Sunday list: Last five drivers to win the F1 world championship in Japan
The National staff | October 13, 2013
At the Japanese Grand Prix today, Mark Webber may have the pole, but Sebastian Vettel has the chance to secure his fourth successive world championship. Graham Caygill, who defended Vettel's reign over F1 last week, looks at the last five drivers to clinch the crown at Suzuka.
1. Sebastian Vettel: The Germanís second world championship with Red Bull Racing was clinched in Japan in 2011, with four races still to run that season. Needing only to score one point, the German driver settled for third place, after starting in pole position, finishing behind race winner Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso on the podium.
2. Michael Schumacher: The most successful driver in F1 history secured two of his seven titles at Suzuka. In 2000, he won the race after an exciting duel with Mika Hakkinen to become champion, and eighth place in 2003 proved enough for him to hold off Kimi Raikkonenís challenge.
3. Mika Hakkinen: In 1998 and 1999, the Finn went to Japan for what was then the final race of the season, knowing that victory would guarantee him the championship. And that is exactly what the McLaren-Mercedes driver delivered on each occasion.
4. Damon Hill: The Briton was already guaranteed to be champion by mid-race in Japan after his Williams teammate Jacques Villeneuve, the only man who could beat him, retired, but he raced on to win his lone championship with a first-place finish.
5. Ayrton Senna: All three of the Brazilianís titles were won in Japan. In 1988, he won the race, in 1990 a controversial collision at the first turn with rival Alain Prost saw him clinch the No 1 on his car, and in 1991 second place was enough to become a triple world champion.