ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — World champion Sebastian Vettel is not finished with Formula One’s record books just yet.
His dominant win in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was his seventh in a row – matching Michael Schumacher’s feat in 2004 – and 11th of the season that leaves him 130 points ahead of his nearest rival.
At 26, the Red Bull driver is the youngest four-time F1 champion. By the end of November, he could have matched two more records.
With two races left, he could reach Schumacher’s single-season record of 13 GP wins and Alberto Ascari’s long-standing record of nine consecutive race wins, although they spanned two seasons in 1952-53.
“I think it is hard to put these things into perspective,” Vettel said. “But it’s incredible to have such a strong bunch of people who believe so strongly in what they are doing.”
Vettel started from second on the grid, but within seconds had overtaken Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and was unchallenged after that, beating Webber by 30.8 seconds over 55 laps, and finishing 33.6 clear of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.
“The car was flawless, it doesn’t happen that often that the car responds to everything you want,” Vettel said. “I am looking forward to tonight, where there will be a few drinks.”
The German clinched his latest F1 title at the Indian GP last weekend, but it’s ready to stop winning.
Vettel now has 37 career race wins and looked stunned when told he had just matched Schumacher’s run of seven wins in a row in one campaign.
“Obviously, winning is very special,” Vettel said. “Seven races in a row – every single one is tough. I remember watching Formula One as a kid (when) Michael was dominating for Ferrari.”
Vettel can set a single-season record with eight in a row at the United States Grand Prix in two weeks’ time. Then, victory at the season-ending Brazilian GP a week later will see him match Ascari.
“People see seven races they don’t see the challenge it takes every race to nail it,” Vettel added.
“We got everything right, pit stops, reliability. The numbers aren’t that important to me but equally they make me very, very proud.”
Moments after winning, Vettel jogged over to his waiting parents.
“I have spent most of my life racing in front of them as a kid,” Vettel said. “The cars are a bit bigger now, but I am so pleased they are here to see me.”