March 9, 2013
The rain was pouring in Sao Paulo as the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix came to a close, the safety car making certain there would be no surprises in the final stages. And though Sebastian Vettel passed the rain-soaked chequered flag in sixth place, he knew it would be enough.
By only three points ahead of rival Fernando Alonso, he had won his third consecutive World Championship Formula One title.
It had been a far tougher year for Vettel compared to 2011 in which he won 11 out of 19 Grands Prix. The young German driver won only five races in 2012, but many would agree that by taking overall victory, despite even stiffer competition from former champions Alonso, Button and Hamilton, he had proved himself to be a driver of rare quality, grit and determination.
Now he is behind only Juan Manuel Fangio, who won four straight titles between 1954 and 1957, and Michael Schumacher, with five titles between 2000 and 2004, who have a better record of consecutive championships.
Mirroring his World Championship wins, Vettel’s increasing domination of his sport has now brought him his third consecutive Nomination for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.
Formula One legend and Laureus Academy Member Mika Hakkinen, certainly believes the young driver has a case for finally winning the Award.
Hakkinen said: “Sebastian Vettel proved last year that he is a fighter and a real competitor. It did not go too well for him and his team at the start of the year, but no one panicked and they finally produced a car and driver package to win their third straight title. By the end of the year he was driving a great car in the Red Bull, but there is no doubting his ability and skill. To win three world championships by the age of 25 is remarkable and it makes you wonder just how many more he can win in the next ten years. He has the chance to rewrite the record books.”
Do you think Vettel’s 2012 success makes him worthy of the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award over fellow Nominees Bolt, Messi, Wiggins, Farah and Phelps?
Let us know why Vettel gets your support in the comments below!