Vettel has now finished first more than in any other position in F1 and the 30th win of his career moved him to within one victory of 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell on the list of all-time winners. And yet Sebastian is only 26; how much more can he achieve during his career?
For Vettel it was the perfect end to his home race, a weekend that had begun with some difficult questions about driver boycotts and tyre issues. As a director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, he dealt with the difficult questions maturely – and the tyre concerns were quickly forgotten once the on-track running got underway because there were none of the issues experienced at Silverstone the previous weekend.
Before all of the noise began on Friday, however, there was an off-track highlight for a select group of F1 personnel. Working Title staged a screening of RUSH, the new movie about James Hunt and Niki Lauda titanic championship fight in 1976, in a cinema adjacent to the circuit. Mercedes drivers Hamilton and Nico Rosberg attended the showing with Lauda himself, while Vettel elected to have an early night.
At the end of the movie director Ron Howard was given a standing ovation and he even received a congratulatory handshake from F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who ran the Brabham team during that period of the sport’s history. The rest of us will have to wait until 13 September to see the film, but some say it’s well worth the wait.
“It’s excellent,” said Hamilton. “I really enjoyed it.”
Hamilton also put in an excellent lap to take pole position on Saturday afternoon, equalling F1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio’s tally of 29 poles. Despite being unhappy with the handling of his W04 at the end of practice, Lewis pulled out an extraordinary lap to take pole by 0.2s from Vettel.
“I gave it everything,” said Seb, “but Lewis was too quick today. We’ll have to try and beat him in the race.”
And beat him he did. Vettel’s closest challengers were the Lotuses of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, with Lewis dropping back to fifth to become the first Silver Arrow driver home in the team’s home race.
There’s now a three-week break until the next race, in Hungary. Before then, however, there’s the Young Driver test at Silverstone. Which of the young guns will get a chance to shine?