When I was watching the penultimate race of the 2010 Formula 1 season, I found myself wondering what was going through the mind of newly-crowned World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
For someone at the age of 23 years and five months, winning the world’s fastest biggest racing championship must be a feeling that cannot be described with words.
It wasn’t just about winning the championship; it goes beyond the title and the name – it was about proving his mentality and showing others his will to win.
It doesn’t matter if people think he will become the next Michael Schumacher; he will eventually be if he achieves the titles seven times one day.
Vettel is capable of being the fastest on Saturdays, having earned no less than 10 poles this season. However, technical issues plagued him at the start of the season and his lack of ability and experience to conserve tyres cost him a few more possible race wins.
Not once did he lead the championship outright, only once sharing the title with team-mate Mark Webber (that is another story to tell).
But he steadily kept making wrongs right and kept doing what he wanted to do, even if he was doing things that others didn’t like. He knew what he wanted and he knew what he had to do to get it.
A driving mistake by Webber and an erroneous tactical call by the team for Fernando Alonso made it easier for Vettel to carry the car home and take the chequered flag along with the drivers’ title.
I have always believed in Fate.
If something is meant to be yours, it will be; no matter how much you don’t want it at times. Similarly, if something is not meant to be yours, it will never be no matter how hard you try. Well you might have it for a while or have a part of it, but the effort you put in will probably not be worth all that much after all.
There were five title contenders battling it out to the end – 2005 and 2006 World Champion Alonso, 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, 2009 World Champion Jenson Button, Webber and Vettel.
Alonso, Hamilton and Button have all won before so if all five of them stood on equal ground, I was rooting for a Red Bull Racing victory.
To be honest I was hoping for Webber to win. Not because I think he deserves it the most or that he’s the fastest, but because I think it is time for him to win.
It is a great pity and I can only imagine his disappointment, but it was fated that this season will not be his turn.
Many critics and pundits were saying that Vettel is still young and that he will be World Champion one day, but being the youngest of the five title contenders was not a reason to stop Vettel from going all out to get it.
Indeed he may still have a long time ahead of him to try and win the title, but right now he’s in the right place at the right time and if he has the chance at it there shouldn’t be any reason for him not to.
He may have done certain things that people disapprove of, and some may think he doesn’t deserve the title as much as the others, but regardless of how or what anyone thinks, the victory is solidly Vettel’s – nothing and no one can change that.
Vettel and I at a PUMA F1 event last year
*This was first published in 9tro magazine, issue #5.