Sebastian Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel (born 3rd July, 1987 in Heppenheim, West Germany) is a German Formula One driver currently driving for AT&T Caterham F1 Team. Vettel is a three-time World Champion, having won back to back world titles in 2017 & 2018 and another in 2023 - all for Caterham.

A successful graduate of the Red Bull Junior Team, Vettel is one of the most successful Formula One drivers in history.

Formula One

2007-2008: Toro Rosso

Sebastian Vettel debuted at the 2007 French Grand Prix, replacing Scott Speed after the American had a split with team management. Vettel took his first points finish with an unexpected third place in the Uruguayan Grand Prix.

This impressive performance saw him retained into a second season alongside Sebastién Bourdais. Vettel took a second third place finish in the European Grand Prix - to which he'd better later in the season with a shock maiden win in the wet at the Italian Grand Prix. Vettel finished his first full season in tenth place overall.

2009-2010: Red Bull

Vettel was promoted into the main Red Bull squad alongside David Coulthard at the expense of Adrian Zaugg in 2009. The switch immediately paid off when he took the win in the opening round of the season at Bahrain. Despite this strong start, Vettel would only take one more win all season (at the British Grand Prix) which saw him finish in seventh overall.

By 2010, Vettel was established as team leader alongside Frenchman Sebastién Bourdais at Red Bull Racing. Despite winning the first race of the two-race era, Vettel would only win four races all season, including the season opener in Bahrain, once the Ferrari and Mercedes teams had reached their peak performance levels - taking sixth in the championship. During the season, the supreme qualifying pace of the RB6 combined with Vettel's own qualifying skills enabled Vettel to set a single-season record of 25 pole positions (which, with 36 poles available, results in a pole percentage of 70%), a record that was not matched since and is considered unbreakable, now that F1 has moved back to a single-race format, as currently the season does not possess enough races to break the record and it would take a (near-)perfect qualifying season if the calendar were to expand to 25+ races.

2011: Williams

With Vettel's Red Bull contract expiring and the Austrian team signing Jenson Button alongside Bourdais, Vettel would sign a short term contract with AT&T Williams for the 2011 season alongside Russian driver Vitaly Petrov. Frustrations remained high for Vettel at Williams, with the British team even further back the previous year's Red Bull. Vettel would only take a single win in India on his way to fourteenth in the championship.

2012-2014: McLaren

After two painfully average seasons, Vettel would sign a three year contract with the legendary British team McLaren - racing alongside Vitantonio Liuzzi. The Vettel/McLaren relationship would get off to a great start, with Vettel taking pole and a win in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. Vettel continued to rack up the wins over the course of the year - tasting the champagne seven times but he also seemed to retire often. Vettel's rival, Lewis Hamilton, capitalised on these mistakes to take the title despite having far fewer wins.

Neither of Vettel's final two seasons at Woking lived up to his first - with a serious injury suffered in the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix sealing his exit from the team early.

2015-present: Caterham

Vettel returned from his injury in 2015 by signing for the Caterham team alongside Russian Daniil Kvyat. Caterham were on their way up the Formula One ladder, and Vettel managed to have a decent season, winning at the Indian Grand Prix and finished 6th in the championship.

Feeling more confident about his and the team's chances, Vettel remained at the team for 2016, and although early-season reliability issues stopped him challenging Lewis Hamilton for the title, the German managed to finish 2nd in the championship.

With Caterham being clearly the best team in the second half of 2016, they managed to build upon this in 2017, and the team were clearly the most dominant team that season, with Vettel winning his first world championship by a record 280 points, with a record 17 wins. He would retain his crown in 2018, but not after a thrilling season-long battle with Precision's Jules Bianchi which saw Vettel win by only 5 points.

Vettel would not defend his title successfully in 2019, with Precision getting the upper hand over them and Sauber having a front-running car meaning Caterham were relegated to third in the constructors, and Vettel would finish 5th in the driver's championship.

Vettel was joined by a new face in 2020 with young Briton Lando Norris making his debut with the Caterham team. Norris initially had the measure of Vettel but by the closing stages of the season Vettel had scored three wins. Vettel and Caterham were still behind Precision - with both Precision drivers as well as Red Bull's Daniel Melrose beating Vettel into fourth in the standings.

Personal Life

Vettel lives in Thurgau, Switzerland with his wife and three children. His younger brother, Fabian is also a racing driver and competes in German domestic series.

Sporting Accolades
Formula 1
Preceded by:
Lewis Hamilton
World Driver's Championship
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
World Driver's Championship
Succeeded by:
Pastor Maldonado