Sebastian Vettel, Silverstone Getty Images

When UK magazine Autosport polled Formula 1’s team principals on their star driver for 2009, RBR’s Sebastian Vettel came out on top.

The top 10 survey, completed anonymously by the chiefs, used the F1-style points system (10 for a win, eight for second and so on), with the 22-year-old German the clear winner on 76pts. Actual world champion Jenson Button scored 67pts in second spot, with 2008 champ Lewis Hamilton close behind in third on 65pts. Vettel’s team-mate Mark Webber took joint sixth with 2007 champion Kimi Räikkönen on 30pts.

‘I am certain Sebastian has the makings of a future world champion’ – Christian Horner

“It’s an honour to be recognised after such an exciting season with many ups and downs,” Vettel said, before adding that it was now down to him to prove he was also the best driver on the track with a concerted challenge for Red Bull Racing next year.

RBR team principal Christian Horner was in no doubt that his counterparts in the paddock had made the right choice.

“Sebastian had a great year in 2009, and I am certain he has the makings of a future world champion,” he commented. “It’s easy to forget how young he is sometimes.”

See more details of the poll at


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