Sebastien Vettel is the youngest back-to-back and double world champion in Formula One history.
Vettel joins Alberto Ascari, Juan-Manuel Fangio, Jack Brabham, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso as only the eighth driver to win back-to-back drivers championship – and the youngest ever.
The 24-year-old’s Red Bull took third place at the Japanese Grand Prix, more than enough to clinch the historic title. The race started under sunny skies with the air at 24ºC and the track at 35ºC at a circuit that is universally liked by the drivers, but which causes rapid tire wear as a result of the high proportion of high-speed corners.
Over the team radio, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “Sebastian you’re the 2011 world champion. Well done.”
“Thank you so much, every single one,” Vettel said over the team radio as he circuited the track in triumph. “We took nothing for granted, and we did it.”
The 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, becoming the youngest man to achieve the feat.
For the record Vettel is now 114 points clear of Button, with only 100 available from the remaining races in Korea next Sunday, India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil.
Seb’s team-mate Mark, meanwhile, is fourth in the Drivers’ Championship after crossing the finish line fourth in Japan, in a race which was won by McLaren’s Jenson Button.
Fernando Alonso was second in Suzuka, with Lewis Hamilton behind our drivers in P5. Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez, Vitaly Petrov and Nico Rosberg completed the top 10.