A precocious talent at the end of his career: the German Sebastian Vettelwho announced Thursday that this season will be his last in Formula 1 (F1), will remain, despite his four world titles, in the shadow of his illustrious compatriot Michael Schumacher.
Sebastian Vettel born July 3, 1987, 17 and a half years after Schumacher. He was proclaimed world champion four years in a row (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013), for Schumacher’s seven world titles.
Vettel won his four titles at the wheel of a Red Bullwhile Schumacher won two with Benetton (1994 and 1995) and five with Ferrari (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004).
Although he is the third pilot in the history of the F1 with most wins (53)also in that he is surpassed by a certain ‘Schumi’ (91), and behind Lewis Hamilton (103).
Vettel has some better records than his predecessor, especially in terms of early records, some of which he still holds.
The native of Heppenheim, near Frankfurt, made his racing debut at the United States Grand Prix in 2007, scoring his first points (eighth place) to become, at the time, the youngest driver in history to do so.
Sebastian Vettel’s relative failure at Ferrari
Signed in 2015 to replace Fernando Alonso, Vettel would be no more successful than the Spaniard in returning the Italian team to the top. AFP / FILE
After moving from Sauber to Toro Rosso (later renamed AlphaTauri) in mid-2007, he set a new earliness record in Japan, at the time being the youngest to lead a race.
At the Italian GP at Monza in 2008, he established himself as one of F1’s strongest hopes by becoming in the space of a weekend, and again at the time, the youngest author of the “pole”, on Saturday, and the youngest winner -with 21 years and 73 days- on Sunday.
That record of precocity would accompany him until 2016, when Max Verstappen conquered the Spanish GP at the age of 18 years and 228 days.
But after his four consecutive world championships between 2010 and 2013 with Red Bull (for which he signed in 2009), the winds have not been favorable for the German again.
It is his relative failure with Ferrari which remains the darkest point of his career. Arrived in 2015 to replace Fernando Alonso, would not be more successful than the Spaniard in returning the Italian team to the topwhile the last title of the “Scuderia” dates from 2007 with Kimi Raikkönen.
Vettel, a committed driver
Vettel turned his Grand Prix weekends into a scene for claiming his charitable causes. AFP / FILE
Your roof with Ferrari will be the second drawer on the World Cup podium behind Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes on two occasions in 2017 and 2018, achieving a total of 14 victories at the wheel of the red racing cars from Maranello.
The adventure will conclude in 2020 with a modest thirteenth place in the World Cup, in the shadow of his young Monegasque teammate Charles Leclerc.
His period at Ferrari will close without Vettel being able to emulate Michael Schumacher, neither in the list of winners nor in the heart of the “Tifosi”.
After the first rumors of retirement, decided to continue his career at Aston Martin at the age of 33, but he would not shine there either, finishing the World Cup in 12th place in 2021. And the current season does not look much better, since he currently occupies 14th place.
Outside the tracks, this father of three children stood out for his fights in recent years.
Committed to the LGBTQ+ community, and defender of the environment, Vettel turned his Grand Prix weekends into a scene for claiming his charitable causes.
Able to wear a helmet with slogans against the exploitation of oil sands during the last Canadian GP, or another adorned with bees, it also promotes the use of synthetic fuels, presented as one of the possible solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of F1 .
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