BESIKTAS, Turkey – The venue may change but the names are familiar, as once again Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing were been presented with their FIA Formula One World Championship trophies at the FIA Prize Giving Gala.
With the Bosporus as a backdrop, Istanbul’s magnificent Ciragan Palace played host as 2012 champions from across the world of FIA motor sports were honored with their trophies. Vettel, the 2012 FIA Formula One World Champion driver, was presented with his by FIA President Jean Todt.
Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen also received awards for second and third places respectively in the Drivers’ Championship.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to be here tonight and to be able to take this trophy back home for another year. As I said last time, it isn’t something you want to give back,” said Vettel. “Winning the title with Red Bull Racing three times in a row makes us all feel very proud. This was a season with lots of ups and downs and the team had to push hard to get me over the line. In the garage and at the factory everyone did an incredible job, and the support we had from Renault was also great.”
While Vettel was able to win the 2011 title by a comfortable margin, this year’s World Championship went down to the wire and a rain-soaked dramatic season finale in Brazil. Vettel’s fortunes at Interlagos seemed to change by the lap, as he survived a first lap collision and relegation to last place before fighting his way through the field to become the youngest triple World Champion in the history of Formula One.
In an eventful season he managed to win the Grands Prix of Bahrain, Singapore, Japan, Korea and India, taking his career tally of victories to 26 and seventh place on the all-time list.
With Mark Webber adding wins in Monaco and Great Britain to Vettel’s haul, it was another year of success for Red Bull Racing, for whom team principal Christian Horner collected the FIA Formula One Constructors World Championship trophy, also for the third year in a row.
Alongside their seven victories, the team managed seven other podium finishes, eight pole positions and seven fastest laps. They scored points in nineteen of the 20 races.
“This is a phenomenal achievement for our team,” said Horner. “The hard work and the dedication this year have been exemplary – but I think hard work and dedication have been common up and down the pitlane in this fantastic Formula One season. It didn’t seem possible we could raise our game after last year but I think we have. The team have used every scrap of their skill and ingenuity, they’ve had the courage of their convictions and have refused to buckle under the most enormous pressure. I’m honored to collect this trophy on their behalf.”