“Let us remember one thing. Formula 1 never stops.”
There’s only two other people in the world who truly know how Sebastian Vettel felt Monday morning after a night as three time back-to-back World Champion. Joining such legendary names as Juan Manuel Fangio and his idol Michael ‘His Schumacherness’ Schumacher, Vettel’s achievements at the age of 25 are unprecedented.
Unlike his previous championship, this one was taken to the wire with Spaniard Fernando Alonso always ready to pounce should Vettel falter at the last hurdle. And to be truthful, if such a mistake was to be made it would be at Interlagos – a track riddled with tight corners and long straights that notoriously don’t suit the Red Bulls.
Whilst Vettel was not on the podium, and did therefore not have that glorious champagne spraying moment that all drivers crave, he did manage to make history so I’m sure he won’t mind. Whilst many of you have called Alonso ‘the people’s favourite’ there is no disputing how impressive that drive was. (I say that as an Alonso fan myself!)
Coming from last on the grid, more pit stops than was strictly necessary and handling a rain soaked car is hard enough but with the weight of a World Championship on your shoulders, this is a clue to the natural talent of the German and that, despite everything, fate was always meant to go his way.
I could sit here all day and talk about Vettel but there are twenty three drivers on the grid all worthy racers. Off particular mention is of course the legend Michael Schumacher who said a fond farewell to his legion of fans with a points finish and ceremonial lap. Below I will link a video: ‘Michael Schumacher Tribute – When Words Are Not Enough’, a compelling video that sums up perfectly his incredible career.
May we also mention other drivers whose futures look uncertain? Bruno Senna has been rumoured to join the likes of Caterham and Force India but with Bottas sure to take seat, an exit from the sport could be on the cards. Furthermore Heikki Kovalainen looks set to depart after a steady career. Once again its funding overriding experience in spite of Caterham’s 10th place finish.
Though perhaps most certainly we say goodbye and thank you to Kamui Kobayashi whose podium this year has not been enough for Sauber. Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg make a formidable young line up but I can’t help thinking that the investment in Kobayashi’s future would be futile without a future drive. His talent is immense but his funding is lacking. Shame.
So there it is folks the end of another Formula 1 season. As we grieve the end of some careers and the sound of expensive engines, let us remember one thing. Formula 1 never stops. There are still seats available and winter testing that will get us excited about a new innovative driver line up. It’s going to be different next year and I can’t wait!
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Video courtesy of Lukas Redl (@lukasredl)