The pair's relationship would never be the same again and Webber retired at the end of the season.

However, what followed was a truly remarkable run of form, that may never be matched in the future of the sport. Between the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring and the final race of the season in Brazil, Vettel in his RB9 won every single race excluding the Hungarian Grand Prix, where he finished third and this came just one race into this incredible run of form. That spree of victories meant he won nine consecutive races, six of which he started from pole and in three he also scored the fastest lap of the race. He also tied the record for consecutive wins, which was set by Alberto Ascari in 1952 and 1953, and for total wins in a single season with 13, set by Michael Schumacher in 2004. 

What was going on in the world?

Vettel's fourth World Championship was the headline news from that week in the world of sport, alongside Chelsea's last-minute win against Manchester City in the Premier League. Fernando Torres scored the winner that day and there was also a win for Sunderland in the Tyne-Weir derby as they overcame Newcastle at the Stadium of Light. American Serena Williams won her 4th season-ending tennis title; beating Li Na of China 2–6, 6–3, 6–0 in the WTA Championship final in Istanbul, Turkey. All three events took place on the day Vettel won his fourth World Championship.

Away from sport that week, the Parliament of Canada conferred Honorary Canadian citizenship on women's rights and education activist Malala Yousafzai and Thor: The Dark World, directed by Alan Taylor, starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, premiered in London. Giorgi Margvelashvili won the Georgian Presidential election in a landslide victory.

October 25th-27th 2013: The Indian Grand Prix

Before the race, Sebastian Vettel led the Drivers' Championship with 297 points; Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was second on 207 points. Vettel knew a fifth place finish at the Buddh International Circuit would be enough to secure his fourth World Championship regardless of other results. 

FP1 kicked off the weekend and Vettel set off as he meant to go on, setting the session's fastest time with a lap of 1:26.683. He was clear of his teammate Mark, Webber and in third was future World Champion, Nico Rosberg.

FP2 followed a very similar pattern, a Red Bull one-two, with Vettel once again on top of the pack, with Webber second. In third was a certain Romain Grosjean racing for Lotus. FP3 was no different, Vettel utterly dominant in a delayed session, setting the best time of 1:25.332, over half a second clear of his teammate!

Spotted a pattern yet? Qualifying went to Vettel and he set the fastest time in the second and final parts of the session, which clinched him pole position with a lap of 1:24.119. Vettel was joined on the front row by Rosberg, who was nearly eight-tenths of a second slower for Mercedes. The German's nearest rival, Alonso, could only manage eighth fastest meaning he had an uphill battle to even have a chance of denying Vettel.

After lights out, Vettel got a clean getaway, leading from Felipe Massa who got a great start from 5th to end lap one in 2nd place. An early Vettel pit stop for medium tyres saw Massa take the race lead but that was never going to stop the then Red Bull man. Vettel won his tenth race of the season in a time of 1:31:12.187, at an average speed of 125.598 miles per hour, becoming just the fourth driver after Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio and Alain Prost to have won four or more Drivers' Championships. Title celebrations meant Vettel was given a reprimand for failing to drive straight to parc fermé after the race but something tells me he didn't mind too much as he wrote himself into Formula 1 folklore. 

What happened next? 

The 2013 title would be Vettel's most recent as one more year at Red Bull, failed to yield a single race win as he was outperformed by Red Bull newcomer, Daniel Ricciardo, who replaced fellow Aussie Mark Webber. The 2014 season was the start of Mercedes' dominance, as they secured 15 race wins between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, as the former, secured a second World Championship. Just a year later Vettel was on the move, signing for Ferrari, following in the footsteps of fellow German Michael Schumacher.

With Vettel set to move on at the end of 2020, with a switch to Aston Martin signed and done, Vettel's glory days look set to remain as the year he won his fourth title, with one of the most emphatic runs the sport has ever seen! On this day in 2013, Sebastian Vettel won his fourth World Championship!


Was 2013 the best of his title wins?

Yes, 2013 was his best!
2010 was his best
2011 was his best
2012 was his best
(20 votes)

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