A 26-year-old four time Formula 1 World Champion. Just take that in for a second. Four times. At 26? Bonkers. Utter madness. The guy is a phenomenal talent and thoroughly deserves all the recognition that he will, or should, receive.

Even after clinching title number four, I'm sure he'll still have his critics. Cynics that refuse to believe he's the greatest. That he only wins because he has the best car. True, he does, but so does his team mate. So have, throughout the years, the vast majority of former World Champions. You don't just get given the best car; you work for it, you earn the right. Vettel has, and by gosh he's deserved it.

Is it easy to win from pole? Yes, of course, that's why we all do it...oh wait. Yes, it puts you in the best place possible to do so, but 300km in a Formula 1 car is a long, long way. Just look at how many drivers were nursing their cars home today, including Seb. A lot can happen, and often does. Want to understand how great Vettel is? Watch the first lap of a race and see just how far ahead he gets of second place.

Things that were once thrown at Sebastian now no longer stand up. 'He can't overtake'. 'He only wins from the front'. At one point yes, you could argue that was true. Mainly because he started at the front and would scamper off into the distance. His wins may have looked easy over recent times, but this definitely wasn't the case. He's had to overtake to win. He's overtaken, and he's won. Not just overtaken, but done so when he had to. No messing around, no wasted time. Ruthless driving that has, at least this season, set him apart from many, many others. Has he gone beyond ruthless at times (well, Malaysia)? Maybe, but that's what he has been produced to do and be. Whether that's right or wrong is another matter.

Now to one point that irritates me greatly; the argument that he's not been up against an Alonso/Raikkonen/Hamilton within the same team. True, he hasn't. But how have the others, particularly Alonso, fared when they've had an elite driver alongside them? Not well, would be the answer. It just doesn't stack up, and is something that's easy to say but hard to agree with. Also, what about Webber? He may not be in the same ilk as the aforementioned drivers, but he's still a very, very good driver. At times he has beaten Vettel, he has tested Vettel.

Next year we'll see Fernando and Kimi alongside each other, a battle that we're all looking forward to witnessing. Who will come out on top? We don't know. But we can speculate, we can guess. To say that Vettel isn't a great because he's not raced alongside a top line driver is, quite frankly, ridiculous. One day I'm sure we'll see him against an Alonso, a Raikkonen, whoever is next to make the step up. But until then, let's just celebrate what we are witnessing. A great driver, in a great car, at the top of his game.

Have I always been a Vettel fan? No. But as he's grown as a star, my respect and appreciation for what he is has grown exponentially. Jumping on the bandwagon? Nope. Just an admiration of a supreme talent. We have a grid of great drivers, but a grid of just a few superstars. Vettel is amongst them. Is he the best overall driver? That's for you to judge. Has he been the best driver this season? Yes. Where does he rank amongst the all times greats? Again, you decide. One thing is for sure, he's making a very good case to be right up there.

2014 could spell change. The running order could be different. Red Bull could be nowhere (unlikely, but they could). But so could Ferrari, so could Lotus, so could Mercedes. We just don't know. What we do know though, is that Sebastian Vettel is a four time World Champion. A huge congratulations to him, the team and everyone involved. The people who've deserved to win the most have, just how it should be. I'm sure the rest will come back fighting strong and hard next season, but for now it's Red Bull's time, again. We still have three races left, so let's get ourselves ready for some great racing with drivers pushing for every key point and position, particularly ahead of next season.

Today belongs to IVettel. Will next season also belong to Vettel?

Paul Godley - 27/10/2013

Image source (and all image rights): Vettel and Newey celebrate on the podium - uthmag.com/

Top Drivers

Driver Points
Hamilton 252
Rosberg 211
Vettel 203
Raikkonen 107
Bottas 101
Massa 97



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