Few drivers are as respected as they critiqued other than Sebastian Vettel. Even fewer have gone on to challenge the might and authority of Lewis Hamilton, albeit unsuccessfully, up until now.
A man of immense talent and someone who grew up admiring the great Michael Schumacher, it was only a matter of time before Vettel began attaining ascendency in a sport he truly admired, once he burst on the scene in the US Grand Prix of 2007.
Following his incredible win under the rains at the famous Italian Grand Prix of 2008, wherein he grabbed his maiden pole, big things were to happen to the man from Heppenheim. For someone who's won not one or two but four incredible world titles, going on to establish a literal reign during his fancy years at Red Bull, life couldn't have been better when Vettel was awarded a seat at Ferrari, his dream outfit.
But what one's seen from the start of the 2015 season, up until now, has been a driver who more often than not, seems fraught with some form of conflict. Whether it's his failure to come to terms with what he's really up against- the threat of facing Hamilton in a much abler machine- or the overwhelming demand to win a title with Ferrari, one doesn't know.
But what one certainly understands is that despite the ups and downs at the Prancing Horse, Sebastian Vettel, a man with 52 wins against his name has delivered some exhilarating performances for the Italian outfit.
On the occasion of his 32nd birthday, let's visit the top 5 moments of Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari:
Ruling the night safari at Sakhir, 2018 Bahrain GP
No other driver has won at Sakhir- the home to Bahrain Grand Prix- on more occasions than Sebastian Vettel. With four epic wins, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has sort of stamped his authority at a venue where not even Lewis Hamilton has secured as many wins as the German.
And that told, one of Vettel's 52 wins came at the electrifying night safari at a time where Mercedes' onslaught on Ferrari in the season hadn't begun.
These were early days in the 2018 season. And with Vettel picking the second win of the year, starting from Melbourne, where he had utterly dominated, Ferrari's campaign was off to a flier. At this time, the German driver's scorecard read 50 beautifully-accumulated points.
From a traditional standpoint, Sakhir's design has suited the build of the Ferrari machines. And so in 2018, when Vettel zoomed past the checkered flag, one understood why everyone said that under the night skies, the superior straight-line speed of the Ferraris would be hard to match for any rival out there.
Qualifying on pole, Vettel outpaced then-teammate Kimi Raikkonen by nearly eight-tenths of a second and then, on race day, hardly left anything to imagination in a nicely-controlled race wherein he'd lead right from the start, i.e., in the run down to Turn 1.