2013: SEBASTIAN VETTEL

Model produced by: Paul’s Model Art (Minichamps)

Year: 2013
Driver: Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
Team: Red Bull Racing Renault
Car: Red Bull RB9 (Hungry Heidi)*
Results: 13 wins, 16 podiums, 9 poles, 7 fastest laps

Michael Schumacher retired from the sport for the second time. Lewis Hamilton took his place at Mercedes, while Hamilton’s seat at McLaren was taken by Sergio Perez.

2013 was a season of two halves. The season started with different teams being competitive at different tracks, mainly due to teams still getting to grips with new and fragile Pirelli tires. Raikkonen (Lotus) won the opening round, Vettel (Red Bull) won the 2nd round after ignoring team orders and overtaking his team mate Mark Webber in the last part of the race. Alonso was competitive in his Ferrari and won the 3rd race. In the following races Mercedes cars of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were usually the fastest in qualifying, but they dropped down the order on sunday due to Mercedes car using tires to quickly. Red Bull faced similar tire problems, but to lesser extent. On the other hand Ferrari and Lotus couldn’t put heat in the tires over one lap, but could make tires last longer over the race distance. Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull maximized his opportunities with very consistent driving and led the championship from early on. In the first ten race we saw 5 different winners: Vettel (Red Bull) won 4 races, Alonso (Ferrari) and Rosberg (Mercedes) won 2 each, while Hamilton (Mercedes) and Raikkonen (Lotus) won 1 each.

The turning point was race 8 in Silverstone. After several tyre failures Pirreli was forced to change the construction of the tires due to safety reasons. The new tires were closer to more durable 2012 Pirellis and Red Bull with their superior downforce made good use of them after the summer break. Together with an effective upgrade of the RB9 car and flawless driving Vettel began to dominate like he did in 2011. He won all 9 remaining races after the summer break and easily became the youngest 4 time world champion three races before the end of the season. After Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher he also became only the 3rd one who managed to win 4 world titles in a row. Red Bull won 4th constructors’ title in a row. 2013 was also the last season of V8 engine era.

Vettel finished the season with record equaling 13 wins. Alonso was 2nd with 2 wins plus additional 7 podiums. Webber finished his last season 3rd with no wins but 7 podiums. Hamilton was 4th with 1 win. Raikkonen was 5th with 1 win and Rosberg was 5th with 2 wins. McLaren drivers finished the season without a podium.

See Sebastian Vettel celebrating his 4th title with a couple of donuts and praising his car with a bow. And here is another angle taken from a grand stand by a fan. And here is the FIA’s season review.

*Named by Vettel

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