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Vettel at the Double
Third place finish seals back-to-back championships
Posted Oct 10, 2011 by Chris White
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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.
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
10 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP) 1hr 31min 37.749 secs
12 Paul di Resta (Force India) 1hr 31min 55.753 secs
13 Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber-Ferrari) 1hr 31min 57.132 secs
16 Bruno Senna (Renault) 1hr 32min 06.055 secs
17 Rubens Barrichello (Williams) 1hr 32min 07.618 secs
19 Jarno Trulli (Lotus F1) 1hr 32min 29.567 secs
21 Jerome d’Ambrosio (Virgin Racing) + 2 laps
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi (HRT) + 3 laps
24 Sebastian Buemi (Scuderria Toro Rosso) retired after 11 laps