Sports‎ > ‎

Germany's Vettel is F1's youngest champion

posted 14 Nov 2010, 09:10 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 14 Nov 2010, 09:13 ]

Heppenheim, home town of F1's youngest champion, celebrates after Sebastian Vettel takes the title after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Over 1,000 Formula 1 fans in Heppenheim exploded into rapturous celebration as Heppenheim-local and racing's new golden boy, Sebastian Vettel on Sunday (November 14) became F1's youngest world champion.

The some 1,500-strong crowd watched the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on a live screen organised by the Vettel-Fanclub and broke into screams of 'Sebastian, Sebastian' and sang 'Highway to Hell' when the 23-year-old won with a pole to flag victory.

The public viewing event took place in a garage of a car dealership.

Vettel had begun the race behind Spaniard Fernando Alonso and Red Bull team mate Australian Mark Webber in the championship standings, but Vettel led the race from the start with Alonso and Webber dropping back to give Vettel the title.

"Absolutely fantastic. The whole of Heppenheim is celebrating his win," said fan Bernd Stuck.

"Sensational. After the qualifying run yesterday I wasn't expecting it but today was just sensational. Thank you to the Russians," said fan Juergen Mueller, referring to Russian Renault driver Vitaly Petrov who stayed ahead of Alonso for much of the race.

"Well, the whole thing was a close run but I think the whole of Heppenheim believed in it (a win). It's deserved," said another fan Sasha Neudig.

Vettel was born and went to school in southern Hesse's Heppenheim, a town surrounded by vineyards between Heidelberg and Darmstadt. He became the youngest driver to take part in a grand prix weekend when he drove for BMW-Sauber in Friday practice in Turkey in 2006 aged 19 and 53 days.

Vettel became world champion at the age of 23 and 135 days. The previous youngest was McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in 2008, aged 23 and 301 days.

Vettel is only Germany's second F1 world champion, after seven times champion Michael Schumacher.