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World Champion or Legend

Sebastian Vettel (Germany) has bagged his Fourth (4th) World Formula-One Drivers Championship. He joins the exclusive club of Juan Michael Fangio (Brazil), Alain Prost (France) and Michael Schumacher (Germany) who have achieved this feat earlier. The new German ace still has age on his favor.

Controversies and Boos have not been spared for Vettel as his Red-Bull-Racing (Renault) team is rumored to be running Traction control by harvesting energy into the KERS system in the corners. Yet, all this engineering feat is within the rules that Christian Horner, as Team Principal with the aid of their agship Engineer Adrian Newey put together as a winning combination. These are no dierent than similar allegations against Michael Schumachers Benetton (Renault) wins in 1994 and 1995. Drivers including Senna and Prost alleged that Benetton was running electronic traction control that had been outlawed in 1994. Everyone later knew that Benetton did use a dierent gearbox that gave an advantage to its drivers, but was within the rules. Michael Schumacher drove for Ferrari for ve (5) more world championships. A middleorder team that had even forgotten tyres and wheelnuts and had massive braking problems was brought to the fore by a specialist team of Ross Brawn, Jean Todt and Michael Schumacher.

Hard earned wins

People overlook the fact that the same team won at Monza, Italy which is comprised chiey of straights and cornering advantages are minimal. He did a tactical drive at Suzuka, Japan where his KERS wasnt charging as well needing some replacements and tyre wear was heavy. His team-mate Mark Webber was on pole position and both Redbull cars made extremely poor starts o the racing grid, despite which Vettel managed to bag the victory. Everyone has also forgotten that Vettels very rst Formula-1 victory in 2008 was on a ToroRosso (Ferrari) - formerly Minardi [the underdog], at Monza in a wet track under extremely dicult conditions. The amount of pressure he is under, at present, to deliver the best is also overlooked.

The Penalty of Victory

At the Indian Grand Prix, Vettel had to pay a ne of EUR 20,000 for his Donut circus. Yet, that is merely a nancial penalty that his team may even compensate him for - thanks to his consistency and resolve.

2 I would believe that people support a winner to a certain extent. Yet, when he extends his consistency in winning or develops unique style that is almost unbeatable - they begin to dislike the same person they cheered some time back. This has happened with several Formula-1 racers who have been running way ahead of the eld. Ferrari has always been infamous for their team orders which prefer one driver over the other making the racing unnatural. It has been no doubt that Mark Webber did support his team-mate in the 2013 championship, although it isnt very open for most of us to see. He did ward o a charging Alonso to let Vettel build an impossibly huge advantage despite his tyres.

Pirelli and their Role

The new rules for 2014 bring in fuel saving, energy recovery and more challenges to the engineering team. Yet, Pirelli has not been seen at the top of their game in providing tyres that can last longer at a consistent pace. This is also intertwined with the controversy of Jean Todts presidency of the FIA, although cleared of any malpractices. I see Pirellis poor performance as the most degrading part in the sport, rather than the teams, engines and the masterful engineers, test-drivers and aerodynamics experts who have done everything possible within the rules to close the eld. I do not remember a recent race in which the race leader has lapped every car including the No.3 or even the No.2 car after Michael Schumacher did this at Nurburgring, short of lapping the No.2 car in his most dominant stint. Bridgestone, at the time provided a signicant advantage that is not seen today.

Japanese Engines?
Why are there no Japanese Engines or Tyres in the game? I would hope that this is not a restriction of budget. They make fuel ecient vehicles and should enter. Toyota tried to throw in a huge budget against their fundamental principal of keeping things simple in all other aspects of manufacturing. That let them leave. Honda too has left. I hope they are back in the game along with the Koreans to truly make Formula-One an International Sport with Engines, Drivers, Teams and Engineers from the most meritorious.