During his meteoric 2011 season, double champion-elect Sebastian Vettel has quietly climbed the list of all time greats.
Before the season began, the young German was 29th on the all-time winner’s list with his ten victories, alongside Gerhard Berger and James Hunt.
After Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, his career tally has grown to 19 — one more than his friend Kimi Raikkonen.
Also now left in 24-year-old Vettel’s wake are the famous Stirling Moss (16 wins), Lewis Hamilton (16), Jack Brabham (14), Graham Hill (14), Emerson Fittipaldi (14), David Coulthard (13), Jacques Villeneuve (11) and others.
And the next to fall will be Mika Hakkinen’s tally of 20 career wins.
“It’s not really my objective but it’s incredible news in a way, because obviously everyone knows drivers like Kimi and Mika,” said Vettel.
After Hakkinen, he will be knocking on the door of the all-time top ten, although Michael Schumacher holds the record with an incredible tally of 91 wins.
“(That) record is far, far away,” smiled Vettel. “A long way to go but I’m very happy at the moment.”
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, with 27 wins in his pocket, has been impressed in 2011 not only by Vettel but the superiority of the Red Bull car.
We have to keep calm and set the course for 2012
“I don’t know how often you will see another car in pole position 14 times out of 14,” he is quoted by La Stampa newspaper. “It’s incredible.
“They are too strong,” Auto Motor und Sport quotes the Spaniard as saying. “We have to keep calm and set the course for 2012.”