Sebastian Vettel added his name at the head of an illustrious list at Suzuka on Sunday. Not only did he join legends Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jack Brabham, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen and Fernando Alonso as the only men to successfully defend the F1
drivers' crown. At just 24 years and 98 days he also became the youngest.
Speaking after the memorable triumph, the German ace had more trouble piecing it all together, than he ever had on track this season.
"It's phenomenal what's happened - we set ourselves the target to win the championship this year and so, to win it at Japan with four more races to go, is difficult to put into words - it's as confusing as the first one. I never imagined I would win one championship and so to win this second one is amazing," said the Red Bull driver.
HT brings you the man himself, speaking his mind on life on the racing track and life off it.
The secret behind this season's astounding title run?
A lot of people have been quite confident about the title, but one of the important things was that we didn't allow ourselves to drift away with the thought too much. Instead we concentrated on every single step and everything we have done this year and everything we have achieved - then wow.
How special was this weekend?
I have a lot of good memories from Formula One, from watching it when I was young, to now and I feel fortunate and blessed to experience today. There were so many excited people when we did the drivers' parade today and that was my last thought when I put my helmet on. For drivers, it doesn't get much better than this, a sunny day and all the fans excited to see what you do - I think that's what life is about. And so, to wrap up the championship here is difficult to put into words - it's more than fantastic.
If not motorsports, what alternate career would you followed?
I started with karting at a very young age and my family always encouraged me. I also wanted to be Michael Jackson when I was young, but realised I didn't have the voice!
Aside from Helmut Marko (consultant for Red Bull Racing), who helped mould your racing career?
Helmut Marko was a big influence. My father bought me my first cart. I watched Michael Schumacher from a young age. I still have pictures where he awarded me trophies after a go-karting season. I have a lot of respect for him and he has been my hero
Do you have any pre-race rituals?
I have no rituals. I have some time to myself to focus and calm down while listening to music. I go through the strategy, circuit and the car.