Sebastian Vettel landed in Formula 1 as one of the promises of the future, and it didn’t take long to impress Red Bull to entrust him with a full-time seat in the 2008 season. After making his debut with BMW-Sauber a year earlier, the German gave the jumped to the Faenza team, Toro Rosso , with whom he managed to add his first victory and become the youngest driver in history to climb to the top of the podium in a grand prix, in a rainy race in Italy.
That triumph, along with his performances in the rest of the campaign, helped him to sign a contract with Red Bull, which in theory was the main group of the energy drink brand, for 2009 . Since then, that union has only given success to one of the most successful duos in the category, and the fact of winning four consecutive world championships from 2010 to 2013 confirms this.
However, that ideal marriage was broken in 2014, when Vettel decided to leave Milton Keynes for Ferrari to emulate his idol, Michael Schumacher. In his journey through Maranello, the German could not be champion dressed in red, and only added two runner-up finishes until in 2020 it was announced that the Italians would not renew him.
In response to that, the four-time champion tried to try his luck at Aston Martin from 2021, although the uncompetitive British team did not offer him enough tools to continue for more years and he will retire at the end of this course.
However, the story could have been very different, and that is that Sebastian Vettel was close to returning to the team that gave him so much, Red Bull, as the Austrian boss Christian Horner revealed.
“We had some conversations. It was like getting back together with your ex-girlfriend,” the English director told Channel 4 . “It would be a bit like having that old friend again, but the second time it wouldn’t be like the first.”
In the energy drinks team they decided to have Sergio Pérez to be a partner of Max Verstappen, and curiously it was the Mexican whom Vettel replaced in the Silverstone team, which was renamed from Racing Point to Aston Martin after the agreement with Lawrence Stroll .
In any case, Horner assured that he was proud to have achieved so much with the German in Formula 1: “What we have achieved together is impressive, it was phenomenal and it will always be part of our history.”
“I don’t think anyone expected it,” he commented on Vettel’s premature retirement at just 35 years old. “I think it’s the right decision, it’s not good to see him driving in the middle of the grid, that doesn’t make him happy at all, it’s the right time to bring down the curtain on what has been an incredible race.”
The German will still have nine appointments after the summer holidays to say goodbye to the Great Circus and to what has been his family for so many campaigns in his professional motorsport career, while the paddock waits to know what he will do after leaving Formula 1 .