Driver profile: Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has had to get used to a very different Formula 1 than the one with which he was familiar for the last two years, and it appears to have taken some time.

Early in the season, there was the odd hint of frustration as Vettel re-adjusted his mindset to the fact that he no longer had the fastest car on the grid.

But despite an up-and-down start to 2012, in which he did not take his first win until the fourth race of the season, Vettel's many qualities have remained on show and he has been a consistent presence at the top of the championship.

Vettel's stats and facts

  • Team: Red Bull
  • Team-mate: Mark Webber
  • Previous teams: BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso
  • Nationality: German
  • Born: 3/07/1987, Heppenheim
  • Grand Prix debut: US 2007
  • World Championships: 2010, 2011

Vettel has struggled when the car has not been to his liking, and he has not enjoyed the same dominance over team-mate Mark Webber as he did in 2011.

But any poor qualifying result - China and Monaco, for example - has tended to be followed by a strong race performance.

And he and Red Bull have generally done well in maximising their opportunities.

Pole position in Bahrain was followed by a win which, for all its superficial resemblance to his many in 2011, was hard-fought and required coolness and steadfastness in defence from Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus.

Vettel remains electric over one lap in a car with which he is happy, but his race form has if anything been more impressive this year.

He remains a force to be reckoned with and can be expected to be a serious contender for the rest of the season.