Sebastian Vettel urges his Red Bull team to enjoy success while the good times last
World Champ breaks another record with eighth win in a row
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 18/11/13 2:43pm
Vettel's latest demonstration of complete superiority at the Circuit of Americas set a new record for the most wins in a row during a single campaign and leaves the World Champion almost 150 points clear of nearest title challenger Fernando Alonso.
Once again, Vettel appeared to be driving in a different series to the rest of the field with the German consistently running ten seconds clear of the second-placed Romain Grosjean in Sunday's race. Barring an unexpected malfunction on his all-conquering RB9, a ninth consecutive win in the season-ending Brazilian GP next weekend looks to be a racing certainty for a driver who seems to be ripping up F1's records on a weekly basis.
To put his latest feat in sobering perspective, there weren't even eight races in F1's first season.
But with attention already switching to the fast-approaching 2014 campaign, when F1 will be governed by a brand-new set of technical regulations, Vettel has warned his Red Bull team that the good times might not last for much longer.
"We have to remember these days," said Vettel over his team radio on his slow-down lap. "We have to enjoy them while they last."
Speaking later to Sky Sports F1, an emotional Vettel added: "People tend to forget how much work there is behind all these things and how special it is. I remember back in 2008 how happy I was to be once in my life on pole. I think should never lose the passion and the enjoy and remember the days when you were dreaming of these things to happen.
"Therefore it's important for all of us just to enjoy these moments. There is more time later in our lives to realise what it meant."
While Vettel's fastest lap on Sunday was half-a-second quicker than any other driver could produce around the Circuit of Americas, his latest victory was effectively confirmed as early as the first corner when his inadvertent block of team-mate Mark Webber relegated the Australian to fourth.
The in-form Grosjean drove manfully but never appeared to have the pace to trouble Vettel as the four-times World Champion quickly built up a formidable lead before easing off into cruise control on a day when tyre preservation became, to general frustration and plenty of distaste, the priority over pace.
"It's different these days. If I compare when I came into Formula One, it was more like sprint racing for twenty laps, get a new set of tyres, refuel and go out and do another sprint. Today is different because you don't refuel, the car is very heavy at the beginning and naturally, just because of the way that you have to look after tyres," Vettel mused in the post-race press conference.
"Now we've seen in the past couple of years that these tyres do need some management as well, also in terms of driving style and looking after them and making sure you don't go crazy too soon, because it might hurt you later on, so therefore, if you look at the perfect lap, you can't repeat a 100 percent lap every time, because you need to look after the car and tyres."
Perhaps the story will also be different in 2014. Just don't bet on it.