Childhood & Early Life
Sebastian Vettel was born on July 3, 1987, in Heppenheim, Germany, to Norbert and Heike Vettel. He has two older sisters—Melanie and Stefanie, and a younger brother, Fabian, who is also a racing driver.
At the age of three-and-a-half, Vettel started amateur karting, and when he was eight, he began racing in karts series. At 11, he was taken into the Red Bull Junior Team. He won several junior titles, like Junior Monaco Kart Cup in 2001.
He passed his school leaving exams from Starkenburg Gymnasium. His childhood heroes were Michael Schumacher, Michael Jackson, and Michael Jordan.
In 2003, Sebastian Vettel started racing open-wheel cars, and won the 2004 German Formula BMW Championship with 18 victories from 20 races. At Formula 3 Euro Series in 2005, he was in the fifth position, winning the top rookie honors.
In 2006, when he was just 18, he was promoted to a test driver for Sauber in Formula One. Despite several victories, he couldn’t bag the championship.
He became the youngest Formula One driver to participate in the Grand Prix 2006. In the second testing in 2006 Italian Grand Prix, he set the fastest time in Friday practice sessions.
In 2007, at Formula Renault 3.5 Series, he won at the Nürburgring. He was leading the championship, but was called up to Formula One permanently.
He was confirmed as BMW's test driver for 2007. He participated in the US Grand Prix, and took his first World Championship point, and became the youngest driver to score a point in Formula One. That year, he earned US$165,000 for finishing the season with Toro Rosso. He finished fourth at the Chinese Grand Prix, and collected five championship points.
In 2008, he could not finish a single race. At the fifth round at Turkish Grand Prix, he finished 17th. At Monaco Grand Prix, he finished fifth, and scored points. He also scored at Canadian Grand Prix. He finished 12th in France, and earned a point at German Grand Prix.
At the 2008 European Grand Prix, he finished sixth. At Italian Grand Prix, he became the youngest driver in history to win a Formula One Grand Prix. He broke the record set by Fernando Alonso. He led for the majority of the Grand Prix, and registered a win for his Toro Rosso team.
In 2010, his victory in Abu Dhabi season finale, his fifth of the season, made him the youngest world champion in Formula One history.
In 2011, he seemed more confident, and proved unbeatable. He won 11 Grands Prix out of 19, and took pole position 15 times. At the end of the season, he became the youngest back-to-back champion.
The beginning of 2012 did not prove lucky for Vettel. He got just one win and three pole positions from the first 13 rounds. However, he eventually won four races in a row, and gained a sizeable lead in the title race. He won the 2012 drivers’ championship, and became the third driver to win three successive titles, and the youngest triple champion in F1 history.
His first win of 2013 season was in Malaysia, where he won 13 races, matching Michael Schumacher’s single-season record. He finally landed a fourth consecutive drivers’ crown with three rounds in hand.
However, the year 2014 did not prove lucky for him. He failed to win a race and finished fifth in the standings. Experts felt that he could not adapt his driving style as per the new technical regulations. The Ferrari team was revived, and he replaced Fernando Alonso for 2015. The challenge proved good, as he obtained three Grand Prix wins in the first season.
He started the 2016 season by finishing third in the Australian Grand Prix. At Chinese Grand Prix, he finished the race second. He came third in the Spanish Grand Prix, fourth in Monaco, and second in the Canadian. He finished the season with seven podiums and 212 points.
In 2017, he began his third season with Ferrari with a win in Australia. He also won in Bahrain. However, he could not win in Russia, but extended his lead to 13 points. He maintained his 100% podium success rate in 2017.
He became the fifth man in history to claim 90 F1 podiums. Although he lost in Spain, he won in Monaco. In 2017, Austria saw him claim the podium. His championship lead was reduced to a single point as he finished 7th in Britain. He won in Hungary, which was his 46th overall.
Awards & Achievements
In 2008, Sebastian Vettel was named Rookie of the Year at the annual Autosport Awards.
In 2009, he was awarded the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy for his achievements in 2008. The following year, he was voted German Sports personality of the Year.
He won the International Racing Driver category at the Autosport Awards for four successive years from 2010-13.
In 2012, he was honored with the Grands Prix de l'Academie des Sports 2011 for being "Double consecutive F1 World Champion at the age of twenty four – winner of eleven Grands Prix out of nineteen."
Double consecutive F1 World Champion at the age of twenty four – winner of eleven Grands Prix out of nineteen."
In the same year, he was honored with the highest sports award in Germany, the Silberne Lorbeerblatt–Silver Laurel Leaf, for his multiple world titles.
He was voted F1 driver of the year in 2009 and 2013. He won DHL Fastest Lap Award in 2009, 2012 and 2013.
He was named the European Sportsperson of the Year by ‘Pap’ in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, he was named Sportsman of the year at the Laureus World Sports Award.