With five races remaining on the Formula One calendar, it is highly unlikely Sebastian Vettel will have to wait until the final race in Brazil in November to claim his fourth world title. The 26 year old, if Fernando Alonso finishes outside of the eight in Sunday’s race in Japan, will become the youngest person in history to become quadruple champion, surpassing his current record of being the youngest triple champion.
The early season indicated an impending tug of war between the two, with both claiming two wins each just five races into the season. However Vettel has cultivated a virtually unshakeable lead, with the Spaniard the only threat to his title from a very distant 77 points behind. Despite regular podium finishes and solid wins in China and Spain, it’s unexpected that he’ll make a meteoric turnaround to threaten Vettel’s title campaign.
The German’s growing dominance was compared to that of Michael Schumacher’s by fellow driver Lewis Hamilton, following four consecutive victories taking him to eight race wins out of 14 this season.
…An impressive opening race…
Kimi Räikkönen sits six points ahead of Mercedes’ Hamilton in third place and the Finn deserves applause for a commendable performance on the circuit. Following a brief sojourn to the WRC, Räikkönen returned in 2012 looking like he’d never left, finishing his returning season in third place. An impressive opening race in Australia saw him take the first title of the 2013 season with Lotus-Renault, where he’ll vacate his seat in 2014 to challenge Vettel’s title from behind a Ferrari.
While perhaps not the most gripping end to a season, the Red Bull Racing-Renault team are poised to shake the champagne on a year that has solidified Vettel’s status as one of racing’s true greats.