Sebastian Vettel

This German driver is the youngest Formula One World Champion in history and is known for his sporting prowess but how did he carve out this career?

Sebastian Vettel was born on 3 July 1987 in Heppenheim, West Germany and was brought up with a younger brother called Fabian and two older sisters Melanie and Stefani. He was not very good at school, or so he says, despite finishing with a respectable grade. When he was a boy, he listed his inspirations as the three Michaels: racing driver Michael Schumacher, basketball star Michael Jordan and king of pop Michael Jackson.

Initially, he wanted to be a singer but after realising he didn't have a 'voice', he decided to follow a different career – racing driver. He started amateur karting at the age of just three years and went on to race in the Karts series when he was eight-years-old in 1995.

Vettel won a series of titles including German Junior Karting Championship, Monaco Kart Cup and the European Junior Karting Championship in 2001. He then finished sixth in the Senior ICA Kart Championship in 2002 and decided to upgrade to cars. He made his debut in the 2003 Formula BMW Germany Championship and finished the season in second place. At the age of 17, he won the title with 18 wins from 20 starts – a sign of things to come.

In 2005, he came fifth in the Formula Three Euroseries but British driver Lewis Hamilton dominated the championship meaning Vettel's ASL team did not win a single race. After this he made his debut as a F1 tester for Williams, due to his connections at BMW.

At the age of 18, Vettel joined Paul Di Resta at ASM and finished second to his team mate in the championship. He went on to make a successful debut appearance at the World Series for Renault with Vettel winning two races.

Then his career was almost finished before it began as he crashed at 170mph at Spa – a notorious Belgian race track. He severely damaged his hand and his right index finger almost had to be cut off. It was stitched back together and he recovered.

Despite his accident, BMW took Vettel on as a test driver. He was soon promoted to Friday driver and was the fastest of all in the practice in Turkey. Vettel became the youngest driver to take part in a Grand Prix weekend at the age of 19 and also collected a fine for speeding in the pit lane.

In 2007, Vettel began racing in the World Series by Renault but when his team mate was injured at the Canadian Grand Prix, Vettel stood in for him at Indianapolis and came eighth. He became the youngest driver to score a point.

Later that year, Toro Rosso dropped Scott Speed after the European Grand Prix and asked Vettel to take his place. He did and went on to finish fourth in China. In 2008, he did better and came first in the Italian Grand Prix becoming F1's youngest winner ever. He finished the season eighth with 35 points and was rewarded with a place on Red Bull's team.

Starting at Red Bull in 2009, Vettel continued to make headlines with the team's first pole and win in China and with wins at Silverstone and Suzuka. He finished the season second in the driver's World Championship after a win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Vettel's year of triumph came in 2010 when he became the youngest World Champion in F1. That was despite some driver errors, technical problems and tense rivalry with his team mate Mark Webber. He did manage to get ten pole positions and five victories. His final victory that season occurred at Abu Dhabi.

In 2011, Vettel completely dominated the season and won 11 Grands prix. He also enjoyed a record 15 poles. As a result, he won the World Championship for a second time with four races to spare, becoming the youngest double champion in history.

2012 was more of a mixed bag for the racing driver as he had to adjust to the blown-diffuser-less RB8 and waited until the third round to qualify on pole and win his only Grand Prix that season. He has since qualified first twice more.

During the summer break of the season, Vettel showed off his driving skills off the track when he appeared in a music video for Melanie Fiona. He takes a red Infiniti G37 convertible for a spin. Commenting on his appearance, he said: "It was a great experience to shoot a music video, and certainly very different to what I'm used to. But music is without question an inspiration to many and I'm very proud to have been part of this."

He has now returned to the race track but failed to make the final qualification round at the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa on September 1st 2012. However, he finished in second place behind Jenson Button after six cars crashed out on the first corner. Yet, as of 2014 he currently stands in first place in the World Championship rankings. He sealed his fourth World title at the 2013 Indian Grnad Prix on 27th October.