How Sebastian Vettel became double world champion

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The Independent Online

Sebastian Vettel today cemented his name in Formula One history by becoming the youngest back-to-back and double world champion.

Vettel gained the one point he required from the Japanese Grand Prix by finishing third at the Suzuka circuit where so many great names have won titles in the past such as Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look back at how the 24-year-old German captured his second crown:

Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, March 27

Vettel started 2011 as he finished 2010, with a crushing win and faultless performance for Red Bull from pole, finishing 22 seconds clear of Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren.

Standings: 1 Vettel 25pts; 2 Hamilton 18; 3 Vitaly Petrov 15; 4 Fernando Alonso 12; 5 Mark Webber 10.

Malaysian Grand Prix, Kuala Lumpur, April 10

Another dominant display from Vettel as he led for all but two of the 56 laps after again taking pole position, finishing just ahead of Jenson Button, with the rest of the field a long way back.

Standings: 1 Vettel 50; 2 Jenson Button 26; 3 Hamilton 22; 4 Webber 22; 5 Alonso 20.

Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, April 17

Vettel's perfect start to the season finally ended, but only just, as Hamilton and McLaren conjured a brilliant strategy, with the Briton running a three-stop plan to the German's two to overhaul the 24-year-old with four laps remaining.

Standings: 1 Vettel 68; 2 Hamilton 47; 3 Button 38; 4 Webber 37; 5 Alonso 26.

Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul, May 8

The raised forefinger, Vettel's trademark gesture to signal 'number one', was back in evidence as he again romped to success from pole, spearheading a Red Bull one-two on a track where so much acrimony spilled over the previous year when he and Webber collided with one another.

Standings: 1 Vettel 93; 2 Hamilton 59; 3 Webber 55; 4 Button 46; 5 Alonso 41.

Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, May 22

After a run of five consecutive poles, stretching to the end of last season, Vettel found himself knocked from the top of the grid by team-mate Webber as the duo underlined the one-lap superiority of their car. In the race, though, Vettel was back on top, but had to withstand a late charge from Hamilton who finished just 0.6secs adrift.

Standings: 1 Vettel 118; 2 Hamilton 77; 3 Webber 67; 4 Button 61; 5 Alonso 51.

Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, May 29

Heavy crashes involving Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Sauber's Sergio Perez marred final practice and then qualifying, from the latter of which Vettel emerged with his fifth pole in six races. In the race he was fortunate to take victory as on severely-worn tyres he was being hounded by Alonso and Button when another accident led to a red flag seven laps from the finish. Able to change rubber, Vettel then had no trouble fending off his pursuers.

Standings: 1 Vettel 143; 2 Hamilton 85; 3 Webber 79; 4 Button 76; 5 Alonso 69.

Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, June 12

Another chaotic race, this one the longest in F1 history at just over four hours due to a torrential downpour 25 laps in that halted proceedings for two hours. Button grabbed a sensational win that included crashes with Hamilton and Alonso, the latter relegating him to 21st and last at one stage, five pit stops and a drive-through penalty before taking Vettel on the last lap after he had slid wide.

Standings: 1 Vettel 161; 2 Button 101; 3 Webber 94; 4 Hamilton 85; 5 Alonso 69.

European Grand Prix, Valencia, June 26

Vettel achieved F1's equivalent of the hat-trick with pole, win and fastest lap as he shone in the Spanish sun in a race that was by far the most boring of the year.

Standings: 1 Vettel 186; 2 Button 109; 3 Webber 109; 4 Hamilton 97; 5 Alonso 87.

British Grand Prix, Silverstone, July 10

From second on the grid again for only the second time in the year, with Webber denying him, Vettel was also forced to settle for second in the race behind Alonso. However, it was not without contention as a late charge from Webber was halted when team boss Christian Horner told him to hold station after he had ignored repeated warnings from his race engineer.

Standings: 1 Vettel 204; 2 Webber 124; 3 Alonso 112; 4 Button 109; 5 Hamilton 109.

German Grand Prix, Nurburgring, July 24

The one circuit and race Vettel would love to have dominated this year proved elusive as he gave his rivals a sniff of a chance the season would not end swiftly. Hamilton, instead, took the chequered flag for the second time this year ahead of Alonso and Webber, with Vettel a staggering 48 seconds behind after starting from third.

Standings: 1 Vettel 216; 2 Webber 139; 3 Hamilton 134; 4 Alonso 130; 5 Button 109.

Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest, July 31

It was not quite back to business as usual at the Hungaroring for Vettel despite claiming pole after two 'slips'. Vettel had to give way to Button in the race as the Briton celebrated his 200th grands prix in style as he again proved to be the master of the changeable conditions.

Standings: 1 Vettel 234; 2 Webber 139; 3 Hamilton 146; 4 Alonso 145; 5 Button 134.

Belgian Grand Prix, Spa, August 28

Any hope his rivals had of imposing themselves on Vettel after the summer break faded as he conjured yet another pole-to-flag win on a circuit not supposed to favour Red Bull, scoring the team's 10th one-two with Webber. The victory took him to 259 points, three more than he amassed in winning last year's crown.

Standings: 1 Vettel 259; 2 Webber 167; 3 Alonso 157; 4 Button 149; 5 Hamilton 146.

Italian Grand Prix, Monza, September 11

The track that was supposed to be Red Bull's Achilles heel proved to be anything but as Vettel returned to the scene of his maiden victory in 2008, with Toro Rosso, to secure a famous pole and win, hailed by Horner as "phenomenal".

Standings: 1 Vettel 284; 2 Alonso 172; 3 Button 167; 4 Webber 167; 5 Hamilton 158.

Singapore Grand Prix, Singapore, September 25

Nearly the perfect race for Vettel who led every second of every lap from pole for the first time in his career. Only the fastest lap eluded him, that honour going to second-placed Button who remained his only challenger, albeit 124 points behind with 125 available.

Standings: 1 Vettel 309; 2 Button 185; 3 Alonso 184; 4 Webber 182; 5 Hamilton 168.

Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, October 9

After clinching his 12th pole of the season and 27th of his career, beating Button by just nine thousandths of a second, roles were reversed in the race as Button crossed the line first with Vettel settling for third. Fernando Alonso was sandwiched in between them.

Standings: 1 Vettel 324; 2 Button 210; 3 Alonso 202; 4 Webber 194; 5 Hamilton 178.