The German finished third in his Red Bull at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka to ensure he cannot be overtaken by Jenson Button in the remaining four races of the season.
1987: Born on July 3, in Heppenheim, Germany.
1995: Begins his karting career at the age of seven.
2001: Wins a string of karting titles, including European Junior Kart Championship, German Junior Kart Championship, Monaco Junior Kart Cup and Kart Paris-Bercy.
2003: Progressing into open-wheel racing, Vettel finishes second in the Formula BMW ADAC Championship.
2004: Dominates the Formula BMW ADAC Championship with 18 wins from 20 races, including 15 pole positions and 16 fastest laps.
2005: Finishes as top rookie in the Formula 3 Euro Series and fifth overall.
2006: Finishes second in Formula 3 Euro Series with three wins. Also named as test driver with BMW Sauber, becoming the youngest to drive at a grand prix event when he takes part in practice ahead of the race in Turkey. Also incurred the fastest fine in F1 history when he was caught speeding in the pit lane after just 10 seconds.
2007: Replaces Robert Kubica for the race in the United States following the Pole's spectacular crash in the previous race in Canada. In finishing eighth becomes the youngest driver to score a point.
Is given a race seat at Toro Rosso, replacing Scott Speed.
After crashing out in Japanese Grand Prix when poised for a podium, Vettel scores the team's first points a week later in China where he finishes fourth.
2008: With Toro Rosso, Vettel becomes the youngest driver to qualify on pole and youngest race winner at the Italian Grand Prix. Finishes first full season eighth in the standings with 35 points.
2009: Replaces the retired David Coulthard at Red Bull Racing. On his debut in Australia collects a 10-place grid penalty for next race in Malaysia for attempting to finish with three wheels after a crash with Kubica.
Secures Red Bull's maiden pole and victory in third race of the year in China. Wins three more races in Britain, Japan and Abu Dhabi, finishing runner-up in the championship.
2010: Wins the Malaysian, European, Japanese, Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix en route to becoming the youngest champion in F1 history at 23 years 135 days.
2011: Signs a three-year contract extension in March, tying him to Red Bull until the end of the 2014 season.
Goes on to dominate the year, winning races in Australia, Malaysia, Turkey, Spain, Monaco, Valencia, Belgium, Italy and Singapore. His third-place finish in Japan helps him become the youngest back-to-back and double world champion at 24 years and 99 days.