Last Sunday evening Autosport.com published various commemorative features on Formula 1's newly-crowned (and youngest) double world champion, Sebastian Vettel. Since the flag had fallen after 53 gruelling laps of racing at Suzuka, arguably the best circuit on the calendar currently, the 24-year-old German, who finished third to clinch the title with four races to go, had been on a rollercoaster ride, with the entire paddock wanting a part of him. He did not disappoint, dutifully thanking all those who had conspired to make his dream come true (again).
Vettel wrapped up his second title at Suzuka last weekend © sutton-images.com
Among the features was one titled 'Vettel's world title year in pictures,' which in a sequence of 42 photographs perfectly captured his road to the 2011 championship. However, the logo of the real power behind his throne - Renault - is visible in just six of the visuals, so low-key has been the engine supplier's partnership with Red Bull Racing.
By contrast 'Infiniti' appears no less than 14 times, yet the luxury Japanese automobile brand is no more than a commercial partner to the effort - through being a subsidiary of Nissan, which is, in turn, part-owned by Renault.
However, true to his manners and upbringing, Vettel did not forget the crucial role played by Renault, which powered a driver to the world title for the fourth time in seven years (2005,'06, '10 and '11), and looks set to take the constructors' title in partnership with the drinks company-owned team for the second year in succession.
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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken