E r has quickly made Formula 1 a subject . He is unique to his top boss. Already a role model for driver colleagues: Sebastian Vettel. A guy with his heart in the right place. Charming, funny, down to earth. And mercilessly successful. 'He's always hungry and willing to win. That makes him a champion,' says Michael Schumacher. 'And he is still getting stronger and stronger', predicts Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.
One who breaks all records
Vettel, the champion. Youngest Pole man, youngest front runner in a Grand Prix, youngest race winner, youngest world champion and now youngest double world champion at 24 years and 98 days. At that age, record champion Schumacher had just achieved a race win. No record seems safe from his buddy anymore.
Vettel, the motivator. He pulls his team with him. The fact that he invites his crew over and over for a cozy meal is just as much a part of it as the unrestrained, euphoric thanks via pit radio in front of an audience of millions on TV sets worldwide.
Vettel, the mature one. A year ago, youthful exuberance and too much ambition almost cost him the title. Already towards the end of the preseason, however, Vettel presented himself more shrewd. In 2011 he earned the title: Absolutely consistent and practically flawless.
Hymns of praise from the competition
'I think Sebastian is unique,' says Vettel's top boss, Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz. Rarely have direct competitors heard such hymns of praise. From the defeated Ferrari star Fernando Alonso, whom Vettel replaced in Suzuka as the youngest double champion, to McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton. Not a word of envy, instead sentences full of respect. 'I take my hat off to him,' said Hamilton.
And that should not only be due to Vettel's impressive dominance. 'Not only the athletic performance, but also how professional and personable he is, the hype around his person', finds NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki impressive.
Vettel, named Germany's 'Sportsman of the Year' last year , comes from a middle-class background. Father Norbert is a carpenter. When the two of them talk, it is in broad Hessian dialect. As an enthusiastic hill climb driver, he infected his filius with the PS virus.
A knowledge-hungry athlete
Vettel, who has two moreHas sisters and a brother, did his first laps in a kart on his parents' property when he was four. Formula BMW, Formula 3, Formula 1 test pilot - student Vettel, high school graduation 2.8, learned quickly: In his first assignment as a Friday driver in the BMW-Sauber he was promptly the fastest in Turkey in 2006.
A year later, the Grand Prix debut in Indianapolis on June 17, 2007: And the apprentice passed this test with flying colors. Eighth place, one point at the premiere. Red Bull's sister team, the Toro Rosso team, knocked on the knock, BMW didn't want to slow down the ascent, especially since Vettel comes from the Red Bull youth development team.
Vettel has only 77 Formula 1 races in his unprecedented vita stand, but with an impressive 19 wins and 27 pole positions. The competition will have to hold court more often than Vettel, who like Schumacher moved to Switzerland and who, like the 18-year-old friend, keeps his private life away from the public.
In our photo gallery we have traced Vettel's path to the top of Formula 1 again for you.