Vettel achieves greatness in India

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 07, 2014 12:30 hrs

Greater Noida: Sebastian Vettel will always remember India because it is here where the German attained an exalted high in Formula 1, etching his name in the history books by winning a fourth consecutive drivers' World Championship Sunday.

The 26-year-old got out of his car, bowed to his machine and saluted the grandstand crowd after taking the chequered flag in first position to also become the youngest four-time World Champion.

Vettel, who has now won six consecutive races, continued his dominance at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) by winning the third successive edition of the Indian race, helping his team, Red Bull, also clinch their fourth consecutive constructors' championship.

The title puts the Red Bull driver in elite company as only three other drivers have won four or more titles. Only legends Michael Schumacher (seven titles), Juan Manuel Fangio (five) and Alain Prost (four) feature in that list.

Vettel was so dominant in his RB9 that he triumphed with 29.8 seconds ahead of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg and Lotus' Romain Grosjean, who finished second and third respectively.

French driver Grosjean had a fantastic race, starting 17th after a disastrous qualifying session Saturday to reach the podium and take home 15 points.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa also had a brilliant Grand Prix, completely outracing his two-time World Champion teammate Fernando Alonso to come home in fourth. McLaren's Sergio Perez finished sixth ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton while Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen was seventh and Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso took the last point available in 10th.

Force India driver Adrian Sutil had the longest first stint on the medium tyres, pitting on Lap 41 to end ninth and take two points while teammate Paul di Resta was eighth to clinch four points, managing six in total for their home Grand Prix.

Vettel (322 points) only needed to finish fifth to win the championship ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (207). He did it in perfect fashion, winning 25 points while Alonso ended 11th without any points.

Red Bull also clinched their fourth consecutive constructors' title with 470 points, ahead of Mercedes (313 points) with three races to go into the season.

The youngest Formula 1 champion started the race in flawless fashion taking a big lead ahead of Massa, who managed to overtake the two Mercedes' in Turn 4 of the first lap.

Vettel's title rival Alonso suffered front wing damage after two altercations with Red Bull's Mark Webber and McLaren's Jenson Button, both in the first lap.

Webber retired on Lap 40 with a gearbox issue from second position after starting in fourth.

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