Following Sebastian Vettel's title win at Suzuka, Niki Lauda spoke of the back-to-back champion in glowing terms: "It's hard to see how he could have carried it off in greater style. The end of the season is still a long way off, yet here he is with the championship already sewn up."

He sees the fact that Vettel didn't crown his achievement with a win on track as merely a minor blemish: "OK, he only managed third place today, but after the team botched his pit stops, he was never going to finish any higher."

Yet amidst all the jubilation surrounding Vettel, the Austrian ex-champion hopes that the role played by the Red Bull boss won't be overlooked: "Dietrich Mateschitz deserves praise and congratulations for the way he has seen off the likes of Ferrari and McLaren with his drinks brand. Red Bull really does give you wings."

Lauda attributes the rest of the credit to all the hard work put in by Sebastian Vettel and his team: "That's what made this outstanding performance possible and brought in the title ahead of time."