Champion Vettel toasts dream year with fast-learning Red Bull

    Sebastian Vettel has won 11 out of 18 races on his way to the 2011 Formula One world championship.

    Story highlights

    • Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel says years like 2011 don't come along too often
    • The 2010 Formula One world champion retained his title with four races to spare
    • The German has won 11 races out of 18 during his dominant season
    • The final grand prix of the Formula One season is in Brazil on November 27
    Sebastian Vettel has rejected claims that his charge to the 2011 Formula One title was a procession, and says his Red Bull team's ability to learn from their mistakes has been vital in delivering a second successive world championship.
    The German has been dominant this season, retaining his crown at the Japanese Grand Prix in early October.
    Despite spinning out of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a puncture on Sunday -- his first race retirement in over a year -- Vettel still enjoys a 119-point lead over second-placed McLaren driver Jenson Button.
    Vettel has won 11 out of the 18 races so far this season and paid tribute to the coolness of his team in helping him get the job done on the track.
    "One thing is for sure -- such a year doesn't come your way too often," he told the sport's official website ahead of the final race in Brazil on November 27. "It was a well-woven tale right from the beginning without a moment of buckling.
    "The car never let us down -- and we never let ourselves down. Sure, there were some small issues here and there, but we never ran into a bad-case scenario -- nothing like that at all.
    "The major improvement over last season is that we have never been irritated by situations. Even if the boat started to rock we never stumbled -- probably something that was not quite there last year."
    Vettel's huge lead in the drivers' championship, coupled with Red Bull's second year at the top of the constructors' standings, have led some commentators to declare their twin triumph "easy."
    But the 24-year-old rejects the idea that the UK-based Austrian team's season has been straightforward.
    "What became clear over the course of the season was that our car hasn't been as dominant as it was in 2010, but what really made a huge difference was we -- the people -- have grown into one strong force," he said.
    "We have been much more stable and obviously have learned from our 2010 mistakes. It is funny to get comments after a successful race: you hear descriptions like 'easy,' 'walk in the park' and so on -- and it was definitely nothing of the sort at any race of the season.
    "Every victory was hard fought and, contrary to what people might think, it was closer, much closer than it looked from the outside.
    "Everything had to come together -- and that was what was so special, that we've managed to make it come together at so many races."
    Vettel pointed to his victories in Monaco, Italy and Singapore as the highlights of his season and says he has become a better driver in 2011.
    But he said he won't be getting complacent ahead of the 2012 season, with a chasing pack keen to prevent Vettel completing a hat-trick of titles.
    "There is definitely not one driver I would highlight because we are living in a Formula One era where you don't have one challenger but many -- with different strengths and weaknesses.
    "That much I can say. McLaren were very strong this year with both drivers -- Jenson and Lewis (Hamilton). It probably wasn't the easiest year for Lewis, but that doesn't mean that this will also go for 2012.
    "Fernando (Alonso) with Ferrari will definitely be there and I also have Mercedes on the list, with two great drivers. And never forget Mark (Webber). So I will drop not one name, but many names."