f1chronicle-2019 Canadian Grand Prix, Saturday - Sebastian Vettel
2019 Canadian Grand Prix, Saturday – Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel is a German motorsport racing driver who competes in Formula One, driving for Scuderia Ferrari. Regarded by many as one of the greatest drivers of all time, Vettel has won four consecutive Formula One World Championships from 2010 to 2013.

Vettel holds the records for most consecutive wins and most race victories in one season. He holds many other records such as the third most race victories and podium finishes and also the fourth most pole positions in Formula One. He also holds many “youngest” records.

Introduced to Formula One by BMW Sauber, Vettel made his debut with the team in 2007. He moved to Torro Rosso that season. In his first full season for Torro Rosso in 2008 he became the youngest driver and the youngest pole-sitter as well as the youngest race winner when he won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix.

Red Bull claimed Vettel’s services for the 2009 season. Vettel rewarded their trust by winning four Word Drivers’ Championships and four World Constructors’ Championships for Red Bull from 2010 to 2013. He left Red Bull at the end of 2014 and signed with Ferrari for the 2015 season.

Norbert Vettel’s wife, Heike Vettel gave birth to Sebastian Vettel on 3 July 1987 in Heppenheim, Germany. He has two older sisters and a younger brother, Fabian, who is also a racing driver. Vettel said he was terrible in school but has passed Abitur with a respectable grade.

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Sebastian Vettel married his childhood sweetheart Hanna Prater, in 2019 and has three children with her. Kimi Räikkönen was his teammate from 2015 to 2018 and is a close friend. Vettel speaks English, Italian and French besides his native German.

Sebastian Vettel’s Career Before Formula 1

Karting (2001-2003)

Vettel started karting at the young age of three and competed in a race at eight. He joined the Red Bull Junior team in 1998 and won the Junior Monaco Kart Cup in 2001 besides other titles. In 2003 he tested the Reynard Motorsport Champ Car, an open-wheel motor car.

Formula 3 and Formula Renault 3.5 (2004-2007)

In 2004, Vettel secured 18 victories in 20 races and won the Formula BMW ADAC championship. He stood fifth in the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2005 driving for ASL Mücke Motorsport. He tested for the Williams Formula One team and then for the BMW Sauber Formula One team.

With BMW Sauber, Vettel contested in the 2006 Formula 3 Euro Series and finished as a runner-up. He was injured while competing in the 2006 Formula Renault 3.5 Series which he won. He finished sixth in the 2006 Masters of Formula 3 after the accident.

Vettel took his first victory in the 2007 Formula Renault 3.5 Series at Nürburgring. Midway through the series, when he was leading, he was called permanently for the BMW Sauber Formula One team launching his Formula One career.

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Sebastian Vettel’s Career In Before Formula 1 (2006 to present)

BMW Sauber (2006-2007)

As the third Driver for BMW Sauber, Vettel set the fastest time in the second Friday Free Practice during his testing debut at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix. He became the then-youngest Formula One participant in a Grand Prix weekend. He also set the fastest time in both the practise sessions at the 2006 Italian Grand Prix.

When Robert Kubica crashed at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix, BMW Sauber named Vettel as his replacement. He debuted at the United States Grand Prix where he started in the seventh position and finished eighth. He became the then-youngest driver to score a point in a Grand Prix.

Torro Rosso (2007-2008)

Vettel debuted for Torro Rosso at the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix. During the race, Vettel crashed into Mark Webber causing both the participants to retire when he was third behind Hamilton and Webber.

A ten-place grid penalty was waived when a spectator video showed that the crash was caused by Hamilton’s erratic behaviour behind the safety car. Vettel secured his career-best finish, the fourth position at the Chinese Grand Prix that year after starting 17th on the grid.

Vettel had a bad beginning to the 2008 season, retiring in three races out of the first four. He finished fifth at the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix, picking up the first points of the season. At the age of 21 years and 74 days, Vettel became the then-youngest driver to win a Grand Prix.

Vettel won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix and became the youngest pole-sitter earlier that weekend. He was awarded the 2008 Rookie of the Year award at the Autosports Awards ceremony.

Red Bull (2009-2014)

At the inaugural 2009 Australian Grand Prix, Vettel collided with Robert Kubica when running second, causing both the drivers to retire. He, however, secured Red Bull’s maiden pole position and Grand Prix win at the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix.

Vettel went on to win the British Grand Prix and the Japanese Grand Prix from pole position and holding his position throughout the race in the latter. He won the inaugural day-night race, the first-ever in Formula One, at Abu Dhabi. He finished the season second, behind Jenson Button of Great Britain.

In 2010, Vettel secured pole position and led for most of the race at the Bahrain Grand Prix. But spark plug problems led to Vettel finishing in fourth place. Vettel secured his first Grand Prix victory of the season at Malaysia.

In Monaco, Red Bull scored a 1-2 win with Webber winning and Vettel finishing second. At the Turkish Grand Prix, the two drivers collided when Vettel made a passing move to secure the first place from Webber. Vettel had to retire from the race.

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Vettel suffered a tyre puncture in Great Britain from pole, despite his damaged newly-designed wing being replaced with Webbers. Vettel, however, secured pole position in Japan and won the race. At the Korean Grand Prix, Vettel was forced to retire with engine problems.

Having won the Brazilian Grand Prix, Vettel was trailing Fernando Alonso by 15 points when he arrived in Abu Dhabi for the final race of the season. Vettel won the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from pole to become the youngest World Driver’s Champion at 23 years and 134 days of age.

Vettel got off to a good start in the 2011 season, winning the Australian and the Malaysian Grands Prix. A communication problem with his team meant poor tyre management in China where he finished second.

He had a similar problem in Monaco where he switched to the one pit stop policy. He held off Alonso and Button as his tyres wore out, till the race was red-flagged. After a change of tyres Vattel easily won the race on resumption

At the European Grand Prix, the FIA banned engine mapping. Yet, Vettel managed to record the fastest lap in the Valencia Street Circuit’s history and won the race, thus winning six of the eight races of the season.

In Britain, Vettel held off Webber to win the Grand Prix. Vettel qualified third in Germany and finished fourth, thus ending his run of 14 straight first row starts and top-two finishes. A tenth pole position meant that Vettel had equalled Ayrton Senna’s record of ten poles in two different seasons.

Winning the Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel became the youngest ever back to back World Driver’s Champion. He won the Korean Grand Prix, becoming only the second driver to win ten Grands Prix in a season after Michael Schumacher.

In Brazil, Vettel became the first driver to win 15 pole positions in a year. With 15 poles, 11 victories and 17 podiums, Vettel amassed a record 392 points in 19 races at the end of the 2011 season winning second World Drivers’ Championship.

In 2012, Sebastian Vettel started by finishing second in Australia but failed to score points in Malaysia following a collision with Narain Karthikeyan of the HRT team. He won the Brazilian Grand Prix and three races followed without a podium finish.

Retirement in the Europen Grand Prix saw Vettel dropping to fourth place from the top place he held after his victory in Brazil. He finished fifth in Germany after going off the track when overtaking Button.

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Vettel finished second in Belgium after starting tenth but retired due to alternator problems in Italy. He won the Singapore Grand Prix followed by a win in Japan, completing his second Grand Slam.

He won the Korean Grand Prix and led from the pole in the Indian Grand Prix maintaining his position. Told to stop during the qualifying, due to fuel pump issues, Vettel had to start from the pits in Abu Dhabi. He fought his way through the ranks and finished third.

Vettel was leading Alonso by 13 points when he started the last race in Brazil. Vettel spun during the first lap after an incident with Bruno Senna. He recovered and finished the race sixth, winning the 2012 World Drivers’ Championship becoming the youngest triple World Champion.

In the 2013 campaign, Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix. He followed it up with wins in Brazil and Canada but had to retire in Britain due to gearbox failure. He won for the first time on his home circuit in Germany.

He finished third in Hungary but won the last nine races of the season, sealing his fourth consecutive World Drivers’ Championship in India. He set the record for the most consecutive (nine) wins and became the youngest driver to do so.

Vettel had a rough time with reliability problems during the 2014 season and struggled to come to terms with the Red Bull RB 10. He finished the season with only three podium places and earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first reigning champion to finish a season without winning a race since Jacques Villeneuve in 1998.

Ferrari (2015-present)

In 2015, Vettel signed with Ferrari and promptly won the second Grand Prix of the season in Malaysia. It was the first win for Ferrari in over two years and Vettel in over a year. Although Vettel gained the first pole for Ferrari in three years in Singapore, he finished third in the championship in 2015, with 3 wins and 13 podium finishes.

Vettel disappointed again in 2016 and finished the season with seven podium finishes and no wins. He started the season in Australia finishing third. Thereafter he lost his way, suffering breakdowns and having several collisions with other drivers.

In 2017 Vettel started in style winning the Australian Grand Prix. He followed it up with victories in Bahrain in Monaco and second-place finishes in China, Russia and Spain. He got a lead over the championship contender, Hamilton, by winning the Hungarian Grand Prix.

After the summer break, Mercedes dominated the races and Ferrari had reliability problems with their car. Winning only the Brazilian Grand Prix, Vettel finished second to Lewis Hamilton.

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In 2018 Vettel won the Australian and the Brazilian Grands Prix, holding off Valtteri Botas on old tyres during the latter race. He secured his third race victory in 2018 in Canada but lost his championship lead in France following a collision with Botas.

Vettel slid off a wet German track and won the Belgium Grand Prix. He saw his championship hopes vanish in Japan. Although he won his first Mexican Grand Prix, he saw Hamilton crowned as the World Drivers’ Champion for the second consecutive time.

Vettel started the 2019 season badly, finishing fourth in Australia and third in China and Azerbaijan. The Mercedes cars continued to dominate. A pole position in Canada, followed by oversteer, saw Vettel concede the first place to Hamilton and was demoted from second to fifth place because of a 5-second penalty.

In the German Grand Prix, Vettel had a turbo issue during qualification. In mixed conditions, he fought his way to a second-place finish. Vettel won the Singapore Grand Prix for the fifth time while in Russia he retired with an MGU-K problem when leading.

A jump start and a delay in Japan helped Bottas take the lead while collision with his teammate forced the retirement of both the drivers. Vettel finished fifth in the 2019 season.

Vettel finished a disappointing 2020 season which was delayed due to the COVID19 pandemic. With a lone podium finish (third place) in Turkey, Vettel is languishing in the 13th position in the Championship race. He is 27 points behind the 12th placed Esteban Oncon with one race to go in the season.

Aston Martin has announced that they have signed Sebastian Vettel as a driver for the 2021 Formula One season.

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