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.
Introduced to the F1 schedule in 2012, the United States Grand Prix takes place on the country’s first ever purpose-build grand prix venue. The race consists of 56 laps around a circuit of 5.513 km, totalling 308.405 km. The current lap record of 1:39.347 was set by Sebastian Vettel in 2012. Don’t miss this exciting grand prix with qualifying on 16 November and the main event on 17 November.
Date: 17 November 2013
Venue: Circuit of the Americas
Country: United States
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix kicks off on 1 November with two practice sessions, followed by another practice session and qualifying on 2 November. The main attraction takes place on 3 November as drivers take to the 5.554 km track for a total of 55 laps. Be sure to catch this thrilling race and find out if anyone can break Sebastian Vettel’s lap record of 1:40.279.
Date: 3 November 2013
Venue: Yas Marina Circuit
City: Abu Dhabi
Country: United Arab Emirates
The Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix covers a distance of 307.249 km, divided into 60 laps of 5.125 km. Sebastian Vettel holds the lap record for the race, that had its start in 2011, with a time of 1:27.249. Who is going to take the lead on the Hermann Tilke designed track? Stay tuned to find out!
Date: 27 October 2013
Venue: Buddh International Circuit
City: New Delhi
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.