Vettel’s F1 Career Like a Fairy Tale

Source: Brembo announcement

DETROIT — Once upon a time, many years ago, there lived a boy with thick blond hair. ​His heart raced for cars, so much so that when he was only three years old, his parents bought him a go-kart.

Like all little boys he drove for the fun of it, but deep down he wanted to go up the steps that would have brought the world to his feet.

His dreams of conquest would not be fueled by arms. All he needed was the talent that Mother Nature had bestowed on him. And so it was that on June 17, 2007 Sebastian Vettel made his debut in Formula 1. A sensational debut, with 7th place in the qualifying round and 8th in the USA GP behind the wheel of a BMW Sauber with Brembo brakes. ​

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That day Vettel became the only Under 20 to have gained points in Formula 1. A record that was beaten seven years later but alerted all his rivals to what the boy from Heppenheim was capable of. Eight months earlier, a certain Michael Schumacher had hung up his helmet after winning 7 world titles driving steeds which used Brembo brake systems to stop. Sebastian’s feat aroused the interest of the German fans, but also in Italy, in Faenza to be precise, the eyes of many people became heart-shaped.

And so, from the Hungarian GP onwards, Toro Rosso took him on: better to have someone with such talent on your side rather than against you. Adapting to the new situation wasn’t easy, but in Japan the German showed a mixture of courage and intelligence and went into the lead on the 29th lap. Vettel was only 20 years, 2 months and 27 days old, almost one year and five months less than the previous record holder. It goes without saying, also on this great win, that Sebastian used the Brembo brakes which have always accompanied Toro Rosso. ​

From that moment on, the podium seemed to be so close and yet continued to be just out of reach: he came 4th in the 2007 Chinese GP and 5th first in the 2008 Monaco GP and then in the 2008 Belgium GP. As in all the best fairy tales, the wait before ascending to the throne was an integral part of Sebastian’s destiny. In Monza, on September 13, 2008, taking advantage of the rain, Vettel managed to put everything behind him first in Q2 and then in the decisive Q3. Just 76 thousandths of a second ahead, enough to make him the youngest poleman of all times, a record he holds to this day.

As midnight struck, many believed the magic would have vanished and his rivals would have gobbled him up. Contrary to expectations, though, the day after his Ferrari-engined STR3 did not turn into a pumpkin thanks also to the driving skills of Sebastian who was the first to pass the checkered flag. Before then, no Under 22 had ever won in Formula 1: Vettel had succeeded in doing so at the age of 21 years, 2 months and 11 days, the second best performance of all time even today. In Ravenna he became a myth and King Mateschitz invited him to court to bring the imperial crown to Austria, a feat that none of his predecessors had succeeded in accomplishing.

With Red Bull, he took just 3 races to achieve a second pole position-win. Encouraged by this, he set the bar higher and between June 20 and 21, 2009 he achieved pole position, won the British GP and the fastest lap time. All this when he was only 21 years, 11 months and 18 days old. ​

To view the entire announcement, click HERE.