The Career of Sebastian Vettel

The Early Years

Long before becoming a Formula One World Champion, Sebastian Vettel won the 2001 European Junior Karting Championship. The young German’s karting career was so astonishing that it caught the attention of F1’s biggest star: Michael Schumacher. Schumacher was an idol to many young racers, but he served as a mentor to Sebastian Vettel. Michael Schumacher knew Vettel had good things coming his way. Everybody did. After Sebastian Vettel won the German Junior Karting Championship and the Monaco Kart Cup, it was time to move on to bigger things. Vettel began racing open wheeled race cars in 2003, winning the junior Formula BMW series in 2004. Not long after, Sebastian Vettel made his long awaited debut in Formula One. He served as a test driver for BMW Sauber, and made a one-off race appearance. Vettel first made the history books in 2008, when he became the youngest Formula One race winner; at age 21. He was rapidly making his way through F1 and the future was looking bright for Seb. Red Bull Racing thought the same. Red Bull racing signed Sebastian Vettel in 2009.

The RedBull Era

In 2010, Sebastian Vettel proved to be unstoppable. It was his second season at the Red Bull team and he was faster than everyone. Vettel had the perfect F1 car: the Red Bull RB6. The glorious RB6 led Sebastian Vettel to 5 victories that season. It also helped him achieve his World Champion dream. Sebastian Vettel was the youngest Formula One World Champion of all time at age 23. It seems like a lot, but this was only the start for Vettel. In 2011, Seb managed to win 11 of 19 races and, of course, the World Championship. Just like that, Vettel became the greatest driver of the V8 era. Next was 2012, a great year for F1. Drivers like Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button had so much talent, which resulted in some exciting races. Still, Vettel was unbeatable. After a great Formula One season, Red Bull just couldn’t be stopped. Sebastian Vettel was the driver who took home the 2012 World Championship. However, his nonstop winning started to annoy the fans; often getting him booed after the race. It's happened before in F1, and it's pretty rude considering his talent as a driver. Luckily, the treatment from the F1 crowd and media didn’t seem to bother Seb. His attitude and performance stayed the same. 2013 was the best year yet for Sebastian; he won 13 races and 9 of them were in a row. He was at the top of his game, especially at the Singapore Grand Prix. The 2013 Singapore GP is a perfect example of Vettel's skill. Sebastian Vettel did literally everything right. He got pole position, fastest lap, and won the race by a long shot. Sebastian Vettel picked up his 4th World Championship in 2013. By this point, everyone knew Vettel was gonna win; his dominance was untouchable. Sebastian Vettel had high hopes for the upcoming 2014 F1 season. A 5th World Championship would tie Sebastian Vettel with Juan Manuel Fangio, a driver who's often thought of as the greatest of all time. Unfortunately, Formula One had a different plan. 2014 was the year F1 decided to swap the phenomenal 2.4 liter V8s for hybrid V6s. After the engine change, Red Bull was no longer the fastest. Vettel was on top of the world when the car began to suck. Lewis Hamilton won the 2014 title, ending Sebastian's winning streak. Soon after, Vettel was done with Red Bull.

The Ferrari Downfall 

2015 was a big change for Sebastian Vettel; the remarkable Red Bull cars designed by Adrian Newey were no longer on Vettel’s side. Instead, he found a new home at Ferrari. Sebastain Vettel’s Ferrari dream was fueled by the legacy his idol Micheal Schumacher left behind. Schumacher won 5 World Championship titles with Ferrari and Vettel hoped to do the same. Seb's first year at Ferrari was great; he finished 3rd in the championship standings. Most importantly, the fans saw a different side of Vettel, a side that was there all along, just covered up by victory. Sebastian’s humor and kindness was finally starting to show and F1 loved it! However, Ferrari didn't stand a chance in the 2016 season. The Merecedes team won every single race except two, which were won by Red Bull. Vettel should’ve won in Canada, but a poor strategy decided his fate. Still, Vettel’s races at Ferrari were quite impressive. He was a four time world champ racing for F1’s most dominant team. Ferrari’s number two driver at the time, Kimi Räikkönen, was the 2007 World Champion. 2007 is Ferrari's latest championship, so Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari craved another World Drivers Championship. 2017 was the year Vettel had a real Championship car. He competed very closely with Lewis Hamilton, but Ferrari’s mechanical problems let Hamilton take home another title. 2018 was another close attempt at a fifth World Championship. By the end of the year, he won 5 races and was 88 points behind World Champion Lewis Hamilton. Both Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari are to blame for making too many mistakes that year. Luckily, runner up in 2018 gave Sebastian somewhat of a chance in the next season. Then, Kimi was dropped from the team. A new rookie, Charles Leclerc took his place. In 2019 Vettel’s races made a dramatic change. He was vulnerable under pressure and his race performances started to upset the team. At the top of his game, Sebastian Vettel's career began to decay. The majority of Vettel's troubles had to do with his confidence. Charles Leclerc was a rising star; his skill was exactly like young Sebastian Vettel a decade earlier. In Leclerc’s first season at Ferrari, he had 7 Pole positions and won two races. By the end of the season, he finished 4th in the championship standings. Meanwhile, Vettel won only one race in 2019 and finished 5th in the championship standings. Ferrari is also a cause for Vettel's poor performaces. They made some bad calls that season which really effected Vettel mentally. Seb was under a lot of stress racing for a team that showed him little respect. In 2020 Ferrari designed the car around Charles Leclerc's indivdual skills and driving style, leaving Vettel to struggle in a car that didn't suit him. Charles Leclrec was the future for Ferrari. They made sure Leclerc got the glory, while Sebastian Vettel, the 3rd most succesful driver in F1 history, received the bad side of Ferrari's toxic management. Seb's Ferrari contract lasted until 2020, but as time passed Ferrari never mentioned renewing it. However, Charles Leclerc received a contract lasting until 2024. The Sebastian Vettel dominance was cut short due to bad strategies at Ferrari. German prodigy Sebastian Vettel could’ve had a decade all to himself, but his team let him down.

The Future and Aston Martin

After hard times at Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel desperately needed a fresh start. He found his new beginning at Aston Martin. Aston Martin made their original F1 debut in 1959; they only lasted one year in the sport and quit Formula One in 1960, making Aston Martin’s return relativly exciting. However, the F1 world quickly realized race wins aren't an option for Aston Martin. They're not a dominate team and they certainly don't have the best car. It's sad to see Vettel at the bottom, but he's with a team that loves and respects him. Aston Martin knows Seb's worth as a driver and they never stop trying to build a car that will harness his skills and get him some trophies. Sadly, that hasn't happened yet. Now that winning isn't his main priority, Sebastian Vettel has shown a lot of attention towards climate change. 10 years ago, Sebastian Vettel was associated with good races; now he’s known for his good deeds. Last year at the British Grand Prix, Vettel spent hours after the race picking up all the litter left behind by the fans. He then recycled every single piece of trash he picked up. Sebastian Vettel has many ongoing projects to protect our oceans and preserve our planet. His charity work continues to grow stronger, but his current F1 position is only getting worse. In the 2021 season, Vettel was almost always in the middle of the pack, but he had a few remarkable races. At the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Seb started in 11th position and finished in 2nd. That day, Sebastian Vettel made a podium finish in an awful car. He proved that he still has it in him. Sebastian Vettel also finished 2nd at the Hungarian Grand Prix last year, later to be disqualified for improper fuel levels. Those two races gave everyone hope for Aston Martin in this current 2022 F1 season, aside from the disqualification part. The 2022 car was supposed to win races, but so far it's worse than the previous year. Vettel's postion at Aston Martin has taken a huge toll on him, a toll that led him to retirement. Thursday, July 28, Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement from F1 at the end of the 2022 season. Those words hurt to read. Vettel has influenced the sport and this world in multiple ways. He's inspired the next generation of F1 drivers. It really sucks to say goodbye, so let’s focus on the records he’s set and the things he’s accomplished. Sebastian Vettel has been in F1 for 15 years. He’s won 4 world championships, 53 races, and 122 podiums in total. Vettel’s one of the all time greats. From 2010 - 2013, Seb was the unbeatable master of motorsports.

The G.O.A.T

Sebastian Vettel has the longest winning streak in a single season.

Vettel holds the record for the most pole positions in a season.

Seb is Red Bull's first ever race winner.

Sebastian Vettel is the only driver

to have 50 podiums with two different teams.

Seb has led more laps in a single season than any other driver.

Vettel has the most wins in row, and the most wins in a season.

Sebastian is the youngest polesitter, and the youngest F1 champion of all time.

Fun Fact #1:

One of Vettel's many environmental projects include building hotels for bees. These bee habitats are built in the shape of an F1 car.

Sebastian Vettel alongside his idol Michael Schumacher.

Fun Fact #2:

Nowadays, Vettel’s a mentor to Michael Schumacher’s son, Mick. Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel have a very similar relationship to the one Vettel and Michael Schumacher had decades earlier.

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