Sebastian Vettel was taken back to memories of his youth and the stranglehold fellow German Michael Schumacher had on Formula One as the latest man to dominate the sport romped to yet another win in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Red Bull driver had already wrapped up a fourth successive world drivers’ championship a week before traveling to the United Arab Emirates but that did not stop him displaying his superiority over the rest of the grid with a masterful lights-to-flag victory.
It marked Vettel’s seventh win in a row, equalling Schumacher’s record across a single season.
Schumacher has seven titles and 91 race wins but Vettel has age on his side as he continues to sit atop the Formula One throne.
“They had a very strong car and a strong team spirit for many years,” said Vettel. “If you look back you feel he won every second race but to equal some of the stuff that they managed to achieve is very, very special for me - but also for the whole team.
“After 2011 we said it would be very difficult to repeat a season like that and maybe it comes across once in a lifetime. Now, we can probably say it came across twice, at least.”
With the season coming towards an end Vettel is still on course to beat the all-time record for consecutive wins - currently held by Alberto Ascari, who won nine in a row - and can equal Schumacher’s 13 wins in one campaign if he takes the chequered flag in the United States and Brazil.
The constructors’ title has also gone to Red Bull for the fourth straight year and Mark Webber took second place on Sunday to round off another satisfying weekend for team principal Christian Horner, who was left toasting a 100th podium for the team.
“It is an immense achievement in nine years,” he said.
“Everyone in the team can rightly feel hugely proud of what has been achieved. It is very easy to become complacent but it was very important for us, having won the championship, not to be complacent. It was a perfect weekend in terms of strategy, execution and reliability. We ticked all the boxes.”