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Vettel at the Double

Third place finish seals back-to-back championships

Posted Oct 10, 2011 by Chris White

Sebastian Vettel was crowned 2011 Formula One world champion

Formula One has its youngest ever back-to-back world champion with Sebastian Vettel sealing the 2011 title after finishing third in Suzuka.

Vettel needed just one point to seal the Championship – a tenth place finish – but having qualified on pole for the Japanese Grand Prix, it was only a matter of time before the German was cracking open the champagne. It wasn’t all easy for Vettel, however, as Jenson Button took the race victory ahead of Fernando Alonso, the previous youngest double champion.

Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber finished in fourth and Lewis Hamilton was fifth, ahead of Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa.

The 2010 and 2011 champion lead the race until his pit stop on the 21st lap before Button opened up a gap that he held onto until the chequered flag was waved. Vettel was also hampered in his bid for a perfect way of sealing the title by tyre-wear problems, allowing Button and Alonso to pull away from the Red Bull.

Vettel now owns the record for the youngest ever driver to win back-to-back world titles, aged 24 years and 98 days, and joins an elite list of drivers to have achieved the successive championships, now standing alongside Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jack Brabham, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen and Fernando Alonso.

With four races remaining in the 2011 season, the challenge is there for Vettel to now win the final four races and show what a worthy champion he is. With nine victories under his belt already, the challenge has been laid down – make it 13.

Japanese Grand Prix final result:

1 Jenson Button (McLaren) 1hr 30min 53.427 secs

2 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 1hr 30min 54.587 secs

3 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 1hr 30min 55.433 secs

4 Mark Webber (Red Bull) 1hr 31min 01.498 secs

5 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1hr 31min 17.695 secs

6 Michael Schumacher (Mercedes GP) 1hr 31min 20.547 secs

7 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1hr 31min 21.667 secs

8 Sergio Perez (Sauber-Ferrari) 1hr 31min 32.804 secs

9 Vitaly Petrov (Renault) 1hr 31min 36.034 secs

10 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP) 1hr 31min 37.749 secs

11 Adrian Sutil (Force India) 1hr 31min 47.874 secs

12 Paul di Resta (Force India) 1hr 31min 55.753 secs

13 Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber-Ferrari) 1hr 31min 57.132 secs

14 Pastor Maldonado (Williams) 1hr 31min 57.621 secs

15 Jaime Alguersuari (Scuderia Toro Rosso) 1hr 32min 0.050 secs

16 Bruno Senna (Renault) 1hr 32min 06.055 secs

17 Rubens Barrichello (Williams) 1hr 32min 07.618 secs

18 Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus F1) 1hr 32min 21.251 secs

19 Jarno Trulli (Lotus F1) 1hr 32min 29.567 secs

20 Timo Glock (Virgin Racing) + 2 laps

21 Jerome d’Ambrosio (Virgin Racing) + 2 laps

22 Daniel Ricciardo (HRT) + 2 laps

23 Vitantonio Liuzzi (HRT) + 3 laps

24 Sebastian Buemi (Scuderria Toro Rosso) retired after 11 laps

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