The mighty Formula 1 records still held by Sebastian Vettel

Thomas Maher

Sebastian Vettel’s F1 career may be coming to an end, but the four-time World Champion heads for new pastures with several records remaining in his name…

Vettel departs Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season, having secured 53 wins during his years with Toro Rosso, Red Bull, and Ferrari. He’s also secured 57 pole positions, with 38 fastest laps.

Impressive statistics, while Vettel also leads the way in several F1 record categories – records that will be very difficult to beat.

For instance, the German driver holds the record for the most consecutive Grand Prix victories. Back in 2013, the then-Red Bull driver popped in nine straight victories in a row, starting with the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix and ending at the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Such dominance has never been matched, not even by the Ferrari/Michael Schumacher or Mercedes/Lewis Hamilton combinations. For that reason, it’s a record that could take a long, long time to be beaten, given how easy it is for a victory to slip through a driver’s fingers over the course of near half a season’s racing.

Those nine weekends also landed him the record for most consecutive grand chelems/grand slams, claiming pole position, the win, and fastest lap. He managed this over two weekends, proving untouchable at the 2013 Singapore and Korean Grands Prix.

Vettel’s 2013 season was also impressive in that he claimed the record for most Grand Prix wins in a single year. Aside from the nine consecutive wins, Vettel also claimed four other wins to make it a cool 13 wins from 19 Grands Prix.

But the German driver didn’t keep all his record-breaking feats until 2013. He was the undisputed King of Qualifying in 2011, as he claimed the most pole positions in a season. Out of 19 races, Vettel started from pole position on 11 occasions.

En route to that year’s title, his high pole hit rate meant he also claimed the record for most laps led in a season, as he circulated at the head of the field for an incredible 739 laps. This netted him nine victories, meaning he also took the record for most wins from pole position in a single season.

While Vettel leaves F1 as one of its elder statesmen, he departs the sport having claimed several records for being the youngest to score certain achievements – records which could prove exceptionally difficult to beat given the superlicence rules introduced since his debut mean drivers simply are older coming into the sport.

At the age of 21 years and 72 days old, Vettel scored his first pole position at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix as he drove for Toro Rosso. This makes him the youngest Grand Prix pole position winner.

A day later, claiming the win at Monza, his conversion of pole position into victory made him the youngest driver to score a ‘double’, ie. pole position and the race win.

It took him until the following year to take a grand slam, scoring pole, the win, and fastest lap at the 2009 British Grand Prix – making him the youngest driver to score a hat-trick.

He remains F1’s youngest World Drivers’ Champion, despite the best efforts of Max Verstappen. Vettel’s triumph in 2010 at the age of 23 years and 143 days beats Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 victory by just 167 days.

This victory came at the second time of asking, with Vettel beaten to top spot in 2009 by Brawn GP’s Jenson Button. However, Vettel finishing second that year makes him the youngest World Drivers’ Championship runner-up in the sport’s history.

He also holds quite an amusing record, one which will certainly take some beating. Vettel was just six seconds into his career when he picked up his first penalty in the sport. Peeling out into the pits to head out on track for first practice at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix, the then BMW-Sauber test driver ended up exceeding the pitlane speed limit and promptly got a fine…