Red Bull's Vettel wins second F1 world title

Button claims race win in Suzuka

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel became Formula One's youngest double world champion on Sunday after finishing third in a Japanese Grand Prix won by McLaren rival Jenson Button.     

The boyish 24-year-old German, who had started from pole position for the 12th time this season, had needed only a point at Suzuka to clinch his second successive crown with four races to spare.     

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, the previous youngest double world champion when he won for Renault aged 25 in 2006, was a close second on a beautiful sunlit afternoon at the Honda-owned circuit.     

"Thank you so much, every single one," said Vettel, his voice trembling with emotion as he choked back the tears behind his visor, over the team radio after being told he was the 2011 world champion.     

"We took nothing for granted and we did it."     

Vettel, only the ninth driver to take back-to-back championships, had vowed to retain the title in style and his aggression and determination was evident from the start as he cut across Button and forced the Briton onto the grass.     

"He's got to get a penalty for that," Button shouted over the radio but stewards, who included Australia's 1980 champion Alan Jones, decided to take no further action after reviewing the incident.     

Vettel pulled away initially at a second a lap but 2009 champion Button reined him in and took the lead at his second pitstop when he emerged just ahead of the German in a race dictated by tyre wear.     

A safety car incident triggered by another coming together between McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa, as well as a contact between Red Bull's Mark Webber and Mercedes' Michael Schumacher, bunched up the field for three laps while marshals retrieved debris.     

Button kept his lead and took the chequered flag for what he considers a second home race, thanks to his Japanese girlfriend and long-standing passion for the country, just 1.1 seconds over Alonso.     

The Spaniard had threatened to take the win but Button had just enough in his tyres to keep him at bay. Vettel was only 0.8 further back.     

The win cut Vettel's overall lead over the Briton to 114 points, an insurmountable advantage with a total of 100 left to be won.     

Hamilton, who has had numerous calls to the authorities this season, finished fifth after stewards took no further action for the incident with Massa that ripped off the Ferrari's front wing endplate.     

Australian Mark Webber was fourth for Red Bull.     

Schumacher, who briefly led the race during the pitstops, was sixth and Massa seventh.

Formula One standings

Provisional Formula One driver and constructor standings after the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Sunday     
       
Drivers                                  Points  
1.  Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull      324     
2.  Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren          210     
3.  Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari          202     
4.  Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull         194     
5.  Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren         178     
6.  Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari             90      
7.  Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes GP        63      
8.  Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes GP  60      
9.  Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault            36      
10. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) Renault           34      
11. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India        28      
12. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber            27      
13. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India       20      
14. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso      16      
15. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber              13      
16. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso  13      
17. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams       4       
18. Bruno Senna (Brazil) Renault               2       
19. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams      1       
20. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) Sauber            0       
21. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Team Lotus            0       
22. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Team Lotus     0       
23. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) HRT              0       
24. Jerome d'Ambrosio (Belgium) Virgin         0       
25. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin                0       
26. Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT             0       
27. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) HRT           0       
28. Karun Chandhok (India) Team Lotus          0          

Constructors           Points  
1.  RedBull - Renault      518     
2.  McLaren - Mercedes     388     
3.  Ferrari                292     
4.  Mercedes               123     
5.  Renault                 72      
6.  Force India - Mercedes  48      
7.  Sauber - Ferrari        40      
8.  Toro Rosso - Ferrari    29      
9.  Williams - Cosworth      5       
10. Lotus - Renault          0       
11. HRT - Cosworth           0       
12. Virgin - Cosworth        0     


 

 

VETTEL FACTBOX


Germany's Sebastian Vettel became Formula One's youngest double  world champion at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.     
The following are some key facts about the Red Bull driver:     
        -     
BEGINNINGS     
-- Vettel was born in Heppenheim, a town surrounded by vineyards between Heidelberg and Darmstadt, on July 3, 1987.     
-- He started out racing karts at the age of eight and then competed in junior series, including the 2004 German Formula BMW championship where he won 18 of the 20 races. That earned him a test in a Williams-BMW F1 car.     
-- The following year he was top rookie in the Formula Three Euroseries, won by Britain's Lewis Hamilton.     
   
FORMULA ONE
     
-- Vettel became the youngest driver to take part in a grand prix weekend when he drove for BMW-Sauber in Friday practice in Turkey in 2006 aged 19 and 53 days.     
-- He then made his Formula One race debut with BMW-Sauber at Indianapolis in 2007 when he replaced the injured Robert Kubica. He finished eighth, becoming the youngest driver to score a point aged 19 and 349 days.     
-- He took part in seven races in 2007 with Toro Rosso.     
-- The German was handed a full race seat with Toro Rosso for 2008 and failed to finish his first four races. He then won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza from pole position. That made him the youngest driver to start on pole (21 years and 72 days) and also the youngest ever winner (21 years and 73 days).     
   
RED BULL     
-- Vettel switched to Red Bull for 2009 after Britain's David Coulthard retired.     
-- He won four races in 2009, including Red Bull's first victory at the Chinese Grand Prix where he also secured the team's first pole position and led their first one-two finish. Vettel ended up overall runner-up behind Brawn's Jenson Button.     
-- In 2010, he took 10 pole positions and won five races.     

CHANGE -- This year, with four races remaining, he has been on pole 12 times and won nine times (CHECK). He has already scored more points than in all of 2010.      

CHAMPION     
-- Vettel became world champion for the first time at the age of 23 and 135 days. The previous youngest was McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in 2008, aged 23 and 301 days.      
-- He was only Germany's second F1 world champion, after seven times champion Michael Schumacher.     
-- His second title made him the youngest double champion, an accolade previously held by Spain's Fernando Alonso who was 25 when he took his 2006 crown with Renault.     
   
PERSONAL     
-- Nicknamed 'Baby Schumi' in his early days by a German media seeking a successor to Schumacher.     
-- Known as a bit of a joker, with a love of British humour and the Beatles. He lives in Switzerland.
 

List of Formula One champions

2011 - Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull     
2010 - Vettel, Red Bull      
2009 - Jenson Button (Britain) Brawn     
2008 - Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren     
2007 - Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari     
2006 - Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault     
2005 - Alonso, Renault     
2004 - Michael Schumacher, Ferrari     
2003 - Schumacher, Ferrari     
2002 - Schumacher, Ferrari     
2001 - Schumacher, Ferrari     
2000 - Schumacher, Ferrari     
1999 - Mika Hakkinen (Finland) McLaren     
1998 - Hakkinen, McLaren     
1997 - Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) Williams     
1996 - Damon Hill (Britain) Williams     
1995 - Schumacher, Benetton     
1994 - Schumacher, Benetton     
1993 - Alain Prost (France) Williams     
1992 - Nigel Mansell (Britain) Williams     
1991 - Ayrton Senna (Brazil) McLaren     
1990 - Senna, McLaren     
1989 - Prost, McLaren     
1988 - Senna, McLaren     
1987 - Nelson Piquet (Brazil) Williams     
1986 - Prost, McLaren     
1985 - Prost, McLaren     
1984 - Niki Lauda (Austria) McLaren     
1983 - Piquet, Brabham     
1982 - Keke Rosberg (Finland) Williams     
1981 - Piquet, Brabham     
1980 - Alan Jones (Australia) Williams     
1979 - Jody Scheckter (South Africa) Ferrari     
1978 - Mario Andretti (U.S.) Lotus     
1977 - Lauda, Ferrari     
1976 - James Hunt (Britain) McLaren     
1975 - Lauda, Ferrari     
1974 - Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil) McLaren     
1973 - Jackie Stewart (Britain) Tyrrell     
1972 - Fittipaldi, Lotus     
1971 - Stewart, Tyrrell     
1970 - Jochen Rindt (Austria) Lotus     
1969 - Stewart, Matra     
1968 - Graham Hill (Britain) Lotus     
1967 - Denny Hulme (New Zealand) Brabham     
1966 - Jack Brabham (Australia) Brabham     
1965 - Jim Clark (Britain) Lotus     
1964 - John Surtees (Britain) Ferrari     
1963 - Clark, Lotus     
1962 - G. Hill, BRM
1961 - Phil Hill (U.S.) Ferrari     
1960 - Brabham, Cooper     
1959 - Brabham, Cooper     
1958 - Mike Hawthorn (Britain) Ferrari     
1957 - Juan Manuel Fangio (Argentina) Maserati     
1956 - Fangio, Lancia/Ferrari     
1955 - Fangio, Mercedes     
1954 - Fangio, Mercedes/Maserati     
1953 - Alberto Ascari (Italy), Ferrari     
1952 - Ascari, Ferrari     
1951 - Fangio, Alfa Romeo     
1950 - Giuseppe Farina (Italy) Alfa Romeo     

Multiple champions:     
7 - Schumacher     
5 - Fangio     
4 - Prost     
3 - Brabham, Stewart, Lauda, Piquet, Senna     
2 - Ascari, Graham Hill, Clark, Fittipaldi, Hakkinen, Alonso, Vettel.     
   
   

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