Vettel's world title year in pictures
There were signs of nerves from Vettel on the grid in Australia, but there need not have been for the polesitter.
This would become a thoroughly predictable sight during 2011; the pack bunch up for the first corner at Melbourne, but Vettel is already well clear.
Vettel has had an uncanny ability to preserve his tyres this year. Lewis Hamilton tries to work out how he's done it after the Australian GP.
One down, 18 to go. Victory in Australia avenged the misery of a brake failure that caused him to retire a year earlier.
Without the Red Bull team - seen here in the Sepang pitlane - on hand to support his efforts, Vettel is just a guy in a car.
Snap! Victory from pole once again as Red Bull dominates in Malaysia.
Practice can be a lonely time at a circuit like Shanghai. It's no problem for Vettel; his focus is on dialling the car in and gathering tyre data.
A few more fans turn up on raceday to watch Vettel - on pole again - attempt to keep up his perfect start to the season.
With tyre wear crucial in the outcome of the Chinese GP, McLaren's three-stopper helps Hamilton inflict a rare defeat against Vettel.
Chinese win notwithstanding, Hamilton starts wishing he had a car as consistently quick as Vettel's Red Bull.
Istanbul Park brings about a fifth pole position in a row for Vettel, something Michael Schumacher only managed once himself. And he crashes in practice too!
Vettel leads from Rosberg at the start in Turkey, but the Mercedes challenge falters as Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso dispute second in arrears of the German.
These days Vettel is a big draw at grands prix, as an impromptu autograph session at Alonso-crazy Barcelona proves.
Once on-track, he gets down to the business in hand, but this time it's his team-mate Webber on pole in Spain.
Webber doesn't get a sniff of the German on raceday though as Vettel takes another easy win to increase his championship lead to 41 points...
...It's not for the want of trying by the others, though. A rocket start from Alonso gets the Ferrari into the lead for the first 18 laps...
... But Vettel gets by at the second round of stops and takes just 43 laps to put a whole lap on the national hero.
On to Monaco and another pole - helped by Sergio Perez's Q2 crash preventing Lewis Hamilton from having a chance to challenge for the top spot.
An accidental switch to hard tyres at his first pitstop costs Vettel pace, but enables him to go the distance and back-up the charging Alonso and Jenson Button.
Helped by a late-race stoppage and a subsequent switch to fresher, softer rubber, he holds off the pair for a maiden Monaco victory.
After Webber's 2010 win in the principality, Vettel just has to jump in the pool, carefully constructed on top of the Red Bull Energy Centre.
A rare mistake on worn tyres on the final lap costs Vettel victory in Canada as Button slips by to take the spoils in the most dramatic race of the year.
Vettel dominated at Valencia in 2010, and this year produces a carbon copy performance with all the rest failing to get anywhere near.
It is a straightforward win at the European Grand Prix, but that doesn't make it any less satisfying when the champagne is introduced.
Defeat to Alonso's Ferrari is a surprise at Silverstone, one which is put down to cooler temperatures failing to enable Red Bull to unlock the performance of its Pirellis.
A late race command to Webber to 'hold station' behind the slowing Vettel does not go down well with either driver.
Germany; more cool temperatures and another defeat - this time to Hamilton's McLaren. Alarm bells start ringing. He surely can't lose this title, can he?
In Vettel's worst showing of the year, he qualifies off the front row for the first time in 15 races and finishes fourth.
Hungarian GP practice is a frantic affair, but a warmer day does at least give Red Bull optimism ahead of the weekend.
He doesn't have the pace of Hamilton as the Red Bulls again struggle to warm-up their wet Pirellis in tricky conditions. Vettel finishes second behind Button.
Rain at Spa leads to a Vettel pole but a protracted argument after Red Bull cambers its wheels beyond Pirelli's safe limit for dry conditions...
RBR fails in bid to be allowed to change cambers without penalty, so sticks with the qualifying set-up. A brilliant Vettel win proves it - and not starting from pitlane - was the right decision.
Monza, and perhaps the most impressive of Vettel's GP wins to date. Despite having the slowest car in a straight line down the long straights, Vettel takes pole and victory.
A decision by Red Bull to gear the car for acceleration out of the slow chicanes pays off big-time, but it still requires a ballsy pass on Alonso on the grass to seal victory.
This is an emotional win for Vettel; not only does it put him on the verge of the title - 112 points ahead of Alonso - but also comes three years after his maiden GP victory.
Vettel dominated the Singapore Grand Prix right from the start, opening a comfortable gap that allowed him to take it easy in the end, despite the pressure from Button.
The Singapore victory left the German on the verge of his second title, needing just one point in the remaining five races. Japan was next, and all was ready for glory.
Vettel arrived at the Japanese Grand Prix as hot favourite to dominate, with Suzuka having been one of Red Bull's best tracks in the past.
In the end it was not as easy at he would have hoped, and he had to put on a superb flying lap in Q3 to secure his 12th pole of the season. His second title was just a day away now.
Vettel crosses the line at Suzuka to become world champion for a second time.
Vettel is swamped by his jubilant Red Bull team immediately after the race in Japan.
He may not have wanted to only finish third in the race, but with another title in his pocket, Vettel still had more than enough to celebrate on the Suzuka podium.
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