Sebastian Vettel 'sad' 2013 has ended as year's achievements begin to dawn on him
German proud to equal Ascari, but admits eras don't compare
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 26/11/13 5:02pm
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Sebastian Vettel has admitted the enormity of his record achievements in 2013 will not properly sink in until a few weeks into the off-season.
Despite clinching his fourth straight championship one month ago in New Delhi, Vettel showed no let-up over the year's final three races and in Brazil completed a 100% winning record since the August summer break by taking his successive victory tally to nine.
In doing so the 26-year-old equalled the legendary tally of the great Alberto Ascari, a star of F1's first decade in the 1950s, while the German's 13th victory of the year also matched compatriot Michael Schumacher's 13 wins in a season from 2004.
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And having already become the youngest driver by six years to enter the realm of quadruple title winners, Vettel's Brazil win also saw him better his own records from 2011 for the most races led (18) and points gained (397) during a campaign.
And reflecting on it all on Sunday night at Interlagos, an overwhelmed Vettel confessed: "Well, I think it is very very difficult for me to realise probably now and in the next couple of weeks what we have achieved again, and in particular this year at the end of the season."
Vettel though did attempt to play down his equalling of Ascari's 60-year-old mark for the most successive GP wins, insisting the two eras of F1 were worlds apart.
"I think in terms of a certain record with Alberto Ascari you can't really compare it, it's at a completely different time," the German said.
"If you consider the fact that in the fifties the races were much longer and there were a lot of things that were breaking down, much more than nowadays where it's very professional, reliability is exceptionally good for everybody. I think his record still stands out a lot.
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"So at the end of the day, as I see it now, it's just a number but hopefully one day, when I've got less hair and chubby then it's probably something nice to look back to."
Having last tasted defeat - and even then he still finished third - at the Hungarian GP four months ago, Vettel expressed some regret that the racing season had ended given the rarity of such winning sequences.
"It's sad that this year comes to an end, this kind of thing comes around maybe once in your life," he told Sky Sports News.
"Nobody expects it to continue or to happen again because we all know how exceptional it is. Probably we don't understand right now what we have achieved but it doesn't come by just like this."