Formula 1

Has Sebastian Vettel already won his fourth title?

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Vettel closing on fourth championship title (©GettyImages)
Vettel closing on fourth championship title (©GettyImages).

Sebastien Vettel celebrated his fifth win of the F1 season on Sunday in Belgium to extend his lead over Fernando Alonso to 46 points.

Vettel was in dominant form in Belgium, overtaking pole sitter Lewis Hamilton on the first lap, eventually finishing 17 seconds ahead of Alonso in second and 28 seconds ahead of Hamilton in third.

Vettel’s most dominant F1 season came in 2011 during his first title defence when he was able to secure 15 pole positions and 11 wins from 19 races. Vettel has not been as dominant this season, winning five of the first 11 races, but his consistency during races has put him in pole position to win a fourth successive championship.

Vettel has retired just once this season and missed out on a podium finish just twice so far. Alonso, the closest competitor for Vettel’s title, has also retired just once but has finished off of the podium four times so far, leaving him trailing 46 points behind Vettel.

It is Vettel’s consistency which has convinced many fans that he is already the uncrowned world champion and set to break another record in F1 by becoming the youngest ever four-time world champion.

Vettel would also be the only man other than Michael Schumacher to win four successive championships.

With just eight more races left in the 2013 season, any competitors for Vettel’s title will have to hope for Vettel to retire in a number of races. Even If Vettel does retire in two races - and assuming Alonso wins those - Alonso will only be four points ahead of Vettel.

If anyone does hope to overturn Vettel’s 46-point lead, they will have to hope for the luck which has sided with Vettel over the last three years.

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