Fastest Laps: 6
Three years, three titles for Sebastian Vettel, but the German was made to work hard for his hat-trick. Losing the blown diffuser technology that helped make it nigh on invincible in 2011, Red Bull was just one of several frontrunners in 2012, and Vettel didn’t stand on the top step of the podium until round four in Bahrain. Robbed of victory number two in Valencia, he then had to wait until the season-ending ‘flyaways’ to return to winning ways, but a four-race sweep from Singapore to India put him in control of the title fight. Alternators caused his only two DNFs, while a clash with Narain Karthikeyan in Malaysia caused him to miss out on points in round two, but Vettel disproved the ‘can’t overtake’ myth about him by coming from the back in both Abu Dhabi and Brazil to secure the results he needed for title number three. The youngest to achieve a championship hat-trick, Vettel also finds himself in illustrious company by winning three straight, joining Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher in a club of three.