Sebastian Vettel and PUMA are world champion!!

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After a superb drive in Abu Dhabi PUMA supplied Sebastian Vettel becomes the youngest-ever Formula One champion and puts Fernando Alonso as well as his team mate Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton in their places.

Vettel’s victory at the Yas Marina Circuit showed again the dominance of the PUMA supplied Red Bull Racing Team after winning the Constructors’ Championship last weekend in Brazil.

Sebastian Vettel snatched away the title from Fernando Alonso by just four points, while Mark Webber ends a successful season third in the drivers’ rankings ahead of the McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. This means that the first 3 drivers in the overall driver standings as well as the best team are PUMA supplied!

In a thrilling race in Abu Dhabi Sebastian Vettel managed to finish first, followed by Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica, Vitaly Petrov, Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber in eighth.

By winning two titles, it turned out that RBR’s sporting philosophy has been a successful strategy. We would like to send our congratulations to Sebastian Vettel and to the whole Red Bull Racing team for their great success! But we also want to send our congratulations to Fernando Alonso and to the Scuderia Ferrari for a fantastic season.

Sebastian Vettel: “I’m speechless. I don’t know what you are supposed to say in these moments, it has been an incredibly tough season for myself and all of us, physically and mentally. We always kept believing in ourselves – no matter what people said – in the team and in our car. I kept believing in myself and today was a special day all round. I got up this morning and tried not to think about anything; I tried to avoid contact with people and just tried to do my own thing. I knew all I could try to do was win this race and do my best. We only led this Championship once this season, but it was when it mattered. The car was phenomenal today; the start was very tight with Lewis (Hamilton), and I had some graining in the first stint, but then the car stabilised and was a dream. To be honest, I didn’t know anything until I passed the chequered flag. I was wondering, because my race engineer Rocky was trying to give me advice every lap to help me carry the car home and I was thinking ‘Why’s this guy so nervous, we must be in a bloody good position!’ Then crossing the line he came on the radio and very silently said ‘it’s looking good, we have to wait until all the cars finish’. I was thinking ‘what does he mean,’ as I hadn’t seen the screens – I just wanted to make sure I didn’t get any distractions during the race and focused on myself. Then Christian came on the radio and screamed at me that we had won the World Championship – I have to say thanks to so many people. To start with, the team: that’s all the people here at the track and all the people in Milton Keynes – they are pushing like hell and I think they will be enjoying this moment as much as last week. Also everyone back in Austria, who has supported me from the beginning – it’s been an incredible journey with Red Bull and, after all the ups and downs this season, to come here now and win the Championship is unbelievable. Thanks to everyone I have known from the early days in karting and those in my home town of Heppenheim to now, thank you so much.”

Mark Webber: “It was a big day and we had the chance to do something incredibly unique, but in the end it didn’t turn out for us. Earlier in the race we knew we had to roll the dice and go for it with the strategy, but it left us exposed and Fernando (Alonso) covered us. I tried my absolute hardest and we did everything we could, but in the end it wasn’t enough. You’ve got to take your hat off to Sebastian, he’s done a great job all year and to lead the Championship at the last race, he’s got the timing right and I fully congratulate him on the World Championship. I was in with a chance of winning the Championship until the last race, so I must have been doing something right and in the end there are a lot of positives. I feel I have driven very well for most of the season and that’s the most important thing to me. This weekend didn’t turn out and it’s a shame, but it’s a good time to reflect in the next few weeks and look back at the highs and the lows but that’s the way the sport is sometimes. There have been quite a few emotions over the last couple of weeks; when you come so close to the top and just miss out, it’s a shame, but I tried my absolute hardest and I have great guys around me. I think two championships for the team is not bad and I’ll be fighting again next season.”

Christian Horner: “It’s an unbelievable outcome. The first time Sebastian has led the Championship is at the last race of the year, but arguably that’s the only time you need to lead it. He’s stuck with it though this year, he’s had some tough times and he’s had his issues with reliability here and there, but he’s never lost his focus. He’s the youngest ever Formula One World Champion and a very deserving World Champion. It’s down to what he’s done on the circuit and the whole team is hugely proud of what he’s achieved today. We mustn’t forget Mark in all this and what an incredible job he’s done this year. He’s driven superbly well, he’s won four grand prix victories and has taken the Championship to the final race. It could have gone to either one of them this year and it’s a great privilege to have these two guys in our team. But today belongs to Sebastian Vettel and it’s fantastic to have Mr Mateschitz here to witness our first Drivers’ World Championship. It’s been a very big and emotional week for the team and I’d like to thank every single member, all our suppliers, everyone at Red Bull and Dietrich Mateschitz for his unfaltering support. It’s been a very, very big week.”

Fabrice Lom, Renault, Principal Engineer Track Support: “I have to say wow again and so soon after Interlagos. It’s a great moment. Sebastian with his superb driving undid the mechanical problems we had and the engine failure. We have had such a great year and have won both titles. We are really proud to be Red Bull Racing’s engine partner and proud to help Seb to his title, it ends the 2010 season in a great way. I would like to thank all the guys in the factory at Red Bull, everyone at the Renault factory in Viry-Chatillon and everyone at Mechachrome for this fantastic year we have all shared together.”

Fernando Alonso: “It’s a shame to get to the end of the season and then lose the title at the final moment, but that’s racing, that is sport. Everything went wrong today, from the start itself to the strategy. With hindsight, it would have been better not to pit so soon, but it’s easy to say that when you have all the facts: however, it was definitely not an easy decision. I want to congratulate Red Bull and its drivers: over the course of the season they have had a little something extra than us and they deserve to be where they are today. I had said it over the past few days: this is still a great season. There have been some very intense months and I found myself in a team that has an amazing atmosphere. Now there is some sadness, but I am sure that in a few hours, with a clear head, we will begin to appreciate better what we have achieved. We have to continue like that, staying united and determined. We have to face next year with the same will to win which has characterised this one and, something I learned very quickly, is also in the Ferrari blood. We must improve the car and ensure that the mistakes that all of us – we drivers and the team – have made during the year, are not repeated.”