Mark Webber admits Sebastian Vettel was "in another category out front" in Abu Dhabi
World Champion claims seventh successive victory under the lights
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 03/11/13 6:25pm
Stretching the definition of dominant to a new pitch of superiority, Vettel crossed the line thirty seconds clear of Webber's sister Red Bull as the recently-recrowned World Champion claimed his seventh successive victory in resplendent fashion. The superlatives have long since been exhausted with even Webber, no friend or vocal admirer of Vettel, moved to admit that the German is currently performing in a different league to the rest of the field.
"Seb was in another category out front," admitted Webber. "In the first stint, I wasn't strong enough on the soft tyres, Seb got a very, very good gap. He's driving in the sweet spot."
Such was the extent of Vettel's advantage under the lights of the Yas Marina Circuit that one of the first questions to be asked of Red Bull boss Christian Horner as the team celebrated their 100th podium in F1 was how it was possible, in a sport that used to be measured in tenths of a second, for Vettel to be half a minute clear of Webber in identical machinery over 55 laps.
"Both cars had no issues today," assured Horner. "Sebastian simply selected another gear. Mark is a very fine driver, but the dominance Sebastian is displaying at the moment is simply astonishing."
Nor is there any reason to suspect Vettel's unerring dominance won't continue in the season-ending races in America and Brazil, with the Red Bull RB9 so vastly superior to the comparatively pedestrian Ferraris, Mercedes and Lotuses.
Only a year ago, Vettel was strongly linked with a move to Ferrari but there seems little prospect of the 26-year-old transferring out of Milton Keynes given that the team have now provided their drivers with the fastest package on the grid since the latter half of 2009. Winning is an addictive habit and it seems Vettel has no intention of changing tack or team.
"I'm having a very good time right now, I don't have any need to change things," Vettel told Sky Sports F1 ahead of his latest cruise to the chequered flag. "We have a great car and a great spirit, which is important because you have to feel well with the people you work with.
"I don't know what's coming but right now I am very happy where I am."