He is everything F1 wants: alert, smart, quick-witted and, above all, a speed demon.
Before turning 20, he already had 12 years’ experience at the wheel! A product of Red Bull’s driver development programme, he became the sport’s youngest world champion in 2010.
He has christened each of his cars with a woman’s name.
Sebastian Vettel was born on July 3, 1987 in Heppenheim, Germany. According to him, he was not very good at school despite finishing with a respectable grade.
Initially, he wanted to be a singer but after realising he didn’t have a ‘voice’, he chose a different career – racing driver. Racing was already in his genes because his dad Norbert was an avid racing fan and often brought the rest of the family to German races. He started amateur karting at the age of just three years and went on to race in the Karts series at the age of 8.
He started his career in karting before moving to Formula BMW in 2003 where he took rookie honours. He dominated the championship the following year and won 18 of the 20 races. A move to European F3 followed in 2005 before he was snapped up by BMW Sauber as its test and reserve driver in 2006. He stayed race sharp by competing in the World Series by Renault before making his F1 debut at Indianapolis in 2007.
He gained confidence in the 2008 season with wins at Shanghai, Silverstone and Suzuka. 2010 was his breakthrough year, as he secure his maiden championship. Ahead of his first defence Vettel, and he responded with a dominant season that saw him win six of the first eight races and wrap up the championship with four grand prix remaining.
In 2011, Vettel completely controlled the season and won 11 Grand prix. He kept improving and his convincing win in Singapore saw him at his brilliant best and he took nine consecutive victories at the end of the season as he wrapped up the title in India.
Rookie of the year at the annual Autosport Awards in 2008
German Sports personality of the Year in 2010
The Silberne Lorbeerblatt – Silver Laurel Leaf in 2012
F1 driver of the year 2009, 2011 and 2013