A Farewell to Four-Time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel

Sofia Strohmeier, Copy Editor

On July 28, Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement from Formula 1. After 16 years in the sport, Vettel will depart at the end of this season carrying numerous records with him.

Born in Heppenheim, Germany, Vettel’s childhood revolved around karting and striving to reach what any young driver would wish for: to race in the biggest international racing contest, Formula 1. At only 18 years old, Vettel made his way into an F1 car for the first time in his test drive for Williams, and at 19 he became a reserve driver for Sauber. The young driver was able to show his abilities when he filled in for Robert Kubica in the 2007 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. He managed to finish the race in eighth place, which made him the youngest driver to score a championship point that year.

In 2008, Vettel acquired a full-time spot at Red Bull Racing’s sister team, Toro Rosso. That year was the beginning of his record-breaking performances. In the Italian Grand Prix, Vettel made F1 history by claiming the title of not only the youngest ever pole-sitter, first place at the start of the race, but the youngest race winner at the time.

Due to his impressive performance at Toro Rosso, Vettel was promoted to Red Bull the following year, where he would race alongside his teammate Mark Webber. Vettel became the first driver to bring home a win for Red Bull in the Chinese Grand Prix, and delivered success to the team for years. With Red Bull, Vettel became the youngest driver in history to win a world championship and later secured four consecutive world titles from 2010 to 2013.

“I would say his nine wins in a row during the 2013 season is what impresses me the most out of his records,” Miami Palmetto Senior High junior Sebastian Font said. “It was just such a display of talent and domination that was unmatched at the time.”

While his prime was at Red Bull, Vettel continued racing with Ferrari, where he won 14 races, and in his current team, Aston Martin, where he struggles to find pace in the car.

“It’s unfortunate that a great driver like him has to retire in a not so great year for him or his team,” Miami Palmetto Senior High junior Armando Rodriguez said. 

Throughout all his years of racing, Vettel has stood on the podium 122 times, claimed 53 race victories, 57 pole positions and 38 fastest laps.

“It’s going to be very sad for not only his fans, but the sport as a whole,” Font said. “He is one of those characters where he can just make your day with his quick jokes and humor. So not only will history be lost, but a great personality will be lost as well.”

Alongside other well-known F1 names such as Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, the German racer will go down in history as one of the sport’s greatest. With just a few races left to go at Aston Martin, both the driver and the fans will enjoy his final moments on the race track.