|1||Australia||Albert Park||March 15||Ferrari (SF15-T)||3||15||4|
|2||Malaysia||Sepang||March 29||Ferrari (SF15-T)||1||25||2|
|2007||BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso||8||8||0||0||5||4||0||0||7||0||0||6||14|
|First race||United States Grand Prix||Indianapolis||June 17, 2007||Race results|
|Last race||Malaysian Grand Prix||Sepang||March 29, 2015||Race results|
By becoming the sport's youngest world champion in 2010, Sebastian Vettel firmly established himself among the top drivers in Formula One before laying claim to another three titles in the following three years. A product of Red Bull's driver development programme, he is everything F1 wants in its world champion: smart, quick witted and above all very, very fast.
He started his career in karting before moving to Formula BMW in 2003 where he took rookie honours. Having found his feet he dominated the championship the following year and won 18 of the 20 races. A move to European F3 followed in 2005 before he was snapped up by BMW Sauber as its test and reserve driver in 2006. He stayed race sharp by competing in the World Series by Renault before making his F1 debut at Indianapolis in 2007.
Standing in for the injured Robert Kubica, he qualified a solid seventh and finished the race in eighth, scoring a point. That encouraged Red Bull to bring him back under its wing and he became a full-time Toro Rosso driver at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Following a few novice mistakes, he finished a strong fourth in the wet Chinese Grand Prix.
He endured a tough start to the 2008 season with Toro Rosso due to a number of accidents, but secured a very solid fifth-placed finish in Monaco. Gaining confidence, he recorded his first pole position and victory at the rain-hit Italian Grand Prix with an outstanding drive in a car that should have been knocking around in the midfield. Having finished eighth in the championship, he moved to Red Bull Racing and immediately challenged for the championship with wins at Shanghai, Silverstone and Suzuka.
2010 was his breakthrough year, though it took a dramatic finale to help him secure his maiden championship. Having looked like the quickest driver in the quickest car throughout the season, reliability issues and a few too many errors meant he went in to the final race as an outsider. But victory in Abu Dhabi while Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber came home seventh and eighth saw him snatch the title.
Ahead of his first defence Vettel had his contract with Red Bull extended until the end of 2014, and he responded with a dominant season that saw him win six of the first eight races, finish in the top two at 16 of the 19 rounds and wrap up the championship with four grands prix remaining.
2012 was more of a struggle as Red Bull haemorrhaged performance over the winter thanks to regulations changes regarding the car's exhaust. But towards the end of the season the RB8 became untouchable and Vettel made the most of the performance gain to win the championship by three points from Alonso in a dramatic finale.
Defending the crown for a fourth time looked like it would be tough as Kimi Raikkonen won in Melbourne from Alonso, but Vettel responded by ignoring team-orders and winning in Malaysia. While his disregard for Webber hurt his popularity, Vettel just kept improving and once the RB9 was able to get the most out of the Pirelli tyres he was unstoppable. His dominant win in Singapore saw him at his brilliant best and he took nine consecutive victories at the end of the season as he wrapped up the title in India.
A change in team-mate and engine regulations followed in 2014 as Vettel's win of victories came to abrupt end, with it immediately obvious Renault was uncompetitive compared to Mercedes. Vettel struggled to adapt to the demands of the new cars and found himself overshadowed by Daniel Ricciardo in the other car. He became the first reigning champion to have a winless campaign since Jacques Villeneuve in 1998.
In Suzuka that year, with little warning, the paddock was stunned by the announcement Vettel would leave Red Bull at the end of the year. His destination was Ferrari, to follow in the footsteps of his idol Michael Schumacher, and he will debut for the Italian team in 2015 - ending an association with Red Bull stretching back to 1998.
Strengths and Weaknesses
He is one of the fastest drivers on the grid and is an expert at leading from pole position. However, when further down the grid or beaten into the first corner, he can lose his cool - though with experience even those cracks are seen less frequently.
Becoming the youngest world champion the sport has ever seen in 2010, closely followed by his unfancied victory in a Toro Rosso at Monza in 2008.
2014 is a season to forget for Vettel, with upstart team-mate Daniel Ricciardo winning three races to the German's none. That is closely followed by his collision with Mark Webber at the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix following a lapse of concentration behind the safety car while running second and third, eliminating both drivers and sending Vettel back to the Toro Rosso garage in tears.
"The chequered flag is really just a stupid wooden stick and a piece of cloth. It's a small thing, but it means so much when you cross the line."
"Like a ship, a car should be named after a girl as it's sexy. My original car was called Kate. But then it got smashed at the opening race in Australia. So we called this one Kate's Dirty Sister because it is more aggressive and faster."
"I sort of imagine Vettel laughing to himself and telling himself jokes down long straights like this. He seems to have that demeanour about him." Martin Brundle on Vettel.
Vettel is something of an anglophile and is well known for his love of British comedy and music including Monty Python, Little Britain and The Beatles. He is also partial to an English breakfast.
Vettel is known for giving his cars a girl's name each season. Past examples include Kate, Kate's Dirty Little Sister, Luscious Liz, Hungry Heidi and Suzie.
Red Bull's Marko wins €400 Vettel bet in Malaysia (March 30, 2015)
Lauda: Vettel 'not boring anymore' (March 30, 2015)
Allison explains Ferrari win and why a repeat will be tough (March 29, 2015)
Ferrari like 'a perfect Italian watch' - Arrivabene (March 29, 2015)
- Vettel: I was 's***ting' myself in final laps (March 29, 2015)
March 29, 2015
© Sutton Images
March 29, 2015
© Sutton Images
March 29, 2015
© Sutton Images