Vettel only fourth with speed of F1 success

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso celebrates on the podium Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday 14 September 2008.

Sebastian Vettel became the youngest ever F1 winner at the 2008 Italian GP

Aug.23 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel’s rise to the top of Formula 1 has been meteoric, but three other grand prix drivers achieved even more in their first 73 races.

That is the finding of the veteran Swiss correspondent for Blick newspaper, Roger Benoit.

Vettel, 23, is the youngest ever race and title winner in F1 history and very likely to add a second consecutive championship to his impressive tally in 2011.

But in terms of how much he has achieved in his first 73 grands prix, Sir Jackie Stewart ranks slightly higher with his 18 race wins and two titles in the same period.

Vettel, by comparison, has only one title and 16 wins. Achieving even more than Stewart in the 73-race period was Michael Schumacher, who had 19 wins and two titles.

And Damon Hill tops that list, amassing a single championship but no fewer than 21 wins within 73 races – an almost 30 per cent strike record.

However, Vettel has achieved more in his career so far than had Alain Prost, Lewis Hamilton, Niki Lauda, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in the same period, while the great Ayrton Senna in his first 73 races won just 13 times and had failed to secure a title.

Nigel Mansell, meanwhile, only won his first grand prix at the 72nd attempt, while Mika Hakkinen was approaching his 100th race before he finally broke through at Jerez in 1997.