Sebastian Vettel has equalled a sixty-year record for the most consecutive wins in Formula One by winning today’s Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos with a fine display in damp conditions.
The German driver has gone undefeated since the end of August when his streak started with victory in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Since then, no other driver has won a race, meaning that he will head to next year’s Australian Grand Prix with a winning record that has lasted for over six months.
By winning nine races in a row, Vettel ties with Alberto Ascari who set the record across two seasons in 1952 and 1953. However, this record is debated as the Indy 500 – previously a race in the Formula One world championship – is not included in this record as Ascari did not take part. Nevertheless, it is an amazing record for both drivers to boast, but Vettel’s is particularly special given the era in which it has been set. Vettel does however become the first driver to win nine consecutive races within a single season.
He also equals the record for the most wins within a single season, matching Michael Schumacher’s tally of thirteen from 2004 when his compatriot won his seventh and final world championship with Ferrari.
For Vettel to be spoken about in the same sense as these names is testament to his achievements in his relatively short career. He will now be chasing an unprecedented tenth consecutive victory at the opening race of the 2014 F1 season in Australia.
Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.
“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”
The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.
“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”
Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.