Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing secured his record eighth straight win of the Formula One season at the U.S. Grand Prix.
Vettel, who had already won the 2013 world title, beat Romain Grosjean of Lotus by 6.2 seconds in yesterday’s 56-lap race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Red Bull’s Mark Webber was third.
By winning the second-to-last race of the championship, Vettel passed his fellow German Michael Schumacher’s previous single-season mark of seven victories in a row in 2004. If he wins next week’s closing event in Brazil, Vettel will tie Schumacher’s 2004 record of 13 victories in a season.
“We have to enjoy these days, there is no guarantee they will last,” Vettel, 26, said over the Red Bull team radio after taking the checkered flag. “We must enjoy them while they last. We have an incredible team spirit. I love you guys.”
Vettel is unbeaten since Formula One returned from its mid-season break at the Belgian Grand Prix on Aug. 25. He secured his fourth straight world championship with three races to spare by winning the Indian Grand Prix on Oct. 27.
Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina, France’s Alain Prost and Schumacher are the only other drivers to have won at least four world championships.
Starting from pole position yesterday, Vettel led into the first corner and only relinquished the lead when he made his sole pit stop. It was the 38th victory of his career.
“I’m not sure what we have done since the summer break in order that we have been winning races, but whatever it was it has worked,” Vettel said.
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes was fourth at the Texas circuit followed by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who guaranteed he’ll finish second in the world championship standings. Nico Hulkenberg of Sauber was sixth ahead of McLaren’s Sergio Perez.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, 24, scored the first points of his F-1 career by finishing in eighth place. Nico Rosberg of Mercedes and McLaren’s Jenson Button rounded out the point-scoring positions.
The last of 19 events on the 2013 calendar is the Nov. 24 Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo.
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