Aston Martin driver Vettel announced on the eve of the Hungarian Grand Prix that he will walk away from F1 at season’s end, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.
It will bring down the curtain on a glittering career that to date features 53 grand prix wins, putting him third on the all-time list behind only Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.
Although he didn’t add to his tally of four world championships won with Red Bull during his time at Ferrari, the German has been one of F1’s star performers during a long and distinguished career dating back to 2007.
In 2020, Autosport picked out the finest of his victories, 38 scored with Red Bull and 14 with Ferrari (not forgetting his solo success for Toro Rosso).
When coming up with this list, we looked at Vettel’s experience at the time, the machinery at his disposal, the challenges he faced on any given weekend, and the nature of his success.
10. 2011 Indian GP
Car: Red Bull RB7
GP start: 79
GP win: 21
“It was Vettel’s most emphatic performance of the season,” reckoned Autosport after the Red Bull driver took pole, fastest lap, led every lap and victory at the new Buddh circuit.
“It was as perfect a demonstration of the racing driver’s art as he’s ever produced.”
It was typical Red Bull-era Vettel. He made a clean start from pole, drove a superb first lap to stay out of danger, kept everyone out of DRS range, then controlled proceedings.
Only Jenson Button’s McLaren kept him in sight, finishing 8.4 seconds behind. Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari crossed the line 24.3s after the Red Bull.
Even his team couldn’t slow him down at the end, Vettel making sure he secured fastest lap on the final two times by. Rarely has such domination been matched.
9. 2013 Abu Dhabi GP
Car: Red Bull RB9
GP start: 118
GP win: 37
Vettel was beaten to pole by team-mate Mark Webber, but he grabbed the lead at the start and built a big advantage while the other Red Bull battled to find a way by Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes.
What was particularly impressive was Vettel’s ability to lap rapidly while looking after the fragile Pirellis. “He has just stepped up another notch recently,” said Red Bull boss Christian Horner. “His feel for the tyres while going so quickly is remarkable.”
Vettel also stayed out longer than most of his rivals. “Even as all the other two-stoppers came in and changed, he was going way faster on his very old softs than anyone could conjure from their fresh mediums,” said…