Seb’s finger celebration explained

Date published: October 14 2015

Sebastian Vettel's one-finger celebration salute has been a talking point in Formula 1 for many years, and the German's former team boss has revealed the motivation behind it.

The 28-year-old has celebrated in the same fashion throughout his F1 career, but it has never been clear how waving his finger became a signature move for Vettel.

Speaking on Sky Sports' F1 Midweek Report, Trevor Carlin, Vettel's team boss when he raced in the Formula Renault 3.5 series in 2006 and 2007, has explained how he believes the celebration came about.

"He was massively fast and in his first season for us and in a race at Spa he decided to take Eau Rouge flat in a wet race," Carlin said. "He had a massive accident and while he was trying to catch the accident his front wheel came off, flew over the car and caught the top of his finger – and took the top of his finger off.

"The next day he turned up at the circuit with a big bandage on his finger – and still smiling despite not being able to race. But the top of his finger had broken off and they had to stitch it back on."

Carlin believes that it was this incident which led to Vettel raising the damaged finger in celebration.

During Vettel's dominant spell at Red Bull, the celebration was a common occurrence, and one that appeared to go down badly with some fans.

At the height of Vettel's success, he even considered changing the ritual. 

"We have had a little bit of a chat as some people for some reason seem to get offended," Vettel told Sky Sports in 2013. "But I think the most important is you are who you are and stick to that."