Sebastian Vettel can snare his 8th win in a row in Texas. Image courtesy of afr.com/AFP
Sebastian Vettel wrapped up the Formula1 Driver’s Championship in India in late October, but his hunger shows no sign of abating judging by his performance in Abu Dhabi. Red Bull teammate Mark Webber took pole but after overtaking the Australian on the first corner, there was nothing that could stop the German ace who won by over 30 seconds.
That was his seventh consecutive win this season, and with two races to go in 2013, he could well match two F1 records by the end of the campaign. Victories at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix and the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix will give him 13 for the year, which would match his idol Michael Schumacher’s record from his phenomenal 2004 season. If he ends up on top of the podium in those two races, he’ll also equal Alberto Ascari’s long-standing record of nine straight race wins which he set across the 1952-53 seasons. No driver has won eight straight in a single year.
Last time Vettel had the Driver’s Championship wrapped up early - when he did so with four races to go in 2011 - he won the next two races, but failed to close things out in Abu Dhabi and Brazil. In those events he suffered a tyre puncture in the Middle East on the opening lap and then finished second to Webber at Interlagos. Given the records on offer, it is hard to imagine Vettel won’t throw the kitchen sink at the USGP at the Circuit of the Americas on Monday morning (AEST) and go one better than he did in 2012.
Englishman Lewis Hamilton is unbeaten in this race after taking out its first running at the new track in Texas, while he won the final race at Indianapolis back in 2007. The Mercedes driver hasn’t been on the podium since the 11th race of the season in Belgium, though. Webber has been up and down towards the end of the season with two seconds and two retirements; the first due to a collision with Adrian Sutil while an alternator issue caused him to pull out in India.
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