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.
The final race of the 2012 Formula 1 Series will take place at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Interlagos, Sao Paulo, on 25 November 2012. The program includes two practice sessions on Friday, with a third practice session and qualifying round on Saturday. The 2011 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand was won by Mark Webber, who also took the checkered flag in 2009. For more information visit www.formula1.com
Date: 25 November 2012
Venue: Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
City: Sao Paulo
Starting in pole position, and demonstrating the skill and determination that have made him a world champion, Sebastian Vettel took the checkered flag at the Bahrain Grand Prix yesterday – his first win of the year. While political unrest in the streets of Manama – twenty miles or so from the track – attempted to shut down the event, Formula One competitors put their energies into the task at hand, doing what they do best and giving the fans what they came to see – plenty of competitive on-track action.
Vettel put in a flawless performance from start to finish, making the Bahrain Grand Prix his 22nd career victory and putting him at the top of the drivers’ standings. In a post-race interview Vettel noted that he was lucky in having a good start allowing him to open up a gap in the front, while acknowledging that Kimi Raikkonen had challenged him during the race. Raikkonen revealed that he had only one possible chance to pass Vettel, but was just not able to pull it off, stating nonetheless that it had been a good race for them both.
James Grosjean took third place, noting that he was very happy to have achieved his first podium finish in Formula 1 racing. Mark Webber finished in fourth place, with Nico Rosberg taking fifth place, Paul Di Resta in sixth, Fernando Alonso in seventh and Lewis Hamilton in eighth.
While the political tensions in Bahrain are multi-faceted, the protests surrounding the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix focus primarily on the fact that Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa owns the rights to the Grand Prix and was therefore the event’s host. Protesters objected to this connection for a number of reasons, particularly relating to the crushing of the Arab Spring movement by the ruling family last year. In 2004, Bahrain was the first Middle Eastern country to host a Formula 1 Grand prix, with Abu Dhabi hosting an event on the 2009 calendar at Yas Marina circuit. While the unrest and protests made world headlines, they appear to have had little effect on how auto racing fans view the prestige of the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Battling inclement weather, yesterday’s Malaysian F1 Grand Prix provided plenty of auto racing action, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso taking the checkered flag, followed by Sauber’s Sergio Perez and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, with Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen taking fourth and fifth place. With his latest victory, Alonso has moved into fifth place on the career victories list – one place ahead of legendary three-time world champion Jackie Stewart. In a post-race interview, Alonso congratulated the team for doing a great job, and noted that in light of their performance in Australia, and in the qualifying rounds in Malaysia, he considered the win to be a big surprise.
While the performance by seasoned drivers Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Webber was impressive, the second-place win by 22-year-old Sergio Perez was considered to be spectacular, with his enthusiasm dampened only slightly by the thought that he could have grabbed first place. Perez has been reported as saying that a win had been possible as he caught up to Alonso, but he touched the curb and went onto the wet side of the track causing him to lose time. Perez went on to say that although they would have liked to have gathered more points this weekend, he was nevertheless on the podium for the second race in a row and so had no reason to complain.
The Malaysian F1 Grand Prix was interrupted by a tropical downpour just six laps into the race. Light rain fell in the closing laps, with the race coming to an end at 06h48 local time. Following the restart, drivers changed from full wet to intermediate tires with pit teams working frantically to get the drivers back on the track. Alonzo took the lead, building his advantage to 7.7 seconds. Perez was just 1.3 seconds behind Alonso when both went into the pits to change to dry-weather tires. Excitement mounted as Perez was just a half a second behind Alonzo with only seven laps to go. Just as it appeared the young Mexican driver may take the lead, Perez made contact with a slippery curb allowing Alonso the opportunity to take the checkered flag, with Perez following 2.2 seconds behind him to clinch second place.
The Belgian Grand Prix was hosted on Sunday, 28 August 2011, and was once again dominated by the Red Bull Team, as Sebastian Vettel was able to capture this leg of the Formula 1 Championships with his team mate, Mark Webber, taking second place. Having both drivers on the podium was a great victory for Red Bull, as have now increased their lead on the other teams in regard to championship points. Jenson Button was able to gain a third position for McLaren. The day proved to be difficult for many drivers, as pit stops and accidents plagued some teams.
With only seven events remaining for the 2011 Formula One season, it seems that Sebastian Vettel is well on his way to securing the driver’s championship, as he now has 259 points; with his teammate Mark Webber sitting on 167. The Red Bull Team has now accumulated 426 points, with McLaren having 295 and Ferrari with 231 points for the constructor’s championship.
As both drivers for Red Bull were struggling tremendously with tire degradation during the qualifying rounds of the event, there was some concern for the big day, but they managed to make it work. Even though Nico Rosberg was able to grab the lead, it proved to be a short lived victory, as Vettel reclaimed his leading position during lap three, after starting in pole position. While fighting it out for forth position during lap thirteen, Lewis Hamilton suffered an unfortunate accident, leaving debris all over the circuit, which brought out the safety car. Hamilton was fortunate enough to walk away uninjured.
Fernando Alonso, from Ferrari, who has enjoyed four podium positions this season, was in third place, but in the final laps of the race, Jenson Button was able to pass him, leaving him to finish in forth position. Michael Schumacher was able to enjoy a very successful race, as he made his way from last position to finish in fifth place, which was a fitting way to celebrate his twentieth anniversary in Formula One.