Sebastian Vettel is the Formula 1 World Driver's Champion 2011. We take a look at Seb's remarkable rise in F1 from the early days to the present.
July 5, 2006. The BMW Sauber F1 Team dispensed with the services of world champion Jacques Villeneuve, and replaced him with third driver, Robert Kubica. On the lookout for a new test driver, Vettel stepped in for a test in Jerez, Spain.
August 27, 2006. Seb became the third driver for BMW Sauber at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix. At his first race weekend he became the youngest driver to participate in a Formula One Grand Prix race at the age of 19 years and 53 days. The excitement got to him, as Seb became the fastest driver ever to get a fine – for speeding in the pitlane just nine seconds after joining the series, which cost him a $1000 penalty.
June 10, 2007. At the Canadian GP of 2007, Robert Kubica was involved in an accident that kept the Pole out of the next race – the United States GP. Sebastian would step up to have his first real chance in Formula One.
June 17, 2007. Starting from seventh in the grid at the US Grand Prix, Seb was able to finish the race in eighth place to become the youngest driver ever to score a point in F1, at the age of 19 years and 349 days.
31 July, 2007. A seat became available at Scuderia Toro Rosso when they parted company with driver, Scott Speed, and Vettel was the perfect candidate to take over the position.
30 September, 2007. In a rain-affected Japanese GP, Sebastian became the youngest driver to lead a Formula One Grand Prix race, but he was to crash into future team mate Mark Webber during a safety car lap, the incident led to both drivers retiring and Seb in tears in the pit lane. The accident was initially considered Seb’s fault, and he was punished by dropping ten positions on the grid for the forthcoming Chinese GP, but a spectator’s video later proved Lewis Hamilton was to blame and the penalty was cancelled.
7 October, 2007. In the Chinese GP, Sebastian was penalized again for impeding Heikki Kovalainen during qualifying, which put him back to 17th on the grid. However, a superb drive in another wet race allowed Sebastian to finish in fourth position.
6 July, 2008. At the British GP, it transpired that Red Bull Racing’s David Coulthard was to retire at the end of the season and Sebastian would take his place as team mate of Mark Webber for 2009.
14 September, 2008. Sebastian became the youngest driver to ever win a Formula One race, aged 21 years and 74 days when he took the flag at the Italian Grand Prix. It was the first podium and first race win for Toro Rosso. He also became the youngest pole sitter and youngest driver with a podium finish in Formula One.
19 April, 2009. Sebastian claims the first ever pole position in the history of Red Bull Racing at the Chinese Grand Prix. He goes on to win the race – RBR’s first race win in Formula One. Team mate, Mark Webber helped create another record by earning the team’s first ever 1-2 finish. At the age of 21 years and 287 days, Vettel became the youngest Grand Prix driver in history to win for two different teams.
21 June, 2009. Seb earns his first British Grand Prix win after starting on pole and mointo third place in the Drivers’ Championship.
October 4, 2009. Another win, this time in Japan from pole position keeps Sebastian in with a slim chance of the world title two points behind second placed Rubens Barrichello.
November 1, 2009. Wins the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and with it finishes second in the 2009 World Drivers’ Championship. He takes home the DHL Award, for having the most fastest laps of the season.
April 4, 2010. Another 1-2 finish for Red Bull Racing at the Malaysian Grand Prix saw Seb move into third place in the drivers’ championship, behind Felipe Massa.
May 16, 2010. The Monaco Grand Prix was the venue for another RBR 1-2, as Seb finished second behind Webber. The two drivers were tied at the top of the overall standings on 78 points each.
June 27, 2010. Seb's second win of the season, at the European Grand Prix was gained from pole position and kept him in touch in third place in the standings.
October 10, 2010. A lights to flag win from pole position at the Japanese Grand Prix was another Red Bull Racing 1-2 and kept up the pressure on world championship leader and team mate, Mark Webber. The win broke another record, as Seb became the youngest Grand Prix driver to win at the same track on two occasions, aged 23 years and 98 days.
November 7, 2010. Another 1-2 for Red Bull Racing, as Seb takes the fight for the championship down to the wire by winning in Brazil. The result confirms Red Bull Racing's first win in the World Constructors' Championship.
November 14, 2010. An historic day for Formula One, as it was the first time that four drivers headed into the last race of the season in with a chance of the title and Seb became the youngest driver to win the World Drivers' Championship, aged 23 years and 133 days when he won the race in Abu Dhabi from pole and Fernando Alonso could finish only seventh.
27 March, 2011. Seb begins his title defence in style by winning the opening race of the 2011 season at the Australian Grand Prix by a margin of 22 seconds, meaning he had won four of the last five Grand Prix races.
10 April, 2011. The Vettel dominance continued in Malaysia when Seb scored another pillar to post victory from pole position, ahead of Jenson Button.
8 May, 2011. Seb wins the final Turkish Grand Prix ever to be held with another victory from pole position and after four races in the 2011 season, leads the Drivers' Championship by 34 points after another Red Bull Racing 1-2.
22 May, 2011. Despite battling with a faulty KERS all weekend, Seb wins the Spanish Grand Prix and extends his overall classification lead over Lewis Hamilton to 41 points.
29 May 2011. An eventful Monaco Grand Prix eventually went Seb's way with a one-stop strategy that paid off when the race was red-flagged late on, giving the championship leader a 58 point lead in the title race.
26 June, 2011. Seb wins his sixth race from eight starts at the 2011 European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain. The success was Seb's first treble of fastest lap, pole position and race win of the year and the race was notable for having the least retirements and most finishers in Grand Prix history. It was also another record for Seb, as it was the first time in F1 history where, a driver finished first in six or more races and second or better in the remaining races of the first eight of the season.
24 July, 2011. Seb's amazing run of 14 consecutive front row starts and 11 successive top-two Grand Prix finishes came to an end at his home race in Germany, where he finished fourth.
28 August, 2011. Another pole position and another race win for Sebastian was achieved at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, where Mark Webber finished second for another Red Bull 1-2. The victory meant that Seb overtook his final points total from 2010 (256) by three points, with seven races left.
9 October, 2011. Seb becomes the youngest driver to win back-to-back world titles with a third place in Suzuka, Japan.