Sebastian Vettel
The German is set to win his fourth consecutive Formula One Championship.

With Sebastian Vettel currently on the brink of winning his fourth consecutive Formula One title, IBTimes UK decided to take a look at five big moments that defined the season as the German hunts down fellow countryman Michael Schumacher's record total of seven championships.

Malaysia: Defying team orders

When Mark Webber and Vettel reached the final laps of the Malaysian Grand Prix the pair were told by the team principle to keep their positions. The veteran Australian was ahead of his German teammate but the younger driver would refuse to listen to the order and subsequently moved past his fellow Red Bull driver to claim first place.

Webber made his feelings after the race clear insisting that his theory that Vettel is the favourite at Red Bull was justified as the team took no action against the winner, while Vettel apologised but ultimately admitted he would probably do the same thing again if presented with the choice again in the future.

Sebastian Vettel
There is no love lost between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Reuters

There was plenty of debate in the aftermath with some claiming that Vettel had proven once and for all that Formula One is not a team sport, but it certainly showed that he is willing to win at all costs, even with the respect of his own teammate at stake.

Shrugging off the booing crowds

At the conclusion of the Singapore Grand Prix - at this point, in mid-September - Vettel hadn't finished outside the top three in the last seven races. The 26 year old was becoming somewhat of a bore for a small section of fans who made their feelings clear after the race in Asia, getting so loud that his own post-race interview was drowned out.

The presenter attempted to quiet people being 'disrespectful' towards the current Championship holder but Vettel maintained his cool at the time and laughed it off, later saying that he takes it as a compliment.

Five wins in a row

Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Korea and Japan; from August 23rd until the present Vettel has dominated proceedings and has been near unbeatable. It has been these five races that have seen him leave fellow drivers Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton behind and have given the German a near unassailble lead with just four races to go.

Vettel can claim the championship this weekend by finishing in fith place or higher as he chases down Italian Alberto Ascari's nine wins in a row in 1952-53.

Recovering from Great Britain loss to win at home in Germany

Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel's car is taken off the track at the British Grand Prix.

The British Grand Prix was particularly frustrating for Vettel as he was only a few laps from the end when his gearbox gave in and the Heppenhaim-born driver had to retire for the first time in the 2013 season. His lead in the Championship race was cut from 36 points to 21 as a result and it was the one time in the entire year that it looked like the 2013 race could go down to the wire.

But as a true champion does, Vettel was able to pick himself up and start a run of seven top three finishes. With the German Grand Prix just around the corner on July 5th he felt right at home as he won in his native country for the first time. Up until then, Vettel hadn't won in Germany, or in July, and those small slights on his CV were being very quickly erased as he went from strength to strength.

Taking advantage of foes in crisis

While Vettel is certainly deserving of a fourth straight title, the problems surrounding his rivals have made his domination all the more possible. Besides Webber choosing to retire and leave Red Bull in the aftermath of the team order controversy, usual challengers McClaren have had a particularly disappointing season.

The team had 14 podium finishes in 2012 and won third place in the constructor's Championship with 378 points. But in the current year they haven't come close to the top 10 and are looking at a serious overhaul in the off-season as their closest competition in the constructor's Championship currently remains Force India.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has had a somewhat frustrating first season with Mercedes.

Meanwhile fellow rivals Mercedes, who took Lewis Hamilton from a now struggling McClaren at the start of the season, have had their own problems creating controversy over constant issues with their tires. Hamilton himself admitted that the problem was harbouring his and Nico Rosberg's chances of finishing on the podium. The Brit currently sits 136 points behind Vettel and some of this can be credited to his own team's weaknesses.

And lastly Fernando Alonso has been no stranger to controversy himself this year, admitting when asked what he wanted for his birthday that he wished it was 'another car'. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo warned the Spaniard over his conduct, but his criticisms of his own team - he sarcastically called them 'geniuses' over the radio in the Italian Grand Prix - were a sign that all was not happy families in Ferrari's camp.