SportF1Vettel's triumphant first weekend in F1: Italy 2008

Vettel's triumphant first weekend in F1: Italy 2008

Sebastian Vettel managed, in Belgium 2018, to surpass the 51 victories achieved by Alain Prost and establish himself as the third driver with the most victories in Formula 1. It was the fifth first place of that season for the German, but the way to get on the podium history began long before.

Specifically ten years earlier. It was 2008, and Vettel was contesting his first full championship after making his debut halfway through the previous year with BMW and having contested the last seven races of 2007 with Toro Rosso. In those first appearances, he had already left signs of his talent scoring in his premiere or being fourth in China, but 2008 was the year of his explosion.

He dropped out in the first four grand prix, but soon he would start to score points and in Italy, the 14th round of the world championship, he gave the surprise. In a year in which Hamilton with McLaren and Massa with Ferrari were at stake for the title, Toro Rosso did not allow Vettel to aspire to great successes, but the rain on Saturday changed everything and already in the third free practice he managed to put his car in second position.

Later, in the wet, he made a big splash by taking pole position, his first in Formula 1 and the youngest ever achieved by a driver, at 21 years and two months. While he was first Hamilton, who would later be champion, did not pass 15th place.

Kovalainen started second with the other McLaren, and the Finn became the big favorite for victory in a race also played in the rain. However, Vettel was not willing to give up and dominated the test from start to finish except for the laps in which Kovalainen had not yet made his stop. Without errors, he snatched the second record of the weekend from Alonso by being the youngest driver to win, although eight years later Verstappen surpassed him in that statistic in which he remains second.

With a Ferrari engine and driving for an Italian team, the tifosi felt that victory as their own. “It was impressive,” recalls Vettel today. “It depends on the team and the engine you have, but it’s an incredible feeling. I think the fans were happy because I had won a Ferrari engine. Then I won with other colors and they were not so happy.

In his stage with the Cavallino he failed to win at Monza, but in addition to those of 2011 and 2013, Vettel will never forget that of 2008 with Toro Rosso. A victory that opened the doors of Red Bull the following year and the story is already known there: four world championships before looking for the most anticipated, the fifth, in red, which did not arrive.

Vettel’s 2008 Formula 1 Italian GP at Monza in photos

Pole Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing

Pole Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing

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Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Pole de Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing, Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren

Pole de Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing, Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren

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Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Photo by: XPB Images

Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with the team

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra con el equipo

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with the team

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra con el equipo

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with Sébastien Bourdais

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra con Sébastien Bourdais

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Polesitter Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Pole position winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with Sébastien Bourdais and the team

Ganador de la pole position Sebastian Vettel celebra con Sébastien Bourdais y el equipo

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El Autor de la pole Sebastian Vettel, el segundo Heikki Kovalainen

El autor de la pole Sebastian Vettel, el segundo Heikki Kovalainen

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Pole author Sebastian Vettel, second Heikki Kovalainen, and third Mark Webber

El autor de la pole Sebastian Vettel, el segundo Heikki Kovalainen, y tercero Mark Webber

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Photo by: XPB Images

Pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel

El autor de la pole Sebastian Vettel

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La Salida con Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR03 and Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-2 leader

La salida con Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR03 y Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-2 liderando

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La Salida con Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR03 and Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-2 leader

La salida con Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR03 y Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-2 liderando

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Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso

Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso

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Photo de: XPB Images

Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR03 and Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-23

Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR03 y Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-23

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Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, steering wheel

Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, volante

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Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrates Vettel’s victory

Scuderia Toro Rosso celebra la victoria de Vettel

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Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrates Vettel’s victory

Scuderia Toro Rosso celebra la victoria de Vettel

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Press conference: winner Sebastian Vettel, second Heikki Kovalainen, third Robert Kubica

Rueda de prensa: el ganador Sebastian Vettel, el segundo Heikki Kovalainen, el tercero Robert Kubica

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The start: Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso leads

La salida: Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso lidera

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Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR03 ahead of Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-23

Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR03 por delante de Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-23

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Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR03 ahead of Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-23

Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR03 por delante de Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-23

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, and the remainder of the field as Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33, crashes out in the background

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09, leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H, and the remainder of the field as Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33, crashes out in the background

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Foto de: Andrew Hone / Motorsport Images

The winner Sebastian Vettel

El ganador Sebastian Vettel

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with Robert Kubica

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra con Robert Kubica

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with Fernando Alonso

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra con Fernando Alonso

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with Fernando Alonso

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra con Fernando Alonso

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with Franz Tost, director of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Die

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra con Franz Tost, director de Scuderia Toro Rosso y Die

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with members of the Scuderia Toro Rosso team

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra con miembros del equipo Scuderia Toro Rosso

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with members of the Scuderia Toro Rosso team

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra con miembros del equipo Scuderia Toro Rosso

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with his father Norbert Vettel

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra con su padre Norbert Vettel

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with Peter Sauber

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra con Peter Sauber

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with Norbert Haug

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra con Norbert Haug

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with members of the Scuderia Toro Rosso team

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra con miembros del equipo Scuderia Toro Rosso

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Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates with members of the Scuderia Toro Rosso team

Ganador de la carrera Sebastian Vettel celebra con miembros del equipo Scuderia Toro Rosso

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