Sebastian Vettel has set a lot of records over his Formula 1 career, and in Austin today he achieved another landmark when he beat Michael Schumacher’s record to become the first man to win eight straight races in a single season.
Alberto Ascari won nine times over 1952-’53, but nobody had won more than seven in a single season.
“I think it’s one of those records that you never expect to be beaten, so it’s very difficult to find the right words,” said Vettel. “I didn’t really answer the questions the last couple of days because at the end of the day what makes me jump into the car is not a certain number.
“But certainly today, when you realize that you’ve done it, it makes you very proud in that moment and, yeah, I think it’s very difficult for all of us to realize what it actually means. If you look back, and if you look those names who had similar records or outstanding performances in the past, I think it’s impossible to understand.
“People look back and they talk about that time and about certain drivers and one day people might look back and talk about our time and what we’ve done as a team. I said it on the team radio, the spirit is fantastic. Everybody’s just happy to turn up, give it everything he has and I think – if there is one – that’s the secret.
“Yes, we have a phenomenal car; yes, the car has been mostly very, very reliable but I think it’s the mindset we have going in, really trying to give it everything we have, not miss a single step; after the race, not to turn around and think that there was a little bit left here, a little bit left there. Another very, very, very strong weekend. I think people tend to forget that every single weekend is a challenge on its own. It’s not eight weekends as a whole. It’s every single weekend. And to have such an incredible run, it’s very difficult to realize.
Vettel had some interesting comments about Schumacher.
“Well, in a way I think I have the same approach as him, as probably every sportsman. I don’t think we are jumping into the car to beat certain records. At his time, he was breaking a lot of records and many of them will last forever, I think. To come even close and today to beat one of those is exceptional. I think, as a sportsman, you don’t jump into the car to break records and equally you don’t expect them to last forever.
“I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago and generally, I think he’s very happy with what he has achieved and seemed fairly relaxed. I think he’s riding a lot of horses lately so he’s quite happy to go karting with his kids and enjoying his life after Formula 1. There’s a huge part of our lives if you consider that there’s a lot of years left once we retire. It’s good to enjoy those as well.”