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Behind Sebastian Vettel’s F1 Car Names

Among the current Formula One line-up, Sebastian Vettel is the driver widely known in the paddock and by fans and media to name each F1 car he drives. The four-time World Champion has proudly admitted to affectionately naming each of his F1 cars as a way of feeling more attached to the race cars. Whimsically, Vettel only gives his cars female names; he explained in an interview: “The Mechanics and I believe that the car is beautiful so it would be wrong to call it Dave (male-oriented name)”. This season, Vettel revealed he has christened his Aston Martin Cognizant F1 car with a fitting, 007-inspired moniker — ‘Honey Ryder’, named after the Bond girl in the first Bond film Dr. No (1962).

Written by Zaki Ali Rahman, Edited by Susannah Peel

Below we have compiled a list of Sebastian’s creative monikers for each of his F1 cars since his fledgling days in Toro Rosso, right up to 2021’s ‘Honey Ryder’.

YearCarTeamNameReason/Facts2008STR3Scuderia Toro RossoJulieVettel got his and the team’s first win in this car, aged 21. 2009RB5Red Bull RacingKate/ Kate’s Dirty SisterVettel altered the moniker during the season after ‘Kate’ crashed and the car was given a new chassis.2010RB6Red Bull RacingLuscious Liz/ Randy MandyAgain, Vettel had to change the name after the team found minor damage on the chassis and replaced it.2011RB7Red Bull RacingKinky KylieThis year, Vettel opted for a ‘naughtier’ name for his car. Various F1 media assumed Vettel was alluding to Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue, despite no confirmation from Vettel.2012RB8Red Bull RacingAbbeyPossibly derived from either Vettel’s favourite Beatles album ‘Abbey Road’, or the famous corner at Silverstone.2013RB9Red Bull RacingHungry HeidiVettel supposedly took inspiration from German-American Supermodel Heidi Klum. 2014RB10Red Bull RacingSuzieUnfortunately, ‘Suzie’ was Vettel’s first F1 car to not deliver a win. 2015SF15-TScuderia FerrariEvaVettel’s first year in red was successful in ending the qualifying dominance of Mercedes.2016SF16-HScuderia FerrariMargheritaVettel purportedly referenced Margherita of Savoy, the Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy from 1878-1900. ‘Margherita’ joined ‘Suzie’ as the second car Vettel drove that he achieved no win in. 2017SF70-HScuderia FerrariGinaAccording to a report from the German newspaper Bild, ‘Gina’ is derived from the name Regina — the latin word for ‘Queen’.2018SF71-HScuderia FerrariLoriaIn an interview, Vettel explained his choice of name, and said “Maybe if this year we do really well, at least there will be a girl named Loria in Italy, it will be fun right?” 2019SF90Scuderia FerrariLinaThis season brought change for Vettel and Ferrari in the form of new teammate, Charles Leclerc, and new team boss, Mattia Binotto.2020SF1000Scuderia FerrariLucillaA tough year for Vettel, Lucilla was the driver’s third car to not deliver a win.2021AMR21Aston Martin F1Honey RyderVettel chose to name his car ‘Honey Ryder’, the name of the first Bond girl from the original Bond film Dr. No (1962).

Vettel’s intriguing tradition of naming his F1 cars has become a well-known idiosyncrasy of his and has marked his racing career since his first full season in Formula One. It’s a marker of the comedic banter Sebastian brings to an often serious sport, and we hope he continues to add to this list, for many years to come.

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