Sebastian Vettel's domination of the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship was not only verified by the German wrapping up his second title in Japan last weekend, but it is also fast becoming one of the best overall performances in the history of the sport.
For a change, Vettel didn't win. It didn't stop him becoming champion though © LAT
Right from his victory in Australia, the die was cast as the Red Bull driver became the 32nd driver to take the title having begun the year with a win and the fifth in the last six years (only Fernando Alonso bucking the trend last season).
After the sixth GP of 2011 at Monaco, Vettel was already more than two wins' worth of points clear of the driver in second place in the championship. The last time that happened was in 1976, although Niki Lauda infamously managed to lose the world championship on that occasion.
By the time the European Grand Prix - the eighth race of the year - was done, he had more than three wins' worth of points in hand over the second placed man, having won six times already. Significantly, nobody has failed to win the title with such an advantage at that stage.
Get back on track. Join today for unlimited access to all Autosport news and features.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from monthly, yearly and two-yearly packages.