At the Circuit of the Americas, racing fans were sweating through record-breaking highs for Austin as they watched the 2013 U.S. Grand Prix. But wünderkind driver Sebastian Vettel made it look like he didn't even break a sweat as he posted another victory to break a Formula One record.
The young German won the day with relative ease, with Frenchman Romain Grosjean of the Lotus F1 Team coming in second. Vettel’s Infiniti Red Bull teammate, Mark Webber of Australia, came in third, one day after narrowly losing the pole position to Vettel in Saturday’s qualifying run.
With his win at the U.S. Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel earned his eighth straight victory in a single season, eclipsing the record set by the legendary Michael Schumacher.
Despite the warm temperatures and a minor security scare near Turn 1 that caused a slight delay in opening the track for the day, it was mostly smooth sailing at COTA, although there was probably a little less buzz this year than for 2012's inaugural Austin grand prix. Last year, the F1 World Championship was still up for grabs, and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain snatched victory away from Vettel late in the race.
It was a different atmosphere for Vettel as he returned to Austin. He clinched his fourth straight world title back in India, but there was another sweet prize waiting to be taken. With his win at the U.S. Grand Prix, the 26-year-old driver earned his eighth straight victory in a single season, eclipsing the record set by the legendary Michael Schumacher, who only just retired after the 2012 season.
Naturally, Vettel celebrated his feat with a few donuts during his victory lap and by throwing up eight fingers as he exited his car.
2013 has seen a remarkable run for Vettel, and he can continue to add some more of the proverbial cherries on top of his championship with another win as the season comes to a close in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Nov. 24. If he can earn his 13th win, Vettel will match the record for wins in a single season, also set by Schumacher back in 2004, the same year he earned seven straight wins.
It can’t be overstated how much the warm November day in Austin belonged to Vettel, and how much it meant to him.
With his ninth straight win, Vettel could also break another record that has stood for a much longer time. Win number nine would tie the Formula One record for overall consecutive wins set by Alberto Ascari, which he earned during parts of the 1952 and 1953 seasons.
It can’t be overstated how much the warm November day in Austin belonged to Vettel, and how much it meant to him. Emotion momentarily overtook the racer as he stood on the podium while “Deutschlandlied” played, but he quickly went back in to celebration mode as he sprayed his teammate, Webber, and Grosjean with champagne while Gov. Rick Perry and a couple of Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders ran for cover.
It might not have been the most exciting race, at least compared to the previous year’s, but seeing a record-breaking win should be enough incentive to keep fans from near and far to continue flocking to the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin.