Not a day passed after finishing second at the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix, Formula One Champion Sebastian Vettel was already at the famous Circuit Paul Ricard evaluating the latest Infiniti road cars and their rivals.
The evaluation was part of Vettel’s role as Director of Performance for Infiniti. Vettel was accompanied by specialist engineers from the carmaker’s European Dynamic Performance Team, coming from its development centers in Bonn, Germany and Barcelona, Spain.
The team is led by Luis Bravo, who heads Infiniti’s Customer Oriented Engineering and Vehicle Target Setting in Europe. Bravo’s team spent several hours with Vettel driving several of the latest premium performance road cars on the Paul Ricard circuit in France. According to Bravo, the goal of the evaluation was to fully align the expectations of the engineers and Vettel of what makes a great car.
The joint development work on future Infiniti road cars will entail Vettel playing an active role in testing new products as well as providing driving and performance input. Bravo remarked that Vettel’s role as Director of Performance is significant in providing input to Infiniti’s European Dynamic Performance Team.
He quipped that it was “a great opportunity" to know first-hand what Vettel wants and expects from a premium, performance road car. He added that they will be able to take Vettel’s critical evaluation into account as they develop the driving and performance attributes of Infiniti’s next generation Q cars.
Born on July 3, 1987, in Heppenheim, then West Germany, to Norbert and Heike Vettel, Sebastian Vettel commenced amateur karting at three and a half years old and started racing in karts series in 1995, at age of eight. He was accepted into the Red Bull Junior Team at age 11 in 1998
Vettel commenced his career in Formula One as a test driver for BMW Sauber. Due to Robert Kubica’s injury, Vettel was picked as a replacement. He made his debut with BMW Sauber at the 2007 US Grand Prix. Later in the 2007 season, he joined Toro Rosso, which was part of the Red Bull program. In September 2007, Vettel became the youngest pole-sitter and race winner at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix.
Vettel started driving for Red Bull in 2009, finishing the season as the youngest-ever World Drivers' Championship runner-up. In 2010, he became the youngest driver to grab the World Drivers' Championship. He also won the World Drivers' Championship in 2011 and 2012. In effect, Vettel became the youngest double and triple world champion in Formula One.