Sebastian Vettel’s flawless win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this past weekend was his seventh consecutive victory for the 2013 Formula One season, putting the German driver on a par with Michael Schumacher’s record of seven consecutive victories set in 2004. Driving for Red Bull Racing-Renault, Vettel has clocked up eleven wins this season, and with two more races to go in the 2013 Formula 1 series – United States and Brazil – Vettel still has the opportunity to break that record. Teammate Mark Webber took second place, followed by Nico Rosberg, Romain Grosjean and Fernando Alonso in the top five positions. The top five in points for the season are (in order): Sebastian Vettel (347 points); Fernando Alonso (217 points); Kimi Räikkönen (183 points); Lewis Hamilton (175 points) and Mark Webber (166 points).
Born in Heppenheim, Germany, Sebastian Vettel started karting at the age of three-and-a-half, beginning his racing career in karts series at the age of eight. His talent was immediately evident and at the age of eleven he was accepted into the Red Bull Junior Team. From there he moved to open-wheel cars, winning the 2004 German Formula BMW Championship, winning 18 of his 20 starts. In 2005 Vettel moved into the Formula 3 Euro Series, going on to test for the BMW Sauber team.
In 2006, Vettel became the third driver for BMW Sauber at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix, and in 2007 was confirmed as BMW’s test driver for 2007. He substituted for Robert Kubica in the United States Grand Prix, earning his first World Championship point by finishing in eighth position. In 2007, Vettel moved to Red Bull’s Scuderia Toro Rosso team, enjoying a reasonably successful season apart from an accident in the Japanese Grand Prix for which he received a penalty, which was later lifted when it was determined that Lewis Hamilton had caused the wreck.
Highlights of the 2008 season included Vettel becoming the youngest driver (21 years and 74 days old) in history to win an F1 Grand Prix when he took the checkered flag in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, and being named Rookie of the Year at the Autosport Awards. In 2009, Vettel replaced retiree David Coulthard at Red Bull Racing and became the youngest Grand Prix driver to win for two different teams when he won the Chinese Grand Prix in April of that year. The following years saw Vettel claim a number of victories, with the 2013 season being his best yet. Fans will no doubt be keen to see how the final races of the season pan out.
A multi-car wreck on the final lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Camping World 500 aided Jamie McMurray in taking the checkered flag at the Talladega Superspeedway event on Sunday, with Dale Earnhardt Jr and Rick Stenhouse Jr taking second and third places respectively. When rookie Austin Dillon lost control of his car on the final lap of the race, the resulting crash ruled out any chance of Earnhardt challenging McMurray’s position, allowing him to cross the finish line in first place for the first time in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race since 2010 when he won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Dillon had been running third behind McMurray and Earnhardt when he crashed, with the only other driver involved being Casey Mears.
One of the highlights of Jamie McMurray’s career was his first place spot in the 2002 UAW-GM Quality 500 – a race in which he led 96 of the final 100 laps and beat Bobby Labonte. He was a substitute driver for the event and it was his second Cup start. In 2010, he became one of only three drivers to have won both the Brickyard 400 and Daytona 500 in the same year. In 2003 McMurray focused on the Sprint Cup Series and won Rookie of the Year having had five top-5 finishes and finished 13th overall for the year.
McMurray has been driving the #1 Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing since 2010 – the year he won the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. In 2011 McMurray earned four top 10s and finished the season in the 27th spot in points, while the 2012 season saw him earn only three top tens. 2013 started off on a disappointing note as he crashed on lap 33 of the Daytona 500, finishing in 32nd place. His first top ten of the season was at Bristol, with his second being in Martinsville. He finished as runner-up to Matt Kenseth at Kentucky and took 11th place at New Hampshire. Although not part of the Chase, McMurray’s victory on Sunday reaffirms his skill as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver.
The current Top Ten in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings (in order) are: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards.