Sebastian Vettel said he was struggling to find the right words when he met the media after his amazing World Championship victory in Abu Dhabi, but that didn’t stop him coming out with some entertaining soundbites.
The German didn’t know until the flag that he had done enough to clinch the title as the team wanted him to focus on winning the race.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Vettel. “I am still a bit empty. I can’t believe it. When I crossed the line I did not know if it was enough or not. All weekend I did not try to focus on the championship as the situation was pretty clear. We had to try to win this race, do our maximum and the rest was up to the others. I did the in-lap and just enjoyed it. Since I am a little kid I follow Formula One.
“Before the race I said to myself ‘look there are so many people coming here to Abu Dhabi to watch the race’. So many people thrilled about this race about to take place, watching the World Championship decision and to find out who is going to win it. Just to be part of that race and part of that fight, to be one of the four, I was feeling extremely proud, happy. I don’t want to sound philosophical but we travel so much all year and we get to see so many places, different people, and I was just feeling extremely happy with myself as I can do something I really love.
“People keep saying we are not doing too bad and I am able to enjoy it. I said to myself ‘no matter what happens it has been a good season’ with all the trouble we had and things slowing us down and taking points away from us. Then crossing that line. I was already thinking… I was tempted to watch the screens but I didn’t as my engineer, the last 10 laps, kept telling me all sorts of things, the gaps and pace. Partly I asked for it, to know where I am. But things I have to watch out for which is fine but I think in none of these 19 races he has been so alive in the last 10 laps.
“I was already thinking ‘what is going on?’ and I was seeing sometimes on the screen Lewis behind the Renault and also I think it was Alonso and Ferrari behind the Renault. But then I just tried to forget and kept driving and focused on myself.”
Vettel admitted he was surprised to become the youngest World Champion, beating Lewis Hamilton by 167 days.
“Yeah, when it comes to records, after Lewis won the championship, I thought to myself, it will be questionable if there will ever be anyone younger than him. And to be fair, he only missed it by only one point the year before. You can argue but records are there to be broken in a way.”