'A short view back to the past...'
Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel will make his final Formula One start this weekend. We look back at his most memorable moments on and off track during his two-year stint with Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One™ Team.
There are numerous aspects of Sebastian Vettel that are remarkable, not least the fact that, for a significant period of his career, finishing first became second nature. One of the pre-eminent drivers of his generation, Sebastian has secured his place in the pantheon of greats.
Four Formula One World Championships, 53 Grands Prix wins [third on the all-time F1 list], 57 pole positions, F1's youngest world champion and polesitter, most consecutive wins in a season [nine in 2013], most poles in a single season [15 in 2011], the list of accolades goes on.
His achievements span beyond the cockpit: passionate about the environment, equality and social justice, he's used his career as a platform to drive positive change. Inquisitive, intelligent, articulate, his moral compass has never wavered.
Sebastian's time at AMF1 may not have hit the same dizzying heights of those he reached earlier in his career, but it's been an incredible adventure. He's played a pivotal role in our team's journey: his knowledge, skill, expertise and fierce determination have pushed the team forward and helped us make a mark on the sport and beyond.
Here's a selection of some of the most memorable moments from our two years with Sebastian…
The first Aston Martin F1 podium
A beautiful drive from Sebastian, deft decision making on the pitwall, and a thrilling two-lap dash to the line secured second place in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix – the first Formula One World Championship podium in Aston Martin's history.
"I am over the moon and P2 means a great deal to all of us," beamed Sebastian.
"We did not expect to be on the podium, but we made great progress through the weekend, and the car had strong race pace."
Making a mark without leaving a trace
Sebastian's quest for a cleaner environment and a greener planet was encapsulated by the work he did off the track after the 2021 British Grand Prix.
Together with his mechanics and a small number of his fans, he took to the grandstands to clear up litter, as part of our commitment to make a mark and have a positive impact on the world around us.
His and the team's and those fans’ efforts at Silverstone didn't go unnoticed – they inspired yet more fans worldwide, with many joining the team at subsequent post-race litter picking initiatives following Grands Prix in 2021 and 2022.
Sebastian surprised Veronika and Daniel during their memorable marriage proposal at the Hungaroring after Daniel had hatched a plan to have Sebastian play a part in their special moment.
"Just when I thought the moment couldn't get any better, we looked up to see Sebastian stood next to us," said Veronika.
"He asked Daniel: 'Did you write 7.30pm in your letter?' Then he gave us a gift with a small hand-written letter and a signed cap. He congratulated us and we took a few photos with him."
The most overtakes
Sebastian picked up a selection of trophies in 2021: there was his unforgettable podium in Azerbaijan, winning F1's 'Grill the Grid' competition after naming every Formula One World Champion by year since the Championship began – in reverse order no less – but his final trophy of the year came in Abu Dhabi when he took the Crypto.com Overtake Award for the most overtakes during the season.
He was later presented with his requested prize – a million jelly beans, give or take...
Creating a buzz
Sebastian has continually used his platform to promote important social and environmental causes – and that includes saving bees.
"Taking responsibility for the future doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your quality of life – it's about finding sustainable ways to have fun," say Sebastian.
"I became an ambassador for the BEESandAPPLE project because I want everyone to know that their actions can make a real difference."
Joining the debate on BBC's Question Time
Following the Miami Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel spent time in London to inspire disadvantaged young people at Feltham Young Offenders Institution and open a new therapy room for children at Oasis Johanna Primary School, before becoming the first active F1 driver to be a panellist on the BBC’s high-profile, political talk show Question Time.
In an illuminating and thought-provoking discussion, he spoke about some of the most pressing issues facing society today and used it as a platform to show his and the team’s support for environmentalism, human rights activism and more.
All in. All welcome. All celebrated.
We used our home race as an opportunity to share the message that no matter who you are, our team and the sport are open to everyone – and Sebastian played a leading role in helping communicate that message to the world.
He joined our 'United by Passion' roundtable discussion, which brought together industry voices, sportspeople, AMF1 team members and fans to not only help us better understand how we can promote diversity and inclusion but also raise awareness of how everyone can play a part in making it happen.
A super Suzuka recovery
From last to sixth in a shortened race, Sebastian's final appearance at Suzuka was as much of a rollercoaster as the circuit itself.
Having qualified in the top 10, Sebastian had contact with Fernando Alonso at the start, which sent him into a spin. When the race was resumed after an early red flag, Sebastian used this opportunity to pit for Intermediate tyres.
This gamble proved to be a masterstroke, and he vaulted up the order in the following laps. Alonso pitted later on and the pair raced to the line, but Sebastian just held on for sixth – by 0.011s.
Sebastian announces his retirement
The moment Sebastian announced that he was calling time on his glittering Formula One career sent shockwaves through the sport. A champion on and off the track; his contribution to the team and the sport immeasurable, his affinity with legions of fans incomparable.
"I have had the privilege of working with many fantastic people in Formula One over the past 15 years – there are far too many to mention and thank.
"Over the past two years I have been an Aston Martin F1 driver – and, although our results have not been as good as we had hoped, it is very clear to me that everything is being put together that a team needs to race at the very highest level for years to come."
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