Eight months and 19 races after the 2013 Formula One season was launched, the whole show came to an end last weekend, with the now common sight of Sebastian Vettel being crowned victorious.
The German has had a stellar season, winning all of the final nine races, 13 in total, and breaking record after record for the Red Bull team.
Last weekend’s Grand Prix in picturesque Brazil was the icing on the cake for the 26-year-old who walked away with his fourth consecutive world title. Teammate Mark Webber also clinched his eighth podium finish of the year, coming in third, and will now leave the sport after 12 years to focus on a career elsewhere in racing. Force India’s pairing of Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta have had a rollercoaster season to reflect on after a flying start petered out into seven blank results in the final 11 races.
Both drivers finished the latest race empty handed which proved to be a cruel blow to the British racer, Di Resta, who slipped down two positions in the final overall standings to 12th; Adrian Sutil was 19 points behind in 13th.
Speaking after the race, Di Resta said: “Although I missed out on a top ten position in the championship, it’s been a successful season, an incredible journey and I want to say a massive thanks to the team for the job they’ve done this year.
“I think we can go away from here quite satisfied with what we achieved today and with the year as a whole.” Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal, reiterated his racers’ comments adding: “In the end we achieved our target of a top six finish quite comfortably, which is a real credit to everybody at Sahara Force India. It means we’ve finished in the top six twice in the last three seasons, consolidating our reputation as being the best non-manufacturer team.
“Looking back on the season as a whole I think we can be proud of our performance. The start of the year was exceptional and we recaptured our form in the final few races. We look forward to the challenge of 2014 and will come back determined to pick up where we left off.”
Formula One will return next year for the 2014 campaign with the first race in Australia in March. Until then, teams have four months to ready themselves for the next installment with constructors and drivers alike having to try to find a way of stopping the Vettel dominance.