Mark Webber waves goodbye after his final race in Formula OneEnlarge Photo
Vettel’s latest win sees him equal the record of nine consecutive F1 wins set by Alberto Ascari in 1953. However, Vettel managed the feat in a single season whereas Ascari’s record was achieved over two. This season saw Vettel at the top of the podium on 13 occasions, which means he also equals Michael Schumacher’s 2004 record for the most wins in a single season.
As the cars left the pit lane to form up on the grid, it was the first time anyone had used dry weather tires all weekend. Vettel sat at pole while Mercedes AMG’s Nico Rosberg sat next to him.
At the start, there was a lap long battle between Rosberg who got ahead of Vettel when the lights went out, but the superiority of the Red Bull paid off and Vettel was soon in the lead. On lap three, Romain Grosjean parked his Lotus at the side of the track, covered in white smoke from a blown engine. On lap four, a great move saw Alonso go second, passing Rosberg, although two laps later, he was trailing Vettel by almost 5.0 seconds.
By the 13th lap, Webber managed to pass Alonso to take third. Midway through rain started to fall. The order of the top five at this point was Vettel in the lead, followed by Webber, Alonso, Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Jenson Button.
From here the order changed little. Vettel finished with a comfortable lead of 10.4 seconds over second-placed Webber and 18.9 seconds over third-placed Alonso. Fourth place went to Button while Roberg rounded out the top five.
The following five positions went to McLaren’s other driver Sergio Perez in sixth, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa in seventh, Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg in eighth, Hamilton in ninth and Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo in 10th.
The final points positions in the Drivers’ Championship saw Sebastian Vettel with 397 to Alonso’s 242 and Webber’s 199. In the Constructors’ Championship, In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull finished the season with 596, versus the 360 of Mercedes AMG and 354 of Ferrari.
There will be plenty of changes come next year. In addition to teams downsizing to turbocharged V-6 engines instead of the naturally aspirated V-8s currently in use, Mark Webber will no longer be present, with the Australian switching over to the World Endurance Championship with Porsche. Fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo will take up his seat at Red Bull Racing. Meanwhile, Felipe Massa will be racing for Williams and Kimi Räikkönen will be at Ferrari together with Fernando Alonso. Finally, McLaren will have a new driver in the form of Kevin Magnussen, who replaces Sergio Perez.