Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has revealed Sebastian Vettel’s journey to four F1 world championships began with a letter to the company asking for sponsorship.
Just weeks after Vettel announced he would be retiring from the sport at the end of the season, Horner said the result of that letter was a free helmet.
“He arrived as a 13-year-old – he got introduced to Red Bull by writing a letter asking for sponsorship,” Horner told Channel 4 in the UK.
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“His first deal was a crash helmet from Red Bull, and then the journey (began) from there through the junior team, into Toro Rosso and then Red Bull Racing and those four world championships.
“(They are) unforgettable memories, and he was such a big part of our team. It’ll be sad to see him hanging his helmet up.”
Sebastian Vettel at the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix. (Photo by Hoch Zwei/Corbis via Getty Images) (Getty)
Vettel won four-straight championships at Red Bull from 2010-2013, before moving to Ferrari for the 2015 season, after a difficult 2014 where Red Bull missed the mark with huge regulation changes, and he was comprehensively beaten by new teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Horner said he’s been reflecting on Vettel’s time in the team since his retirement announcement was made.
“There’s a lot more to Seb than meets the eye,” Horner said.
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Christian Horner and Sebastian Vettel during testing in Bahrain in 2014. (Getty)
“When we were looking for a replacement for (David Coulthard), he was the emerging young charger.
“What we saw in him (was) that he’s got a great sense of humour. He’s a deep, deep thinker (with a) huge work ethic – he’d be longer in the paddock than any other driver poring over data, and (that) made him so popular within the team.
“But you could see his passion for other things growing as well, and he obviously feels very strongly about all the things that he’s representing, which I think is great to see, and he’s been a great ambassador.”
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