USA 2007: remarkable beginnings
Incubated by Red Bull during his meteoric rise through the progression formulas, Vettel has been BMW Sauber’s No. 3 driver since 2006 and made his U.S. debut in 2007, replacing Robert Kubita, who suffered a major crash in Canada. Looking like a young teenager in camp, he finished a brilliant 8th and became the youngest driver to score points at just 19 years old, a record to be beaten in 2015 by a certain Max Verstappen.
Italy 2008: With Toro Rosso feat
Promoted to Toro Rosso, Vettel had a difficult start to the season, then gradually gained the upper hand over teammate Sébastien Bourdais. During a particularly rainy weekend in Monza, Italy, Vettel surprised everyone by taking pole position. Dominating the race, he won the next day and scored his first victory at the age of just 21, setting a new record. These performances earned him a move to Red Bull’s first team in 2009, where he won his first four grands prix, finishing second behind Button.
Abu Dhabi 2010: the title in one lift!
In 2010, the season saw a heated battle for the world championship between McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull. Regularly at the front, Vettel began to rub shoulder-to-shoulder with Australian team-mate Mark Webber, which resulted in a collision in Turkey, but the German ended the season with victory in Brazil, then seized an opportunity in Abu Dhabi. A completely failed strategy by Ferrari to win the race and take the world crown by 4 measly points, upending Alonso’s race. There, too, he broke the record for precocity, becoming world champion at just 23 years old.
Brazil 2012: on the sidelines once again
Still, after a mixed start to the season, Vettel and his Red Bull team ended the season with a bang, but in Brazil he was close to losing it all when he crashed out in the first race, battling for the championship with Fernando Alonso. his lap dropped him to the bottom of the standings. While Alonso was unable to get the better of Jenson Button in 2nd place, Vettel moved up to 6th, allowing him to win his 3rd title, just 3 points ahead of the Spaniard.
Malaysia 2013: Fight for the Warriors
At Sepang, for the second race of the year, Red Bull is going for the double with Mark Webber leading and Sebastien Vettel chasing. Red Bull orders the race to freeze the positions, but Vettel disobeys and attacks his teammate. After a brief but tense arms exchange, the German rushes to victory, much to the cold fury of Webber, who waves at him curiously in front of the cameras, the famous “Multi 21” in the lounge, the coded message of the breached instruction. Vettel endures a brief media storm, but he really shows that he is at the level of the great champions with no moods. He quickly made people forget the episode, capping off a dominant season with 13 wins and a 4th world title.
Malaysia 2015: first victory in red
After a disappointing 2014 season in which Vettel suffered comparisons to new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, the German left the cocoon of Red Bull for Ferrari, who had just parted ways with Alonso on a bitter note. The German starts a big challenge and dreams of multiplying in the Scuderia success story what his idol Michael Schumacher achieved there. Even if Ferrari is not at the level of Mercedes in this new hybrid era, Vettel wins his 40th Grand Prix in Malaysia and his first with Ferrari, which is looking up after a two-year drought. The atmosphere is good, and the German, who quickly learns the basics of the Italian language, appears in a new, more sympathetic light. Romance looks promising.
Singapore 2017: a fiasco
Ferrari was ready to challenge Mercedes for the championship that year. Admittedly, Ferrari lacks the regularity of the German’s single-seaters, but Vettel scores some convincing wins and heads to Singapore just 3 points behind Hamilton. While the Brit is only 5th, he takes pole position, giving him a great opportunity to regain control of the championship. But on a wet track at the start, Vettel, who was too busy trying to avoid Verstappen, caused Raikkonen to collide with another Ferrari. The two red single-seaters are miserably eliminated in the first round, with Hamilton winning and spoiling the championship. Vettel proves to be quite fragile psychologically and makes a lot of blunders at the end of the season, thus losing a great opportunity to steal the title from Hamilton.
Germany 2018: a psychological turning point
Rebel! In 2018, Vettel and the Scuderia can fight for the title in Hamilton. Vettel won masterfully in England, his rival’s home country, and dominated the German Grand Prix on difficult track conditions. But on lap 52, when Vettel was able to make a big splash in the championship by comfortably controlling the race, he missed the brakes in the stadium and crashed into the gravel. Terrible refusal, Hamilton plays with conditions to win and lead the championship! It’s a big disappointment for Vettel, who despite a big win in Belgium, will still be mentally strained, especially at Monza where he spun at the start to turn Hamilton back to the championship. After this failure in Germany, Vettel will not be the same, his handling is less efficient and more prone to mistakes.
Canada 2019: Seb fights back
In 2019, Ferrari can’t challenge Mercedes at every race and Vettel has to face ambitious new team-mate Charles Leclerc, which will result in some on-track friction and a battle for the lead. But in Canada, Vettel had a great race, withstanding the pressure of Hamilton, who did not let go of the push. On lap 48, Vettel lost the back of the Ferrari, mowing the grass and narrowly catching his single-seater ahead of Hamilton, who was forced to brake to avoid losing his lead. The marshals gave a heavy penalty of 5” to the German, who could not surpass his opponent and therefore had to settle for the 2nd place even though he crossed the line first. Angered by what he saw as an injustice, Vettel parked his single-seater at the foot of the podium and came to remove the ‘n°1’ panel in front of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and replace it with his own ‘n°2’ panel. ! He is then asked before going up to the catwalk, and confused Hamilton hugs him and lets him go up with him for a few minutes on the first step. A few whistles are heard in the crowd to cheer this cut result. Vettel shows a strong character and that gives him a lot of support.
USA 2022: final flashes on track
After a dreadful 2020 season at Ferrari, the German bitterly left the Scuderia and joined the Aston Martin project. Vettel’s two seasons in green were quite subdued, but when the former champion was offered a great final recital in the USA, with a great attacking race and perfect overtaking as in the great era. But in his last seasons, Vettel does not hide his desire to advance, above all he takes a great human dimension: his progressive positions, his sense of humor on the radio, in press conferences or off the track. his natural sympathy, his love of “old fashioned racing” and his simplicity, his role as “mentor” for the young Mick Schumacher, endeared him to the public and the paddocks alike. Even as he announced his retirement via a black-and-white video, the first of which he shared on his official Instagram account, in which he talked about his personal aspirations, Vettel developed a form of distinction that started quickly.
Vettel’s career is all about numbers
299 Grand Prize
53 wins (17.73%)
57 pole positions (19.06%)
38 fastest laps (12.71%)
122 podiums (40.80%)
4 large helmets
44 graduates (14.72%)
3501 laps lead
It is the leader at a distance of 18,164 km