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article imageF1: Fourth-consecutive championship leaves Vettel 'speechless'

By John Duarte     Oct 27, 2013 in Sports
New Delhi - With three races remaining in the 2013 Formula 1 season, Sebastian Vettel can all but cruise all the way home. The German clinched his fourth-consecutive driver's title on Sunday by winning the Indian Grand Prix by nearly 30 seconds.
“I don't know what to say,” Vettel offered after the race. “I crossed the line and I'm just empty.”
Vettel is now second to only Michael Schumacher on the F1 record books after winning his fourth-straight championship. Vettel is currently tied with Juan Manuel Fangio. Schumacher won five-consecutive titles, from 2000 to 2004. The only other Formula 1 driver to ever win four titles is Alain Prost.
“It's been an amazing season. The spirit in the team is great and it is a pleasure to jump in the car and drive,” Vettel said. “I'm speechless.”
The win at the Indian Grand Prix was his sixth straight and 10th of the season. With an already impressive resume, Vettel could yet tie Schumacher for most victories in a season with 13. Should he win the final three races, the world champion would also tie Alberto Ascari's run of nine-consecutive race victories.
“From the outside, people will think it was easy... it has not been an easy season,” Vettel said, commenting on how he was jeered at various races this year. “To be booed when I have not done anything wrong was hard, but I think I answered on the track, which I am very pleased about.”
As far as the F1 championship is concerned, all that's left to be decided is how things will stack up behind Vettel. Currently, Fernando Alonso is second in the standings, 24 points clear of Kimi Räikkönen. A maximum of 25 points are awarded per race under Formula 1 scoring rules. Still in the hunt for third-place overall is Lewis Hamilton, who is 21 points behind Räikkönen. Mark Webber, who is retiring from Formula 1, is in line to finish fifth in his final season.
There are three races left on the 2013 F1 schedule: the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, at Yas Marina on Nov. 3; the United States Grand Prix, in Texas on Nov. 17; and the Brazilian Grand Prix, in São Paulo on Nov. 24.
Formula 1 has announced its 2014 calendar. The 65th season of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) Formula One World Championship will begin in Australia, on March 16 and will feature a record-breaking 22 events, ending in Brazil on Nov. 30. Making it onto the schedule are new races in the United States (June 1), Austria (June 22), Russia (Oct. 5) and Mexico (Nov. 16). Three of the races (Korea, Mexico and the second U.S. event) are marked as provisional, with the Grand Prix of America and the Mexican Grand Prix still awaiting final circuit approval. The Indian Grand Prix has been dropped from the 2014 calendar and will return to the schedule as one of the opening rounds in 2015.
There will be a number of rule changes affecting grand-prix cars, the biggest of which will be the engine configuration. A new 1.6-litre, turbocharged, V6 engine with energy-recovery system (KERS) replaces the currently used 2.4-litre, V8 engine.
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