An emotional Sebastian Vettel has hailed all at Red Bull Racing after being crowned F1’s youngest ever triple World Champ in the wake of a thrilling season finale
In a grand prix that saw the German experience several highs and lows, Vettel kept his wits about him to recover from a first lap spin and damage to his RB8 to finish sixth.
Those eight points were enough to ensure the 25-year-old retained his World title for the third year running despite rival Fernando Alonso finishing second on Sunday.
“It is difficult to imagine what goes through my head now even for myself!” said Vettel. “I am full of adrenaline and if you poke me now I wouldn’t feel it.
“It was an incredible race.
“When you get turned around at Turn Four for no reason and it becomes like heading the wrong way down the M25 it is not the most comfortable feeling. I was lucky no-one hit me but the car was damaged and we lost a lot of speed, especially when it dried up.
“Fortunately it started to rain again and I felt so much happier.
“People try to push us in a certain direction when they talk about how we perform when it rains but I think we have proven across the season we like rain conditions as well as dry.”
Red Bull, though, didn’t just prove they can do race in the wet, they also demonstrated their ability to rise to the challenge.
Having fallen short of the mark in the first half of the campaign, the team pushed hard with their developments in the second, resulting in an impressive run of four straight victories for Vettel.
That is what put in him the lead of the Drivers’ Championship and ultimately won him his third World title.
“It is unbelievable but the most important thing is that throughout the season we always kept believing in ourselves,” he said before alluding to Ferrari’s use of team orders in Austin.
“A lot of people tried to use dirty tricks, certain things that from our point of view that were beyond the limit, and we never got irritated or distracted by that and kept going our way and all the guys gave a big push right to the end.
“We stepped up our game in the second half of the season which allowed us to come back in this Championship.
“I have to thank all the team because there is no-one in our team more important than the next person.
“We are all a group and fighting next to each other and not against each other. I am very proud of that. It is unbelievable.”
Asked to consider his achievements in Formula One alongside the likes of Michael Schumacher, who was one for the first to congratulate him, and the late Ayrton Senna, Vettel said: “For all of us in the team and also myself it is unreal.
“To win that third title here, where one of my greatest idols Ayrton Senna was from. It is very difficult to imagine I join him and other great names by winning three successive titles.
“My radio was not working, I was crying and you didn’t hear that and I am very happy about that. I just can’t find the right words to describe how I feel right now.”