Sebastian Vettel was keen to thank his entire Red Bull today team after winning his second Formula 1 title by coming third in the Japanese Grand Prix.
In a long post-race monologue, the new champion was trying to describe exactly how he was feeling after becoming the young-ever driver to win consecutive titles.
“A lot of people have been quite confident about the title, but one of the important things was that we didn't allow ourselves to drift away with the thought too much,” said the German. “Instead we concentrated on every single step and everything we have done this year and everything we have achieved – then wow.
“I want to thank all the guys and girls in the factory in Milton Keynes, as it's not just us here pushing very hard, it's them as well – from the post office to the design office to the engineering office here at the track, their effort is just incredible.
“It's hard to imagine you know, we have two cars and two drivers only and we carry that weight on our shoulders every time we go on track. Sometimes we don't treat the cars as good as we should, but we always try to get every single bit out of them every race weekend. But it's phenomenal what's happened – we set ourselves the target to win the Championship this year and so, to win it by Japan with four more races to go, is difficult to put into words – it's as confusing as the first one.
“I never imagined I would win one Championship and so to win this second one is amazing. I have a lot of good memories from Formula One, from watching it when I was young, to now and I feel fortunate and blessed to experience today. There were so many excited people when we did the drivers' parade today and that was my last thought when I put my helmet on.
“For drivers, it doesn't get much better than this, a sunny day and all the fans excited to see what you do – I think that's what life is about. And so, to wrap up the Championship here is difficult to put into words – it's more than fantastic.”
Mark Webber finished the race just behind his team-mate, yet blamed the safety car for preventing him having a go at Fernando Alonso, who eventually finished second.
“Congratulations to Sebastian – to become a double World Championship is a very good job,” he said. “All the overtaking during the race was in the pit stops today, with not much on track. We passed a Ferrari and a McLaren, but it was quite even between all of us. I had some contact with Michael Schumacher, which did some damage to my front wing at a crucial part of the race as I was trying to come back through the pack. We made contact, but he got away with it.
“The safety car didn't really come at the right time for me – as I was hoping to have a look at Fernando around the stops, but when the field bunches up you have to go through the Michael situation again and it’s hard to undercut people.
“In the end it was a reasonable result; it was a great race for Jenson, it’s his second home race in many ways, and congratulations to Seb for the title.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner congratulated Vettel on his performance all season. He also congratulated Jenson Button on the race victory.
“Firstly, it's phenomenal for Sebastian Vettel to win his second World Championship,” said Horner. “He's driven magnificently this year and thoroughly deserves this Championship victory, which he has dominated since the first race in Melbourne. It's the culmination of a lot of hard work and team work and he can be very proud of what he's achieved. This now places him amongst an elite group of drivers who have realised not only a double Championship – but back-to-back World Championships.
“The race today was a tight one, we seemed to lose time in the pit lane today – perhaps with our positioning at the end of the pit lane, but nonetheless Jenson drove a strong race and congratulations to him. Third and fourth is still a strong haul of points for the Constructors' Championship and we have consolidated our lead of 130 points. However, today belongs to Sebastian.”