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Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian VettelDate of birth: 3/7/1987
Place of birth: Heppenheim, Germany

First race: 2007 United States GP
Previous team(s): BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso
Current team: Red Bull
Current car number: 5

Highest championship position: 2nd (2009)
Wins: 5
Podiums: 9
Career points: 125
Pole positions: 9
Fastest laps: 3

Sebastian Vettel was born on July 3rd, 1987 in Heppenheim in Germany. He has risen quickly through to Formula One and has had instant success. He has broken many records already in his short career and is tipped by many to be a future world champion.

Early Career

Sebastian Vettel started his career racing karts in 1995. He won a number of well known titles including the Junior Monaco Kart Cup in 2001. He began open wheel racing in 2003, and in 2004 easily won the German Formula BMW Championship with an impressive 18 victories from 20 races. In 2005 he entered the Formula Three Euroseries where he finished fifth in the championship

BMW 2006-2007

As a reward for his success in Formula BMW he got his first F1 test that year in the Williams FW27. He later went on to test for BMW Sauber in 2006.

Vettel finished second in the 2006 F3 Euroseries, behind series leader Paul di Resta. This was also the year where he made his debut in the World Series by Renault, winning on his debut at Misano. He raced at the Masters of F3 at Zandvoort despite nearly losing a finger the weekend before, after it was hit by flying débris in an accident at Spa-Francorchamps. Despite his injury he managed to finish in sixth, setting the third fastest laptime.

When Jacques Villenueve was replaced by Robert Kubica at BMW Sauber, Vettel was given the role of third driver. He instantly impressed setting the fastest time in only his second session as test driver.

In 2007 Vettel was confirmed as BMW’s test driver and also competed in the World Series by Renault Championship. He was leading the championship when he was called up to F1 permanently. After a serious crash for BMW driver Robert Kubica, Vettel substituted for him at the US Grand Prix in Indianapolis. He finished in eighth position on his debut, becoming the youngest driver ever to score a world championship point in Formula One, he was just 19 years and 349 days old. He went back to his test driving roll when Kubica came back for the next Grand Prix.

Toro Rosso 2007 – 2008

BMW released Vettel in July to allow him to join Red Bull’s Scuderia Toro Rosso team, replacing Scott Speed for the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards. Vettel has been sponsored by the Austrian drinks company from early on in his career as part of the Red Bull Junior program. Vettel struggled to get to grips with the Toro Rosso and could only manage the lower-midfield pack along with Toyota, Honda and Super Aguri.

Vettel excelled in the appalling conditions of the Japenese Grand Prix in Fuji. He had brilliantly worked his way to third place in tricky conditions and even found himself leading the Grand Prix at one point, becoming the youngest driver ever to lead a race. However, Vettel crashed into Webber during the safety car, taking them both out of the race. Luckily it did not affect Vettel’s confidence, just a week later he achieved a fantastic fourth place at the Chinese GP having started 17th. It was Toro Rosso’s best finish.

It was a difficult start to 2008, with Vettel being caught up in first lap incidents for the first few races. At round six in Monaco, Vettel scored a brilliant fifth place thanks to the changing conditions and multiple incidents; it was the changing point of his 2008 campaign. He scored again at the Canadian Grand Prix despite him starting from the pit lane. Vettel brilliantly held off Heikki Kovalainen’s Mclaren in the last few laps to finish in eighth place. At Silverstone he collided with local favourite David Coulthard forcing them both to retire. At his home race in Germany, Vettel fended off double-world champion, Fernando Alonso, to secure another championship point. Vettel impressed many at the European Grand Prix by setting fastest times in the first practice session and second qualifying session. He qualified and finished in sixth place.

At Monza Vettel surprised everyone by becoming the youngest pole-sitter in Formula 1 history. He made the most of his chance after poor laps by title contenders Kimi Raikonnen and Lewis Hamilton. The next day Vettel drove faultlessly in wet conditions to take the victory, finishing ahead of Heikki Kovalainen by over 12 seconds. The win made him the youngest ever Grand Prix winner as well as the record for the youngest podium-finisher. Vettel was soon the subject of huge media hype, the German media dubbed him “baby Schumi”, but Vettel was quick to downplay the expectation. Vettel went on to finish fifth at the Singapore Grand Prix and then sixth at the Japanese Grand Prix. The final race of the season was at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Vettel ran second for most of the race behind Felipe Massa. Playing his part in the dramatic title finale, Vettel overtook Hamilton on the penultimate lap which nearly deprived the McLaren driver of the world championship but Vettel and Hamilton overtook Timo Glock on the last lap. Vettel eventually finished in fourth place. A great result in his last race for Toro Rosso.

Red Bull Racing 2009-Present

In 2009 Vettel made the jump from Toro Rosso to Red Bull’s senior team, Red Bull Racing.

His season started well when he qualified third. He ran in second for almost the whole race until he collided with Robert Kubica’s BMW in a battle for second place with just three laps to go. Vettel tried to continue with a damaged car, on three wheels, but inevitably had to pull off the circuit and retire. Vettel was given a ten place grid penalty for the next race and therefore started the Malaysian Grand Prix in 13th place. Unfortunately he spun out whilst running in eighth place; the race was stopped just moments later. At the next Grand Prix Vettel took pole position in China, despite only doing one lap in each qualifying session because of a problem with his car. He won the race from pole in wet conditions ahead of team mate Mark Webber; it was the first victory for Red Bull Racing. Vettel finished the next race at Bahrain in 2nd behind championship leader Jenson Button. In the Spanish Grand Prix, he qualified an impressive second but eventually finished fourth because of poor race strategy. Vettel took pole in Turkey but a mistake on the first lap allowed Button to win his sixth race of the year as Vettel took third place.

The second half of the year saw Red Bull Racing fight back with major updates to their car. Vettel took pole at Silverstone and dominated the race, winning by 15 seconds to his team mate and 40 seconds to Rubens Barrichello in third. At the German Grand Prix he qualified fourth and finished second, behind his team teammate Mark Webber, who won his first Grand Prix. Vettel qualified second in the Hungarian Grand Prix but had to retire after his car was damaged from contact with Kimi Raikkonen during the first lap. Vettel suffered two engine failures at the weekend of the European Grand Prix scoring no points and a huge blow on his title aspirations. He was back on the podium at the Belgian Grand Prix, but he struggled for pace at Monza suffering from lack of power from his Renault engine and the worry of another engine failure. He only managed to score one point, finishing in eight. Vettel was given a drive-through penalty whilst challenging for the lead of the Singapore Grand Prix, a penalty which Red Bull argued was incorrect after assessing their telemetry. He eventually finished fourth, failing to capitalise on the struggling Button and Brawn. The next Grand Prix in Japan he won from pole position, keeping his title challenge alive.

Vettel was knocked out during first qualifying at the Brazilian Grand Prix in São Paulo. Vettel finished the session in 16th place, completely furious he threw out his steering wheel and left the circuit almost immediately. Despite his position Vettel still managed to finish fourth in the race with a fantastic drive, including a brave pass round the outside of Rubens Barrichello. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and Jenson Button took the world title. During the final round of the season Vettel won the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, again ahead of teammate Webber and Button. This meant he took second place in the championship, the youngest ever runner up in the championship. He also won the 2009 DHL Fastest Lap Award after scoring his third fastest lap of the year in Abu Dhabi.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 4, 2010 10:49 pm

    Thanks for posting up the bio and a link to my website.

    Keep up the great work on the blog :)

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