There was quite a party in the Indian capital on Sunday as Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull celebrated their fourth consecutive double championship triumph.
After claiming his tenth victory of the season, Vettel celebrated in front of the main grandstand doing donuts before bowing before his RB9.
That little show cost Red Bull €25,000 after the FIA imposed a penalty on Vettel for not following normal parc ferme protocol, afterwards, however, the stewards did say they opted against a harsher penalty “because of the special circumstances”.
Back in the paddock and Vettel was finding it hard to put his record braking triumph into context.
“Phew,” Vettel is quoted as saying on motorsport.com. “I am way too young to understand what it means.”
Indeed for the German the party had already started as he swigged champagne in the FIA press conference and more drinking was to come.
“We will celebrate a little bit,” Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko told German media, “with Sebastian’s favourite drink.”
Bild newspaper said the party raged in a hotel until about 2am.
However, a bigger party will have to wait for another week. “Most of the team flies out tonight or tomorrow morning,” Marko said in the Buddh circuit paddock. “We’re planning a proper celebration for Abu Dhabi.”
With Vettel’s fourth championship now in the bag, development on the RB9 will now stop.
Some believe the team could actually be behind on their 2014 car as many of their rivals switched focus some time ago, but the Milton Keynes team is not concerned.
“It’s not a disadvantage,” team supremo Dietrich Mateschitz told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper, “because any development this year can also be something good for next year.”
And team boss Christian Horner added: “Every driver in the pitlane would like to be in one of our cars at the moment,” he is quoted by Agencia Estado news agency.
Back in India, however, and team advisor Dr Helmut Marko spoke about Vettel’s rise through the ranks at the Austrian energy drink company.
“At the beginning there were many in the team that thought Vettel was not the right thing for us,” Marko recalled on German television Sky.
Vettel added: “He (Marko) said, ‘Give the boy a chance’. I’m glad it worked out.”
The 26-year-old remains under contract at Red Bull for two more years with some now predicting he will go on and match Juan Manuel Fangio’s five titles in 2014.
Alain Prost, the only other driver with four consecutive titles to his name, said: “The rules are changing,” he told RMC, “so the drivers who are the most involved will undoubtedly have an advantage.
“And great engineers like Adrian Newey are best able to manage these changes. It is quite possible we will see Red Bull and Vettel dominate for quite some time,” the former McLaren and Ferrari driver added.
The Frenchman also spoke about Vettel’s longer term future claiming the German could change teams, but only if he wanted to.
“He can’t stay at Red Bull forever,” Prost agreed, according to Der Spiegel. “On the other hand, if he is always getting the best car at Red Bull, why would he change just to make the fans happy? He should only change if he wants a new challenge for himself.”
An emotional Vettel also revealed for the first time how the booing he suffered at several races had affected him.
“I didn’t find it easy,” he told Bild newspaper, “especially when I had done nothing wrong. My girlfriend (Hanna) really helped me with that.”
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