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Formula One

By Richard Whittaker, Fri., Nov. 15, 2013

Formula One

Wilt Chamberlain's first year with the Philadelphia Warriors. Lou Gehrig's record-setting 1927 season. Sometimes, you just get to see a natural step up. In Formula One, it's Sebastian Vettel, the four-time world champion. Not bad, considering this is only the 26-year-old German's seventh year behind the wheel on an F1 car. The 2013 season has proved the unstoppable dominance Red Bull's lead driver, who sealed the deal on the championship back in October in Abu Dhabi. This weekend, he returns to the Circuit of the Americas, the track that almost derailed his championship hopes last year.

The Austin circuit became a driver and fan favorite last year, with its switchback rise into turn one, and the unexpected merciless turn 16 proving a breaker of men. Vettel's performance was imperfect, taking pole position but coming second on the day to Brit Lewis Hamilton. With the title pressure off, can he take first place? Or will the still-roiling conflict for silver and bronze between Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen become the battle to watch?

Fri.-Sun., Nov. 15-17. Shuttles make round trips from the Convention Center to the track 7am-7:30pm all three days for $5. Circuit of the Americas, 512/301-6600. www.circuitoftheamericas.com.

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