Posted by Vinay MenonSeptember 14, 2008 at 10:39 pm
Sebastian Vettel probably had a better Sunday than you. At the age of 21 years and 73 days, he has become the youngest driver to ever win a Formula One race, in F1’s 59 year history. At a rain soaked race in Monza, Italy, right in Ferrari’s backyard, Toro Rosso driver Vettel took pole, drove phenomenally, and finished the race 12.5 seconds ahead of second place Heikki Kovalainen’s McLaren.
To give you some idea of the immensity of Vettel’s accomplishment, consider that the last time a non-manufacturer team won an F1 race was the Jordan team, more than 5 years ago, at the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix, an incident-packed wet weather race that had to be ended prematurely. In fact, the last time an Italian team, that was not Ferrari, won an F1 race was in 1957 (Maserati.)
Vettel has also contributed to the Red Bull’s ‘junior’ F1 team’s finances significantly this year, as the 10 points he earns as race winner directly translates to dollars paid to the team by Formula One Management. Scuderia Toro Rosso is half owned by Red Bull Racing, and half by 80s F1 star Gerhard Berger. Toro Rosso has competed in 48 races since 2006, and the best they had so far was a fourth place. After this weekend they now have a pole-position and a win.
There is no doubt Vettel’s name is going to be attached to many more significant F1 achievements in the future. His driving has been exemplary from the very beginning. He scored a point in his very first race (becoming the youngest F1 driver to ever score a point), and also earned the record of the quickest driver to get a fine in F1, being fined a thousand bucks only 9 seconds into his career, for speeding in the pit lane. The young German has a promising career ahead of him. For 2009 Vettel moves to the Red Bull team, while billionaire Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz tries to unload the Toro Rosso team to a new owner.
Following the Italian Grand Prix (Race Number 14 out of 18), the drivers points standings for the championship are:
1. Lewis Hamilton 78
2. Felipe Massa 77
3. Robert Kubica 64
4. Kimi Raikkonnen 57
Vettel now has 23 points total for the year, and is in 9th place. Torro Rosso incidentally, now have 27 points so far in 2008. They only scored 8 points altogether in 2007, and 1 point in 2006!!!