World Champion collects official trophy on FIA gala night in Istanbul
World Champion "very proud" after winning third straight title
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: 08/12/12 3:12pm
The FIA staged its annual Prize Giving Gala in Istanbul on Friday night, with Sebastian Vettel collecting the World Championship trophy for the third successive year.
Vettel was presented with the trophy by FIA President Jean Todt after a season in which he scored five wins and became the youngest triple champion in Formula 1 history.
Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen also received awards for second and third places respectively in the Drivers' Championship.
"It's a fantastic feeling to be here tonight and to be able to take this trophy back home for another year. As I said last time, it isn't something you want to give back," said Vettel at the ceremony, held in the city's Ciragan Palace.
"Winning the title with Red Bull Racing three times in a row makes us all feel very proud. This was a season with lots of ups and downs and the team had to push hard to get me over the line.
"In the garage and at the factory everyone did an incredible job, and the support we had from Renault was also great."
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner collected the Constructors World Championship trophy, also for the third year in a row. Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber claimed seven victories in all.
"This is a phenomenal achievement for our team," said Horner. "The hard work and the dedication this year have been exemplary - but I think hard work and dedication have been common up and down the pitlane in this fantastic Formula One season.
"It didn't seem possible we could raise our game after last year but I think we have. The team have used every scrap of their skill and ingenuity, they've had the courage of their convictions and have refused to buckle under the most enormous pressure. I'm honoured to collect this trophy on their behalf."