F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel proud of history-making year with Red Bull
German dominated as he set a series of records to claim his second world title
World rally champion Sebastian Loeb also received his trophy at FIA ceremony
French driver clinched an eighth successive title for dominant Citroen team
Sebastian Vettel has saluted his Red Bull team after making Formula One history in 2011.
The 24-year-old became the elite motorsport’s youngest double world champion as the UK-based Austrian marque retained the constructors’ title after winning 12 of the 19 races.
“I have had the trophy in my house all year and didn’t want to give it back, so this means a great deal to me,” the German said at the FIA Prize Giving Gala in India on Friday.
“It’s hard to put into words how it feels to win again; the team stayed focused and made few mistakes and I would like to thank them for all their impressive efforts. I would also like to thank (engine supplier) Renault who worked so hard all year.
“The history of Formula One means a lot to me and it’s special to know that we are now somehow a part of that.”
Vettel clinched his first world title in the final race of 2010, the only time last year that he led the standings.
But 2011 was a different story as he won the first race in Australia and sealed the championship in Japan with four grands prix to go.
He broke Nigel Mansell’s record of pole positions by winning his 15th in the final race in Brazil, where teammate Mark Webber notched his only victory.
And in India in October, Vettel became the youngest driver to earn pole, win the race, set the fastest lap and lead from start to finish in one grand prix.
“It’s phenomenal what the team has achieved this year,” Red Bull boss Christian Horner said. “To win 12 races and take 18 pole positions and 27 podiums to defend our title is something we are very proud of.
“I would like to thank every member of the team, including Mark and Sebastian for all their hard work. Receiving the award tonight is fantastic and a great end to what has been an incredible year.
“Seb’s achievement of becoming a double Formula One world champion is incredible; the fact he is the youngest ever to do this is testament to the exciting young talent that he is.”
World rally champion Sebastian Loeb also received his trophy after winning the title for a record-breaking eighth consecutive time.
It put him one clear of Michael Schumacher’s record seven F1 crowns, giving him some claim to being motorsport’s most successful driver.
The Frenchman and co-driver Daniel Elena helped Citroen win a fourth successive manufacturers’ crown as he and teammate Sebastian Ogier both won five races out of 13 this year.
“What an incredible season! The battle with the other drivers has been intense from the beginning to the end,” said Loeb, who clinched the title in the final round .
“After a great start to the season we really had to battle hard again at the end of the year; we lost a lot of our advantage and it was like starting from zero all over again going into the final two rounds.”
His compatriot Yvan Muller was officially crowned World Touring Car champion with Chevrolet, who won a second manufacturers’ title.