The Formula One records held by Sebastian Vettel
Written by Barbara Giorgi, Edited by Simran Kanthi
At the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel will retire from his legendary Formula One career. Since 2007, Vettel has broken numerous motorsport records, including being the youngest champion in 2010, the youngest two-time champion, the three-time champion, and the four-time champion, and achieving the most wins in a row ever in 2013. We look at his most astonishing records to honor such a talented and remarkable driver.
First, in 2013 Vettel scored the record for most consecutive wins. The German driver dominated the final nine races of 2013, winning every single one of them, marking the longest victory streak in Formula 1 history. With his eighth straight victory at the 2013 United States Grand Prix, Vettel broke the previous mark held by Alberto Ascari and Michael Schumacher. At the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix, Vettel went on to win for the ninth time in a row; this victory would also be his last with Red Bull. He is the only driver to get 50 podiums with two different teams.
The German also holds the record for most pole positions in one season. In 2011, he was unbeatable on Saturdays. Vettel won 15 pole positions out of the 19 races that season, setting a record for the most poles in a calendar year. He also holds the record of being the youngest pole sitter ever in the sport.
Most laps led in a single year is another record held by Sebastian Vettel. He led 739 laps during the 2011 season, meaning he was at the front of the pack for over 65% of the year. It's the most laps ever conducted in a calendar year, 45 more than second-placed Nigel Mansell's total from 1992. Vettel also holds the top two spots on the chart for the most kilometers led in a single year, leading over 3,600 kilometers in 2013 and nearly 3,800 kilometers in 2011. Except for the Monaco Grand Prix, Vettel led at least one lap in every race in 2013.
Additionally, only three drivers—including Sebastian Vettel—have completed a Grand Slam at back-to-back races. Vettel won the 2013 Singapore and Korean Grands Prix after starting on the pole, leading every lap and setting the fastest lap.
It is interesting to conclude with one last curious and bizarre record. Vettel had the shortest career before picking up a penalty. At the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix, Vettel drove for BMW Sauber on Friday for his first F1 weekend. He received a $1,000 charge for speeding in the pit lane just six seconds after exiting the garage. Fortunately, he wasn't content to merely demonstrate his speed in the pit lane; he recorded the quickest time during the second Free Practice session.
With Vettel's departure from the sport, F1 will not look the same. He has significantly impacted the sport and achieved outstanding results with his activism off-track. In this regard, Vettel uses his success as a platform to support minorities and raise awareness on social and environmental issues. His career in F1 is coming to an end, but surely, for him, there is still a more significant race to win!