Vettel was born in Heppenheim, West Germany, on July 3, 1987, to Norbert and Heike Vettel. He has a racing driver younger brother, Fabian, and two elder sisters, Melanie, a dental technician, and Stefanie, a physiotherapist for challenged children.
Vettel said in an interview that he was “terrible” in school, yet he passed his Abitur with honours at Heppenheim’s Starkenburg-Gymnasium [de]. “The three Michaels” – Michael Schumacher, Michael Jordan, and Michael Jackson – were his childhood idols.
He stated that he aspired to be a singer like Michael Jackson but realised that he lacked the necessary vocal abilities. Vettel is also a Beatles aficionado, owning numerous LPs, including Abbey Road, and his favourite song is “Drive My Car”.
He claimed in an interview with Top Gear that he enjoys British humour such as Little Britain and Monty Python’s Life of Brian. He, like many other racing drivers, lives in Thurgovia, Switzerland, and is a supporter of the German football club Eintracht Frankfurt.
Sebastian Vettel has stated that he is competitive, private, and impatient. He also starred in Head & Shoulders commercials and performed the voice of Sebastian Schnell in the German version of the film Cars 2. In early 2019, Vettel married childhood friend Hanna Prater in a private ceremony, and they had three children: Emilie, born in January 2014, Matilda, born in September 2015, and a son, born in November 2019.
Forbes projected his annual income to be $41 million in 2016. His teammate from 2015 to 2018, Kimi Räikkönen, is a close friend. Vettel speaks English, French, and Italian in addition to his native German.
Formula One career
Vettel began his Formula One career in 2006 as a test driver for BMW Sauber, making a single race appearance in 2007. Vettel, who was a part of Red Bull’s young-driver programme, later that year appeared for Toro Rosso and was retained as a full-time driver for 2008. In 2009, Vettel was promoted to Red Bull.
From 2010 through 2013, Vettel won four successive titles with Red Bull, the first of which became him the sport’s youngest World Champion, setting records for the most consecutive race wins (9) and race wins in a single season (13). Vettel joined Ferrari in 2015 and became Mercedes’ and Lewis Hamilton‘s closest contender in two title campaigns in 2017 and 2018, finishing runner-up in both years.
Vettel became BMW Sauber’s third driver at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix, after former incumbent Robert Kubica took over as the second driver for the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, replacing Jacques Villeneuve. Vettel set the fastest time in the second Friday free practice on his testing debut.
At the age of 19 years and 53 days, Vettel became the youngest Formula One driver, to compete in a Grand Prix weekend. Vettel also established a record for receiving his first fine in nine seconds, as he breached the pitlane speed limit on his approach to the circuit. He set the fastest time in both Friday practice sessions during his second testing session at the 2006 Italian Grand Prix.
Vettel has been confirmed as BMW’s 2007 test driver. Following Kubica’s crash in the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix, Vettel was named his substitute for the 2007 US Grand Prix. He started seventh and finished eighth, becoming the Formula One’s youngest driver to gain a point at the time.
As Vettel was already under contract to Red Bull Racing, he was released by BMW in July 2007 to join Red Bull’s Scuderia Toro Rosso, replacing Scott Speed from the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix forward. In addition, it was revealed that he would drive for Toro Rosso alongside Sébastien Bourdais in 2008.
Vettel joined Red Bull Racing as a replacement for the retired David Coulthard at the start of the 2009 season. He got off to a solid start at the Australian Grand Prix, finishing second for the duration of the race.
However, a late-race collision with Robert Kubica for second place caused both to retire. He went on to win the Chinese Grand Prix, becoming Red Bull Racing’s first pole and race winner. More victories followed in the United Kingdom, Japan, and Abu Dhabi. He won the Japanese Grand Prix after starting from pole position and leading every lap.
Vettel finished second in the World Drivers’ Championship standings behind Jenson Button after winning the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the first-ever day-night event. He also set the third fastest lap of the season, tying him with teammate Mark Webber. Vettel, on the other hand, earned the 2009 DHL Fastest Lap Award because he had more second-fastest laps.
Vettel made his Ferrari debut with a third-place result in the Australian Grand Prix. He then won the Malaysian Grand Prix, his first race victory in almost a year and Ferrari’s first win in nearly two years.
Following the race, an emotional Vettel paid tribute to Schumacher, stating that his hero’s accomplishments with Ferrari made the first victory all the more precious.
Vettel replaced Sergio Pérez at Aston Martin for the 2021 season. He suffered a grid penalty in qualifying during his maiden race weekend in Bahrain, forcing him to start last.
While Vettel started well, he was involved in a collision with Esteban Ocon, incurring a time penalty and finished in 15th place. On his super licence, he acquired five penalty points. Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer expressed no concerns, citing the car’s differences from the Ferrari, a lack of laps in pre-season testing, and a strong race start.
Formula One records
|Most podium finishes in a season||17||2011|
|Most wins in a season||13||2013|
|Most pole positions in a season||15||2011|
|Most laps led in a season||739||2011|
|Most consecutive wins||9||2013 Belgian Grand Prix – 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix|
|Most consecutive grand slams||2||2013 Singapore Grand Prix and 2013 Korean Grand Prix|
|Most wins from pole position in a season||9||2011|
|Youngest Grand Prix pole position winner||21 years, 72 days||2008 Italian Grand Prix (13 September 2008)|
|Youngest driver to score a double (pole position and race win)||21 years, 73 days||2008 Italian Grand Prix (14 September 2008)|
|Youngest driver to score a hat-trick (pole position, race win, and fastest lap)||21 years, 353 days||2009 British Grand Prix (21 June 2009)|
|Youngest driver to score a grand slam (pole position, win, fastest lap, and led every lap)||24 years, 119 days||2011 Indian Grand Prix (30 October 2011)|
|Youngest Formula One World Drivers’ Champion||23 years, 134 days||2010 season (14 November 2010)|
|Youngest World Drivers’ Championship runner-up||22 years, 121 days||2009 season (1 November 2009)|
|Shortest time elapsed before gaining a penalty||6 seconds||2006 Turkish Grand Prix (25 August 2006) (6 seconds into his career, for speeding in the pit lane)|
In early 2019, Vettel married childhood friend Hanna Prater in a private ceremony, and they had three children: Emilie, born in January 2014, Matilda, born in September 2015, and a son, born in November 2019.
Forbes projected his annual income to be $41 million in 2016. His teammate from 2015 to 2018, Kimi Räikkönen, is a close friend. Vettel speaks English, French, and Italian in addition to his native German. Vettel is also well-known for his aversion to social media, as he is the only Formula One driver on the 2021 grid who does not have a social media presence.
|Height||1.75m (5′ 8″)|
|Endorsements||Casio, Infiniti, Pepe Jeans|
|Annual Salary||$36 million|
|Net Worth||$140 million|
|Cars||Ferrari F40, Ferrari California T, Mercedes Benz SL-65 AMG, MINI Countryman, Infiniti FX|
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