Vettel puts Schumacher in the shade

Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:59pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - They called him 'Baby Schumi' when he first came into Formula One but Sebastian Vettel has blown away even Michael Schumacher with his third successive title at the age of 25 and after just 101 races.

The youngest triple champion the sport has ever seen, the Red Bull driver is only the third - after the late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio and Schumacher himself - to win three championships in a row.

The younger German is the only man, however, to take his first three titles in consecutive years.

Vettel's latest moment of triumph came on Sunday at a Brazilian Grand Prix that saw Schumacher finally depart the stage at the age of 43 and after a record seven titles and 91 wins in a career spanning more than two decades.

Schumacher started out racing the likes of Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Alain Prost and he leaves with the sport dominated by a man who was four years old when the older German made his 1991 debut.

It took Schumacher 143 races to become a triple champion at the age of 31.

Vettel, less baby-faced than he was but still cheerfully cheeky, has always been a man in a hurry from the day he came into Formula One in 2007 and immediately became the youngest driver to score a point.

He became the youngest grand prix pole sitter, race winner and driver on the podium with Toro Rosso in 2008, the youngest champion in 2010 and, unlike Schumacher, has a strong sense of Formula One history.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Michael Schumacher of Germany (R) congratulates compatriot Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel after the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix at Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo November 25, 2012. Vettel became Formula One's youngest triple world champion at the age of 25 at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes