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Sebastian Vettel

4 Time World Champion

Sebastian Vettel

BMW - 2006 - 2007

In 2006 and 2007, Sebastian Vettel began his Formula One career with BMW Sauber. He made his testing debut during the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix weekend and set the fastest time in Friday free practice. At just 19 years and 53 days, he became the youngest driver to participate in a Grand Prix weekend and promptly received a fine for exceeding the pitlane speed limit. In the 2006 Italian Grand Prix testing, he again recorded the fastest times in both Friday practice sessions.

For the 2007 season, Vettel was confirmed as BMW's test driver. He got his race debut opportunity when he replaced the injured Robert Kubica at the 2007 United States Grand Prix. Starting from seventh position, he finished eighth, becoming the youngest driver at that time to earn a point in Formula One.

Toro Rosso - 2007 - 2008

Sebastian Vettel's career continued to advance as he joined Red Bull's Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2007. He replaced Scott Speed from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards, as he was already under contract to Red Bull Racing.

During his time with Toro Rosso, Vettel had notable moments and achievements:

  1. In the rain-affected Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, Vettel was on track for his and the team's maiden podium finish, but he crashed into Mark Webber under safety car conditions, causing both cars to retire.

  2. Vettel's grid penalty for the following race was lifted after a spectator video suggested that Lewis Hamilton's behavior behind the safety car may have contributed to the incident.

  3. He achieved a career-best fourth place at the Chinese Grand Prix, starting 17th on the grid in mixed conditions.

  4. Red Bull's owner, Dietrich Mateschitz, saw Vettel as one of the sport's future stars due to his speed, intelligence, and technical interest.

  5. Despite a challenging start to the 2008 season, something clicked for Vettel at the European Grand Prix in Valencia, where he started to consistently unlock his potential.

  6. Vettel made history at the wet Italian Grand Prix by becoming the youngest driver to win a Formula One Grand Prix at the age of 21 years and 74 days. He led the majority of the race and finished ahead of Heikki Kovalainen.

  7. He also became the youngest pole-sitter earlier in the same weekend, and this victory marked Toro Rosso's only win in Formula One.

  8. Vettel's impressive performance led the German media to nickname him "Baby Schumi."

  9. In recognition of his achievements, Vettel was named the 2008 Rookie of the Year at the Autosport Awards.

These achievements in 2008 established Vettel as a rising star in Formula One and set the stage for his future successes in the sport.

Red Bull Racing - 2009/2010 - The Youngest World Champion

From 2009 to 2010, Sebastian Vettel's Formula One journey with Red Bull Racing saw remarkable achievements: 2009 Season: Vettel joined Red Bull Racing, and his season started with promise at the Australian Grand Prix, but a clash with Robert Kubica ended their race. He later secured pole position and victory at the Chinese Grand Prix, marking Red Bull Racing's maiden pole and win. Additional wins in Great Britain, Japan, and Abu Dhabi solidified his reputation. Vettel finished second in the World Drivers' Championship behind Jenson Button but won the 2009 DHL Fastest Lap Award.

2010 Season: Vettel began the season by taking pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix but faced a spark plug failure, finishing fourth. He won his first race of the season in Malaysia. In Monaco, he finished second behind teammate Mark Webber. A collision with Webber in Turkey led to controversy, with both drivers not accepting responsibility. At the British Grand Prix, Vettel had a front wing change with Webber but suffered a puncture, finishing seventh. In Japan, he won from pole, becoming the youngest driver to win at the same track twice. However, in the inaugural Korean Grand Prix, he retired with engine failure, allowing Fernando Alonso to win.

Championship Victory: At the Brazilian Grand Prix, Vettel and Webber secured Red Bull Racing's first World Constructors' Championship with a 1–2 finish. In the final race in Abu Dhabi, Vettel faced a 15-point deficit to Alonso and a 7-point gap to Webber. He won the race from pole position, becoming the youngest World Drivers' Champion in Formula One history. This marked the third time in F1 history that the title winner had not led the championship until after the last race.Sebastian Vettel's performances during these two seasons established him as a dominant force in Formula One and marked the beginning of his successful career as a World Champion.

Red Bull's Golden Years 2010 - 2013

In the 2011 Formula One season, Sebastian Vettel continued to assert his dominance with Red Bull Racing, achieving impressive results and milestones:

Early Season Success:

  • Vettel began the 2011 season with victories in Australia and Malaysia.

  • At the Chinese Grand Prix, he faced tire management issues due to a broken radio, affecting communication with his team.

  • In Monaco, another radio malfunction during a pit stop led to him being sent out with the wrong tires. Despite this setback, he stuck with a one-stop strategy and won the race.

  • At the European Grand Prix, where the FIA imposed rule changes to challenge his dominance, Vettel secured pole position and won the race, achieving his first hat-trick of the season.

Mid-Season Challenges and Record-Breaking:

  • Rule changes targeting blown diffusers were implemented at the British Grand Prix, but Vettel maintained his form.

  • His remarkable streak of front-row starts and top-two finishes ended at his home race in Germany, where he qualified third and finished fourth.

  • In Italy, he secured his tenth pole position of the year, joining Ayrton Senna as the only driver with ten pole positions in two separate seasons.

  • A podium finish in Japan secured his second consecutive World Drivers' Championship with four races remaining, making him the youngest-ever double and back-to-back champion.

  • He continued his winning streak in Korea and helped Red Bull Racing secure their second successive World Constructors' Championship.

  • Vettel's victory in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix was a "grand slam," as he led every lap from pole position and set the fastest lap.

  • He broke the record for the most pole positions in a season with 15 poles and finished the year with 11 victories and 17 podiums from 19 races, accumulating a record total of 392 points.

2012 Season and Third World Championship:

  • Vettel started the 2012 season with a second-place finish in Australia and briefly led the championship.

  • He criticized backmarker Narain Karthikeyan after a collision in Malaysia, leading to a war of words.

  • Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix but faced challenges, including a retirement due to an alternator failure at the European Grand Prix.

  • He continued to face difficulties but secured a crucial victory in Singapore.

  • Vettel's victory in Korea and India, coupled with Alonso's retirement in Japan, narrowed the championship gap.

  • In Abu Dhabi, he had to start from the pit lane but finished third.

  • In the season finale in Brazil, Vettel overcame early setbacks to win the race, securing his third consecutive World Drivers' Championship, becoming the youngest-ever triple world champion, and joining an elite group of drivers with three consecutive championships.

Sebastian Vettel's 2011 and 2012 seasons were marked by dominant performances, record-breaking achievements, and the establishment of his status as one of Formula One's greatest talents.

In the 2013 Formula One season, Sebastian Vettel continued his dominance with Red Bull Racing, achieving the following significant highlights:

Early Season Dominance:

  • Vettel started the season strongly by securing pole position in the first two races.

  • At the Malaysian Grand Prix, he not only won the race but also lapped over 2.5 seconds faster than teammate Mark Webber in wet qualifying conditions.

  • Controversy arose during the Malaysian Grand Prix as Vettel ignored team orders and passed Webber for the lead, leading to a furious reaction from Webber. Team principal Christian Horner acknowledged the strained relationship between the two drivers had worsened due to the incident.

Season Progression:

  • Vettel continued to perform well with wins in Bahrain and Canada, extending his championship lead.

  • However, at the British Grand Prix, he was denied a likely win due to a gearbox failure, which temporarily halted his momentum.

  • He secured his first home race victory in Germany.

  • Despite a third-place finish in Hungary, Vettel began a remarkable streak by winning the last nine races of the season.

Record-Breaking Achievements:

  • During this dominant run, Vettel achieved grand slams (pole position, fastest lap, race win, and leading every lap) in Singapore and Korea.

  • He set a then-record for the most consecutive race wins in Formula One with nine in a single season.

  • Vettel clinched his fourth consecutive World Drivers' Championship title at the Indian Grand Prix, joining an elite group of drivers.

Sebastian Vettel's 2013 season was marked by controversy, record-breaking achievements, and his continued reign as a dominant force in Formula One, firmly establishing himself as one of the sport's all-time greats.