Sebastian Vettel, the 4 time Formula 1 World Champion has broken a big number of Formula 1 records despite his young age. The German likes to say he doesn’t care about making records, but his actions on track speak otherwise. Vettel’s countryman Michael Schumacher used to be a king of numerous records and many people have thought it will take a long time for someone to break those records, and that some of the records will stay forever. It might be that the time has come sooner than expected, as Vettel has been unstoppable for a few years, already breaking records or getting close to them. Let’s take a look at the records Vettel has broken, and at the records he is still yet to break but has a great possibility to do that.
“The Youngest Ever..”
Vettel has broken several records by being the youngest ever in something or other. He scored championship points in his first ever Formula 1 race, in the 2007 United States Grand Prix, when he was replacing Robert Kubica at BMW Sauber. That also made him the youngest driver ever to score points in F1. Later, during the Japanese GP 2007, Vettel became the youngest ever driver to lead a race at the age of 20 years and 89 days.
Vettel also was the youngest ever driver to get a pole position, and it happened during the Italian GP weekend in 2008. On the next day, he broke more records under the title ‘Youngest Ever..’ as he managed to win the race, and the victory made him the youngest ever driver to win a Formula 1 race, and the youngest driver ever to get a podium finish and, obviously, making him the youngest ever to get a pole position and a win during the same weekend. He also broke the records of getting pole position, fastest lap and a race win during the same weekend, and later doing the same by leading all the laps during a race, giving him another youngest ever record.
He also became the youngest ever to win for 2 different teams (Toro Rosso in 2008 and Red Bull in 2009) and the youngest ever to win the same GP two times in a row (Japanese GP 2009 and 2010). He is also the youngest ever World champion, the youngest ever Double World champion, youngest ever Triple World champion and youngest ever 4-time World champion. Of course the German is also the youngest ever to win 4 championships in a row.
It is, and Vettel still holds all of these records mentioned.
Vettel is leading a record of most wins during one season together with Michael Schumacher, both winning 13 races in one season. It’s a record which Vettel can get for himself, if he gets another dominating season like the 2013 season. It also makes it slightly easier as there are going to be more races in the F1 calendar in the future, but new rules coming to the series from 2014 forward can change the situation a lot.
Most wins during one season is not the only record Vettel shares together with Schumacher as they also share the record of most podium finishes in a season, both having 17 of them. With Schumacher, the record was slightly different as he got 17 podiums from the 17 possible, while Vettel took ‘only’ 17 podiums from 19 possible in 2011.
Most consecutive wins during the season is another record that goes to the young German. He broke the record this year, starting is winning streak from Belgian GP and finishing at the last race of the season in Brazil making it 9 victories in a row. He can continue making this streak even longer, if he can win the first race of the season next year.
Vettel also holds the record of the most pole positions during a year, as he managed to get 15 pole positions from 19 possible in 2011.
Another record which belongs to the young champion is the record of most points scored during the season, which he achieved this year scoring 397 points. That amount of points would have been enough for Red Bull to take the constructors championship with the points that only Vettel collected for the team. This record can’t be well compared to other point records, as the point scoring system is very different today than it has been in the past, but the fact that Vettel could have won constructors championship all alone puts this into some kind of perspective.
Most wins from pole position in a season is a record which is shared by Vettel and Nigel Mansell, both having 9.
Vettel has a big chance to break many records, and he still has many years left in his career. Let’s take a look at the records where he is close to breaking them, but hasn’t achieved them yet.
Vettel is 6th on the list of having the biggest winning percentage from all races entered with 32.50%. The only drivers who are in front of him on the list are drivers from 50’s and 60’s, which makes his position very impressive as the F1 championship used to have much less races during one season in the era of 50’s and 60’s than today. He also has a big chance to get higher on this list, as the drivers in front of him (if the record holder doesn’t count) have percents from 33% to 39%. Getting the record for himself can be challenging as Juan Manuel Fangio has the record with 46.15%, winning 24 races from the 51 races he started into. That means Fangio won almost a half of all races that he competed in his career, and the percentage will be difficult for Vettel to achieve, but not impossible.
Vettel has a similar situation in the pole position percentage table, as he is 5th on the list with 37.50%. The holder of this record is also Juan Manuel Fangio, with 55.77% and this record will be another big challenge for Vettel.
One record where he is surely going to get higher is the number of wins, but becoming the record holder itself can be difficult. Right now, Vettel is 4th on the list with 39 wins and is only 2 wins behind Ayrton Senna who is 3rd on the list. Vettel’s gap to Alain Prost who is second on the list is also only 12 wins, and that is also quite easy to achieve in a few years with the form the German is on. The record holder though is Michael Schumacher, with as big number as 91 wins. Getting that record will take some time and isn’t guaranteed as we can’t know what is going to happen in the future. If Vettel manages to do more dominating years like the 2013 season, it might be possible to win this record, but there will be a lot of work to do. If Vettel is hungry enough (and most probably he is), he should give it a try.
Vettel has been dominating not only in races, but also in qualifyings. Right now, he is 3rd on the list of the drivers with most pole positions. Vettel has 45 poles, and the only drivers in front of him are Ayrton Senna with 65 poles, and Michael Schumacher with 68 poles. This a record which is very realistic for Vettel to break and it might be possible for him to achieve in a few years if he can keep his great qualifying form.
As Vettel is great on qualifying, he could also achieve the record of most consecutive pole positions. His biggest pole position streak is 5 pole positions, and he has done it twice, but there are many drivers who have achieved the same and also have a bigger number than this. The record of most consecutive pole positions belong to Ayrton Senna, who had 8 pole positions from 1988 Spanish GP to 1989 United States GP.
The German already holds the record of biggest number of pole positions in one season, but that record puts him only to 3rd place on the pole position percentage of one season (79%). In front of him there are both Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost with 81% (13 pole positions from 16 possible) and Nigel Mangel who holds the record with 88% (14 pole positions from 16 possible).
Vettel is a familiar face on the podium, and he is 7th right now on the list of the drivers who have scored most podium results. What makes Vettel’s position impressive is that he has scored 62 podium finishes in 120 races, meaning that he has been on the podium in more than 50% of the races he has entered and the percent is bigger than most drivers on the list. The only driver who has a similar podium finish percentage is Michael Schumacher who leads the record of podium finishes with a number of 155 from the 308 races he entered. If Vettel continues in F1 for many years, he would be able to get close to Schumacher’s record. If he can break it, that’s another story. 155 is a big number and Schumacher achieved that in a career which lasted for 17 years.
Continuing with the podium records, the most consecutive podium streak belongs to Michael Schumacher, who got 19 podiums in a row. Vettel could still achieve something like that, and is already 3rd on the list by getting 11 podiums in a row twice. Fernando Alonso is between Schumacher and Vettel on the list with 15 consecutive podium finishes.
Another record that Vettel can easily break in the future is scoring most championships points ever. This record has lost its meaning though as the point scoring system has been tweaked many times during the years, and now the drivers score much more points than before which makes the record table very difficult to compare. Fernando Alonso holds the points record with 1606 championship points. Michael Schumacher is second with 1566 points and Vettel third with 1451 and is quite easily going to get this record for himself in the future.
Vettel has led all the laps in 12 different races which is 3rd best all the time: Jim Clark is 2nd with 13 races and the leader is Ayrton Senna with 19 races. As we know with this young German, we know that he has a real chance to break this record.
Formula 1 has so many records and the records can be made from so many different things. Vettel has his name in the most glorious ones, if not on the lead, then at least very close to it or in a distance that makes it possible for him to reach in the future. All we know is that this young man has achieved so much in a few years and there is more to come.
After looking at all of this, can we really believe that he doesn’t care about the records?
Written by: Sini Salminen