Sebastian Vettel

1. Who is Sebastian Vettel?

Sebastian Vettel is a former German Formula 1 driver born July 3, 1987 in Heppenheim (West Germany). Crowned for the first time at 23 years and 134 days old in 2010, he is the youngest world champion in history and has 4 titles, 53 victories, 122 podiums, and 57 pole positions to his name, one of the finest in the discipline.

2. Sebastian Vettel’s Junior Journey?

After discovering karting at a very young age, Vettel joined the Red Bull industry at the age of 11 and enjoyed success on the national and then European scene. He moved to single-seaters in 2003 as part of the Formula BMW ADAC where he finished vice-champion on his first attempt. The following season, he dominated the series head and shoulders, winning 18 of the 20 races on the program. Vettel then moved up to the Formula 3 Series in 2005.

Best rookie of the year, he also finished 3rd in the Macau Grand Prix. That year, the young German carried out his first tests in F1 with Williams, then BWM. The following season, he competed for the title but had to settle for 2nd place overall behind the Scotsman Paul di Resta, future F1 driver with Force India and DTM champion. Sebastian Vettel is also named 3rd BMW-Sauber driver after Jacques Villeneuve was replaced by reserve Robert Kubica. He made his first official outing during Free Practice 1 of the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix where he impressed with the 3rd best time. Fun fact: the 19-year-old German received what is probably the fastest fine in history when he was caught speeding in the pit lane 9 seconds into the session.

Vettel BMW Sauber

Sebastian Vettel during the Pau Grand Prix in Formula 3 Euroseries ©Jean-Michel Le Meur / DPPI

Sebastian Vettel then continued his appearances during Friday practice. In 2007, Red Bull entered it in Formula Renault 3.5, a category favored by the Austrian sector for the training of its future drivers. Even if he leads the championship halfway through, the teenager will not end the season in this popular antechamber of Formula 1 because his services will be required in two ways at the higher level.

3. Sebastian Vettel’s Grand Prix (F1) journey

On June 10, 2007, Lewis Hamilton won the first victory in a very long list by emerging from the chaos during a very lively Canadian Grand Prix marked by Robert Kubica's frightening accident. Despite the incredible violence of the shock and the chilling images, the Pole only escaped with a sprained ankle and a concussion. A lesser evil which still forced him to forfeit the following week for the United States Grand Prix. BMW-Sauber then turns to its reserve Sebastian Vettel. The German did not give up, qualifying in a surprising 1th place in qualifying, 7 places behind his much more experienced teammate Nick Heidfeld. Despite its young age, the teams realize that Formula 2 may have found a new phenomenon...

The next day, he became the youngest driver, at the time, to score a point, finishing 8th at the age of 19 years and 349 days. If Kubica resumes his place at BMW during the following round in France, Sebastian Vettel quickly returns to F1 because Red Bull calls on him to replace the American Scott Speed ​​in its junior team Toro Rosso from the Hungarian Grand Prix. Under the deluge at Fuji (Japan), Sebastian Vettel managed to lift his modest mount to 3rd place before giving up by crashing into Mark Webber's Red Bull behind the Safety Car. He made up for it the following weekend at the Chinese Grand Prix where he finished 4th, again in changing track conditions.

Full-time starter for the 2008 season, he started off on the wrong foot with 4 retirements in a row. The turning point came in Monaco where Sebastian Vettel finished 5th. The Heppenheim native will never look back. A regular guest in Q3 and in the points, he made history through the front door during a wet Italian Grand Prix. At 21 years and 72 days, Sebastian Vettel became the youngest pole-sitter in history, a record that still stands today. The next day, the Toro Rosso driver delivered a dazzling performance in the rain to win without firing a shot and become the youngest Grand Prix winner at the time.

Vettel Monza 2008

Sebastian Vettel's first victory during the Italian Grand Prix in 2008 with Toro Rosso © Thierry Bovy / DPPI

Logically promoted to the parent team Red Bull Racing in 2009, Sebastian Vettel was the first to break the Brawn GP hegemony at the start of the season by taking a Red Bull double to China, with his teammate Mark Webber. It will be necessary to wait until mid-season for the team from Milton Keynes (United Kingdom) to really reverse the trend compared to Brawn. Too late to overthrow Jenson Button but 3 additional victories allow Sebastian Vettel to finish vice-world champion and make an appointment with the future.

The 2010 season is particularly open between Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren. While he was due to win at the season opener in Bahrain, Vettel slipped off the podium due to a gearbox problem. Symbol of a season where the German will have to chase his opponents throughout. In a campaign where no driver manages to really stand out and where everyone knows their moment of glory, Sebastian Vettel thinks he has lost everything when he abandons in Korea while he was in the race lead, the engine of his Red Bull giving up the ghost. With 2 rounds to go, the German is 25 points behind Fernando Alonso (Ferrari). He erased part of his delay by winning in Brazil ahead of his teammate Mark Webber and the Spaniard. During the final in Abu Dhabi, there are still 4 who can compete for the supreme title in Formula 1: Alonso, Webber, Vettel, and Lewis Hamilton (McLaren).

In a race that has gone down in history due to Ferrari's big strategic error, Sebastian Vettel prances into the lead from pole position and wins without firing a shot. Blocked in the exhausts of Vitaly Petrov's Renault, Alonso cannot do better than 7th, ahead of Webber, 8th, and abandons the crown to Sebastian Vettel by 4 small points. At 23 years and 144 days old, he broke Hamilton's record by becoming the youngest world champion in history. Red Bull opens its prize list. The German only led one day during this 2010 season but it was the right one. Then began a period of almost implacable domination for Vettel and Red Bull Racing with three Drivers-Constructors doubles over the period 2011-2013, at the end of which Sebastian Vettel would be quadruple world champion.

Vettel Abu Dhabi 2010

Sebastian Vettel's first title at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix © Eric Vargiolu / DPPI

Sebastian Vettel confirms this from the 2011 season by crushing the competition from the start. With a supercharged Red Bull, he won 6 of the first 8 Grand Prix of the season. The German took off in the championship and found himself crowned at the Japanese Grand Prix, four races from the end. Sebastian Vettel becomes the youngest double Formula 1 world champion. He takes pole position 15 times during the season. Jenson Button is vice-world champion. The consistency of Mark Webber (1 victory and 10 podiums) offers Red Bull, the dominant team, the Constructors' championship.

However, the team will have to roll up their sleeves in 2012 where a new highly contested Formula 1 season (7 different winners during the first 7 Grand Prix) ends with a suspenseful final against Alonso and Ferrari, this time in Brazil . Sent spinning and hit on the first lap of the Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel managed to continue to move up to 6th position and snatch his 3rd title by 3 small points. The return to business is resounding. 2013 marks a form of apogee for Red Bull, its favorite driver, and their Renault engine. Untouchable, Sebastian Vettel concluded the season with 9 consecutive successes, a record which still stands in F1, and equals that of the number of victories in a season, held by his youth idol and mentor Michael Schumacher with 13 successes.

Sebastian Vettel 2013

Vettel and his RB9 during the Grand Prix in Sao Paulo in 2013 © Vincent Curutchet / DPPI

The only downside: his non-compliance with stable instructions in Malaysia where he ignored the famous “Multi 21” message and attacked Webber to win. This gesture led to him being booed on the podium several times later. In 2014, the transition to the new regulations for V6 turbo hybrids did not succeed for Red Bull and Renault, overtaken by Mercedes. More annoying for the German driver, quadruple world champion, his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo regularly beats him and nibbles the crumbs left by the Silver Arrows by winning in the only three Grands Prix not won by Mercedes.

Sebastian Vettel decides to take on a new challenge. He leaves Red Bull for Ferrari, where he hopes to follow in the footsteps of his idol Schumacher. Scuderia Ferrari is also seeking a return to business after a failed 2014 season and the acrimonious departure of Fernando Alonso. No Scuderia driver has been Formula 1 world champion since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007. The new alliance was quick to return to victory, winning in the second round of the year in Malaysia. Two more successes followed at the Hungarian and Singapore Grands Prix, allowing Vettel to finish on the championship podium and be the only non-Mercedes driver to win in 2.

Vettel Ferrari

Vettel driving his SF16-H during the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix © Frederic Le Floc'h / DPPI

While we expect confirmation in 2016, Scuderia Ferrari relapses and returns a copy without any triumph while Sebastian Vettel sometimes shows glaring signs of impatience and seems to have difficulty finding the right settings. The four-time Formula 1 world champion finished only in 4th position in the Drivers' standings, behind Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull). Ferrari negotiates the 2017 aerodynamic revolution much better and allows Vettel to be back and play for the title against Hamilton and the ogre Mercedes. The German has had a very strong start to the season with 3 victories and as many 2nd places in 6 Formula 1 races. At the time of the summer break, Vettel is still leading the championship after another success in Hungary. The trend reversed at the start of the school year when Hamilton regained his strength and bagged 5 successes in 6 races. The F1 season is getting exciting!

At the same time, Sebastian Vettel experienced costly retirements at the Singapore and Japanese Grands Prix, and saw the title slip away. The title of world champion returns to Lewis Hamilton's purse. The four-time Formula 1 world champion from Heppenheim returns in 2018 with great intentions and opens the season with 2 successes. The driver then held his own in Hamilton until Silverstone where he won consistently to consolidate his place at the top of the F1 Drivers' standings. Then came the German Formula 1 Grand Prix, where he made a mistake in the rain even though he had been leading comfortably since his pole start. One of his worst career mistakes. Hamilton, who started 14th, didn't ask for that much and inflicted a scathing 25-0 on his rival, who never recovered. Sebastian Vettel then makes a series of blunders where his opponent steals victories and heads towards a 5th world title in Formula 1, thus overtaking Sebastian Vettel (and Alain Prost), quadruple world champion.

2019 is off to an encouraging start for Scuderia Ferrari, which made a strong impression during F1 winter testing. Unfortunately for Sebastian Vettel, these promises turned out to be short-lived. The German also sees his status as leader within Ferrari called into question by the emergence of his new teammate Charles Leclerc. Sebastian Vettel believes he has his first success of the Formula 1 season in Canada, where he started from pole but a penalty for having rejoined the track in a dangerous manner in front of Hamilton following an off-track excursion caused him to slip to 1nd place and fuming in the parc ferme.

Vettel Canada 2019

Vettel at the finish of the Canadian Grand Prix, positions the No. 1 in front of his car's empty slot and places the No. 2 in front of Hamilton's Mercedes © Antonin Vincent / DPPI

The German watched from afar Leclerc's two successes at Spa and Monza but snatched a victory on his favorite ground of Singapore, for what remains his last triumph to date in F2, and a fine pole position at Suzuka. Despite a desire on his part to continue in red beyond the 1 season, his contract was not renewed even before the start of a campaign disrupted by the Covid-2020 pandemic. To make matters worse, the SF19 was missed and Sebastian Vettel suffered more and more from the comparison with Leclerc, the new leader of Scuderia Ferrari. Very close to retirement, the four-time Formula 1000 world champion finally found refuge at Aston Martin F1 (formerly Racing Point) where he replaced Sergio Pérez, who had left for Red Bull, alongside Lance Stroll. 

At Aston Martin F1, Sebastian Vettel is having difficulty exploiting the potential of the AMR21. The ex-Red Bull driver, quadruple world champion, is only a shadow of himself. From the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, the winner of 53 grand prix crashes into a Alpine, that of Esteban Ocon, and finished in an anonymous 15th place, with an Aston Martin crippled with damage. Sebastian Vettel is experiencing a lot of problems on his debut with Aston Martin, who finds himself fighting with AlphaTauri in the standings, far from being the objective of a team that wants to fight for the world championship!

Vettel Aston Martin 2021

Sebastian Vettel at the wheel of the Aston Martin © Antonin Vincent / DPPI

Fortunately, Sebastian Vettel finds color in Monaco. He finishes in 5th position. He is more successful in Azerbaijan. After the chaos caused by the punctures of Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Sebastian Vettel negotiated the second start well and slipped behind Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), future winner. Sebastian Vettel makes his return to the podium, for the 122nd time in his career. We then believe his story with Aston Martin is definitively launched…

Unfortunately, his mid-season did not live up to expectations. Sebastian Vettel goes through Grands Prix like a shadow, struggling to find speed behind the wheel of a poorly designed Aston Martin. Far from Ferrari, and even more so from Red Bull, the Silverstone team is closer to being tied in the standings with AlphaTauri than with the leaders of the Formula 1 grid.

Far from the anger displayed during his debut, Sebastian Vettel sometimes seems to drag out his pain. However, the Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix will allow him to make his return to the spotlight. He fights for victory against Esteban Ocon (Alpine), but he fails and crosses the finish line in second position. Unfortunately, Aston Martin is unable to provide a sufficient sample of gasoline, in Vettel's car, to the FIA. The four-time F1 world champion therefore finds himself disqualified from the Grand Prix classification.

Fifth at the Belgian GP, ​​in the horrendous conditions we know, Sebastian Vettel regained the points during the United States GP, finishing in 10th place. The Aston Martin driver will continue to be familiar with, and sometimes cross the points gate, during the end-of-season Grands Prix. At the end of this F1 season, he only finished 12th in the drivers' championship, one place better than during his last season with Ferrari.

His second year with Aston Martin will only be two GPs after the others, positive for Covid-19 from the start of the season... but he is forced to retire in Australia. Often taking advantage of racing incidents to move up places before the checkered flag, his mixed season ended with a 12th place.

But it was in the second half of the season, after the Hungarian Grand Prix, that the announcement came: the four-time world champion was retiring at the age of 35. After a career with dazzling beginnings, the German retired to enjoy his family. He will be replaced (almost) at short notice by his former opponent and predecessor at Ferrari: Fernando Alonso. 

4. AutoHebdo's opinion on Sebastian Vettel

An essential figure on the grid for around fifteen years, and his domination of the grid with Red Bull Sebastian Vettel displays an impressive calling card with 4 world titles, 53 victories, 57 pole positions, and 122 podiums. His time with Ferrari, in particular its ending in blood sausage, however lowered the rating of the German, who seemed only a shadow of himself in 2020. Vettel seems to have regained some of his bite during the two seasons spent at Aston Martin, but the German aspires to something else. Since you have to know how to stop and give way, his decision to give up the steering wheel is natural. But his positions and his involvement within the paddock may suggest that Baby Schumacher won't stay away from the Formula 1 ecosystem for long... 

Results in Formula 1

The highlights of Sébastien Vettel's career


During the Monza Grand Prix in 2008, Sébastien Vettel scored his first victory in Formula 1.

F1 - ABU DHABI GP 2010

It was at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that Sébastien Vettel won his first world champion title.


In 2013 during the Grand Prix in India, Sébastien Vettel won a fourth consecutive world champion title. On the list, he joins Alain Prost and Juan Manuel Fangio.


After four world championship titles, Sébastien Vette leaves the Red Bull team and joins Ferrari in 2015.


After six seasons defending the colors of Ferrari, the German driver is launching a new challenge by joining the Aston Martin team for the 2021 season.

Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel
Country Flag_of_Germany
Age July 03, 1987 (36 years old)

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