Sebastian Vettel: 'The hardest thing is winning after winning'

Sebastian Vettel drew a deep breath, smiled and looked like a man who did not know where to begin as he savoured becoming the youngest ever back-to-back world champion. "It's been a fantastic year, and it's not over yet," said the 24-year-old German.

"Congrats to Jenson [Button] and Fernando [Alonso] because today it was extremely tight, with the top four cars within 10 seconds. This year we've always been one step ahead and everyone has been pushing more than 100 per cent. One person really stands out this year, who I spent most of my time with: my trainer Tommy [Parmakoski], who has a great heart and would not allow me at any stage to lose the grip."

He paused for a moment to draw another breath, and looked sheepish. "I'm sorry for making this a bit long," he said. "The hardest thing is winning after winning. After last year when we won the championship it was so close and we were all so excited, so to go out and do it again – I couldn't have done this without all the support from the team. This one is as confusing as the first one, and it's hard to find the right words."

Apart from the start after he cut off Button's attempt to pass him off the line , his one glitch came as he was lapping Timo Glock's Virgin, at the height of the fight with Alonso. "I don't know, maybe he should use both his mirrors," he said. "I wasn't taking any stupid risks but I didn't expect him to come back on line, which he did. I lost the connection and then was never really close enough to pass Fernando. But it was a fun race, especially as we were closing in on Jenson. I thought then, 'Now you know how it feels when people are closing in', it's not the most comfortable feeling.

"It wasn't so easy today, and we weren't that quick on the soft tyres. But at the end of the race we had a very good car, but it was difficult to get past Fernando. I guess I got my move on him at Monza [where Vettel overtook Alonso on his way to victory at the Italian Grand Prix last month], so he's not letting me through twice.

"To win the world championship here is special but it's a bit funny at the same time. I'm just supposed to say, 'Yep, that's the moment, enjoy it', but I'm sure it will take time to sink in."

Button agreed. "This was a very special victory for me, but it's not as big as Seb winning the world championship," he said. "But to win a race like this does take time to sink in. Normally it comes when you are on your own and you can think of what you've achieved. And I'm sure the championship thing will come to Seb about five or six in the morning."

Button said he was proud to have won on one of the great tracks, especially after the late-race pressure. "I've been watching Seb all year, and decided that was the way to go: cruise it and stick in a quick lap at the end," he said tongue-in-cheek. "I had something in hand and was looking after the tyres and fuel, but it wasn't the easiest few laps. The tyre wear was massive, so it wasn't just down to being quicker over one lap, you really had to think throughout the race. Suzuka is a fast, flowing circuit and unforgiving; one mistake and it's game over. It's one of the most perfect circuits in GP racing with a very special crowd that's so supportive of us, so I'm ecstatic. It was one of my most special races, because I've never won on such a high-speed circuit."

Alonso was also pretty happy. "First of all, congratulations to Sebastian," he said. "It was a fun race, though there was a lot of tyre degradation. But we came back to a good level. We had the pace today to fight with McLaren and Red Bull Racing. At the end it was difficult to keep Seb behind. I saw we were catching Jenson so I tried in the last couple of laps, but he was just looking after tyres and fuel, and it was impossible to fight for victory.

"It's a fantastic podium, though, and a good thing for the team after difficult races where we were not so competitive. This podium means a lot to the team and is a big motivation."

Lewis Hamilton, fifth after an early puncture and later a brush with Felipe Massa, said: "This was a disappointing race. Jenson did a remarkable job today – he really deserved this victory, but it wasn't a great one for me. I don't really know what happened with Felipe – my car's mirrors vibrate at high-speed, so I couldn't see him pulling alongside me. I want to apologise for our cars touching, but fortunately nothing happened to either of us."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?