7x F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher (right) congratulates fellow German, Sebastian Vettel (left) on his 3rd straight title after the 2012 Bazillion Grand Prix which was also the final race of Michael's career. Credit: formula1news.com

Can Sebastian Vettel Win a 4th Straight Formula One World Championship?

Sebastian Vettel is without a doubt one of the greatest drivers to ever get behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car…and he’s only 25 years old! He made his debut in 2007 at the Indianapolis GP driving for BMW Sauber. Vettel turned a lot of heads when he qualified the car 7th and finished 8th becoming the youngest man in history to finish in the points at the age of 19 years and 349 days. That wouldn’t be the last record Seb would shatter…

Sebastian ran the full season in 2008 for Toro Rosso which was a team that averaged around 14th place before he came along. The young racer became the youngest winner in F1 history just a couple months after turning 21 when he took the checkered flag in the Italian Grand Prix by over 12 seconds. After an 8th place points finish, Vettel joined Red Bull Renault for 2009 where he would win 4 races, 4 poles and finish runner-up in the standings just 11pts behind Jenson Button. He continued to break more records and everyone recognized that he had a lot of potential but no one could of foreseen what Sebastian Vettel was going to do in the years to come…

Between 2010 and 2012, Vettel won 3 straight Formula 1 championships, 21 races, 31 poles, and 37 podiums in just 58 events. F1 is more competitive than it’s ever been before so for this 25 year old German to accomplish all that is astonishing. The likes of Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen have been no match for him. Some may say that he is in the best equipment and that’s why he is so dominant which is partially true but this kid has proven that his talent could carry the car if he needed to. Don’t forget what he did in his debut back in 2007 and in one of the more spectacular pieces of driving in recent memory, he drove from practically dead last to the front THREE times during the 2012 Abu Dhabi GP on his way to a 3rd place podium finish.

Now that I’m done with the history lesson, it’s time to answer the big question. Can Sebastian Vettel do it again? Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio are the only drivers to ever accomplish the 4-peat and Seb has plenty of worthy opponents that could stop him in his pursuit to join those two legends. In my opinion, I don’t think he will win the title in 2013. He was untouchable in 2011 but last year, they had to dig deep and fight very hard to stay with Ferrari and Fernando Alonso. Red Bull was fast in 2012 but they had a lot of luck thrown their way as well with rival Fernando Alonso getting caught up in other people’s wrecks multiple times. If it weren’t for all that bad luck, we would be calling Ferrari’s #1 a 3x World Champion right now. Red Bull was vulnerable last year, something we haven’t seen in a while. Mechanical failures and problems with KERS plagued both Webber and Vettel which cost them valuable points and even victories.

My pick to win it all is Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen with my dark horse being none-other than 2008 runner-up, Felipe Massa. I pick Kimi because of how solid he was in 2012 despite only winning one race and I was truly amazed with how much that team had improved between 2011 and 2012. As for Massa, I think he is back and hungrier than ever. Felipe has not won a single race since the freak accident that nearly killed him in 2009 and after rumors that he would lose his seat at Ferrari arose in the middle of last year, it’s like someone lit a fire under him. The Massa of old returned and he was suddenly battling for a spot on the podium nearly every week and was even faster than his teammate, Fernando Alonso at times! There are drivers out there that want to win while someone like Felipe Massa needs it and he seems to shine when the pressure is on.  That unshakable will to succeed is why he still has a ride and why I believe he can do it. In 2013, five former champions and nine former race winners will make up the 22 car field. With so much talent taking the grid this year, you have to be at the top of your game and make zero mistakes if you want to be crowned the Formula 1 World Champion come November.

Tags: F1 Fernando Alonso Formula One Kimi Raikkonen Michael Schumacher Sebastian Vettel

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