Sebastian Vettel: the top 3 wins of his F1 career

Before his retirement in 2022, Sebastian Vettel claimed a whole host of wins throughout his F1 career. Here are his top 3 best victories – in our opinion, of course.

After bursting on the scene with a one-off race for BMW Sauber in 2007, Vettel’s first full season was with Toro Rosso in 2008. Here, he proved himself as a future world champion by claiming a win for the midfield team.

The following season, Red Bull promoted Vettel to their first-choice team. Of course, this move was brilliant, too. The German won four world drivers’ titles with Red Bull and helped them to their first-ever constructors’ championships.

However, after a difficult 2014, Vettel switched teams to drive for Ferrari. In six years with the Scuderia, he came close but could never quite beat the power of Mercedes. He left Ferrari for 2021, where he completed two seasons with Aston Martin.

With 53 race wins in his career, Sebastian Vettel ranks high on the all-time GP victories list. But what were his greatest drives?

#3: 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel took one of his finest wins – and also his first for Ferrari – at the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Starting from the front row, Vettel consolidated second place off the line by keeping Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes behind him. By lap 7, though, the German had the lead due to a safety car causing a flurry of pit stops. In contrast to those around him, Vettel elected to stay out, taking a different strategy. This move would eventually work beautifully for the Scuderia driver.

Once he had made his first stop on lap 17, Vettel emerged behind the two Mercedes cars. However, he did not stay there for long, passing Nico Rosberg with an excellent move on lap 21. Then, three tours later, the Ferrari man moved back into the lead with an overtake on Lewis Hamilton’s Silver Arrow.

Vettel crucially came out from his second stop ahead of Rosberg, setting him up to chase down Lewis Hamilton until the Brit pitted himself. Due to boldly staying out during the early SC, Vettel only had to run a two-stop race. By comparison, the Mercedes cars both had to do three tyre changes.

Ferrari and Vettel’s superior strategy played out perfectly, gifting the German a memorable first victory with the team. Similarly, this broke the Scuderia’s winning drought as their first P1 since the 2013 season.

#2: 2013 Indian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel sealed a legendary fourth world drivers’ title with a virtuoso performance at the 2013 Indian Grand Prix.

Despite starting from pole, the race was less than plain sailing for the Red Bull star. Having secured the lead from the start of the race, Vettel raised eyebrows by changing tyres just two laps into the race. This saw the German drop to 17th – so he had a fair bit of ground to make up.

Thankfully, though, Vettel and his RB9 were in perfect sync, and he flew through the field. By lap 13, a handful of overtakes and pit stops saw Vettel already back up to fourth.

21 laps into the Indian Grand Prix, the reigning champion moved up to second via a simple pass on Sergio Perez. The McLaren driver was simply powerless to stop the marauding Red Bull.

Finally, to restore his position in the lead, Vettel beautifully executed an undercut on his teammate, Mark Webber. The Australian pitted a lap later than his RBR counterpart, emerging behind Vettel.

Sadly, though, Webber could not bring home a team one-two as his car suffered an alternator failure. Contrastingly, this left Vettel to cruise home in style to claim the win – and his fourth straight world title.

Most impressively, this was the third of three wins that Sebastian Vettel claimed in India. As a result, he is the only driver in F1 history to win an Indian GP at the Buddh International Circuit.

#1: 2008 Italian Grand Prix

First one = best one, right? The best victory out of the 53 wins from Sebastian Vettel is, in our opinion, his maiden one.

Driving for Toro Rosso, no-one could have envisaged that Vettel would win a race in the midfield car. After all, McLaren and Ferrari had dominated the majority of the 2008 season. But a rain-soaked weekend at Monza threw out the form book entirely.

Whilst the likes of Lewis Hamilton made poor tyre choices in qualifying, Vettel was supreme and qualified an unlikely P1 in the wet. The rainy conditions did not improve for Sunday, either.

Following a safety car start, the Toro Rosso youngster leapt into an early lead. Vettel showed complete confidence, despite the slick surface and pressure on him. The German maintained his advantage throughout the race, his car control allowing him to keep clean where others made mistakes.

Eventually, the weather improved, and Vettel delivered his and Toro Rosso’s first-ever F1 win. Even in their former guise as Minardi, the Italian-based squad had not reached the top step before. Now, thanks to a young driver in his first full campaign, they’d won on home soil.

Read – Fernando Alonso: the top 3 wins of his F1 career

For many, this victory showed the world that Sebastian Vettel was surely a future world champion. During the season, Red Bull had already decided to promote him to the senior team for 2009. Clearly, their decision was justified!

So, the Italian Grand Prix comes top of our list of the greatest wins in the career of Sebastian Vettel.

Featured image credit: Getty