Vettel can equal Schumacher's seven already

Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:04am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - After securing his fourth successive Formula One title last Sunday, Sebastian Vettel can now equal the longest winning streak in the sport's modern era at the same circuit where he won his first.

The 26-year-old Red Bull driver, whose victory in the day-to-night race at Yas Marina in 2010 made him the youngest of world champions, has won the last six grands prix and is now on the brink of matching fellow-German Michael Schumacher's 2004 run of seven for Ferrari.

The only man to win more consecutive races was Italian Alberto Ascari, whose feat of nine in a row was spread over the 1952 and 1953 seasons at a time when the calendar was far shorter than the current globetrotting 19.

Vettel will be the favorite in Abu Dhabi, a race he was won twice in the four years of its existence, after becoming Formula One's youngest quadruple champion with a win in India.

Anyone who imagines that the German might ease off now, his mind perhaps still coming to terms with the magnitude of his achievements and the post-race partying, underestimates just how much he wants to rewrite the record books.

"Absolutely," said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner when asked whether he and his driver still cared about the last three races of the championship. "There's three to go, it's like three FA Cup finals.

"We're going to go and give it everything all the way to the last race," added the Briton.

British bookmakers William Hill offered odds of 7/4 on Vetttel, who has 10 wins in 16 races this year, taking the last three grands prix and equaling Ascari's record.   Continued...

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany performs a pit stop during the Indian F1 Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, October 27, 2013. REUTERS/Aijaz Rahi/Pool