Not even Jenson Button’s victory at the Japanese Grand Prix kept the 24-year-old German driver from winning his second title at the Japanese Grand Prix. Prior to the Japanese Grand Prix all that separated defending champion Sebastian Vettel from renewing his title was just one point. The 24-year-old German driver had not abandoned a single race in the 2011 Formula 1 season, where after 15 events his worst result had been a 4th place. At Suzuka Circuit he was going to start the race from the pole position, setting the perfect conditions to clinch that missing point and claim his second consecutive championship. With the battle for No. 2 in the championship boiling hot between McLaren British drivers Jenson Button (185 points) and Lewis Hamilton (168 pts), Spaniard Fernando Alonso from Ferrari (184 pts) and Australian Mark Webber from Red Bull Racing (182 pts).
The race at Suzuka Circuit wasn’t going to just an easy ride through its 53 laps for Vettel, since as former World Champions these four drivers were only used to giving all they got, despite no longer fighting for the title. In the first lap Button claimed through his radio a penalty on Vettel, who had evidently blocked his way, and if it wasn’t because the British driver used his breaks on time and put his wheels on the grass, both of them could have ended up abandoning the race. Button’s first attempt to pass through the German had not been successful, and neither his complaint, but he was going to get his revenge after lap 20, when Vettel’s second pit stop of the race allowed him to claim No. 1. Vettel was going to fall down one more position, since with 10 laps to go he received orders not to risk the race when he was challenged by Alonso, who claimed No. 2. The 24-year-old driver only needed one more point to become the youngest two-time F1 World Champion, and with the third place he was securing 15 points.
On their way to the podium Button wanted to know why Vettel had blocked his way on lap 1, to which the German replied that he “didn’t want to put him in danger”, but he thinks that considering the fact that he was ahead of Button, rather than besides him, he had the right to defend his position. During the celebrations, which were not prolonged for too much time, since the energy drink squad had to pack everything and start preparing the upcoming Korean GP to be disputed this weekend at Yeongam, Vettel excused himself for not finding the right words to express his feelings, but highlighted that he “couldn’t have done this without all the support from the team.” Despite having secured title with four races still to go, Vettel has more reasons to keep him motivated, such as tying the pole position record hold by Nigel Mansell since 1992 with 14, just two more than the 12 that the German has won this season. Therefore you can expect more from the champion at Korea.