Sebastian Vettel

#1 | Sebastian Vettel | Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Date of Birth: 03/07/1987 | Nationality: German


Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Heppenheim-born Vettel made his Formula 1 debut as a teenager in 2007, when BMW required a stand-in for the injured Robert Kubica in the USA. Vettel qualified and finished inside the top 10, thus becoming the youngest driver in the history of the sport to score a point. He subsequently moved to Red Bull's junior team, Toro Rosso, for the remainder of 2007 and encountered mixed fortunes. He excelled in the wet in Japan but crashed out of third place, yet he redeemed himself a week later in treacherous conditions in China when he finished in fourth.

He retained his Toro Rosso seat for 2008 and comfortably bettered incoming Champ Cars king Sebastien Bourdais. Vettel was a regular face in the midfield but gradually began scoring points, with the high point coming at Monza in the wet. He claimed a unlikely pole position for Toro Rosso and put in an accomplished performance in similarly tricky conditions on race day, cruising to victory to become the youngest winner in the history of the sport. Vettel finished the season in eighth place in the championship.

Vettel was promoted to Red Bull for the 2009 season and his arrival coincided with the team leaping from midfield runners to championship contenders. Vettel took Red Bull's first win in China - leading home team-mate Mark Webber - and claimed a further three victories to secure second place in the championship for both himself and Red Bull. The year was not without its errors as Vettel crashed out in Australia and Monaco, but he nonetheless marked himself out as a championship contender.

In 2010 the RB6 was comfortably the fastest car but German endured several technical errors and high profile accidents, including his infamous collision with Webber in Turkey. Vettel lost potential victories in Bahrain, Australia and Korea but he knuckled down and won the final two races of the year to take his tally to five. His result, combined with Ferrari's strategic error, allowed Vettel to leap ahead of Fernando Alonso at the last round and claim his maiden title.

Vettel retained his crown in 2011 having begun his title defence with five wins in the opening six rounds, opening up a comfortable buffer over his challengers, who were unable to mount a consistent campaign. He claimed a further six victories and wrapped up the title in Japan. He finished 17 of the 19 races on the podium and set a new record for the most pole positions in a single season, having topped qualifying on 15 occasions.

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

2012 wasn't as straightforward as Vettel struggled with the handling of the Red Bull RB8 for the first half of the season, winning just once - in Bahrain - during the opening 13 rounds of the year. He and Red Bull worked hard at improving the car and they eventually reaped the rewards, with Vettel winning four in a row to snatch back the championship lead from Fernando Alonso. He clinched the title in dramatic fashion during the final round of the season when he finished in sixth place in Brazil.

Vettel coasted towards the title in 2013 as he won three of the first eight races and collected points when the Red Bull RB9 was restricted by its front tyre issues. His sole retirement came in Britain, but afterwards he was phenomenal. He claimed a first home win in Germany, and followed up a podium in Hungary with nine successive wins to round out the season, an unprecedented feat in Formula 1 history.

Vettel's youth and success means that he holds several records, including youngest pole sitter, youngest winner and youngest champion. Still just 26 years of age, the German has ability and time on his side to shatter several other records.