Behind Sebastian Vettel’s F1 Car Names
Among the current Formula One line-up, Sebastian Vettel is the driver widely known in the paddock and by fans and media to name each F1 car he drives. The four-time World Champion has proudly admitted to affectionately naming each of his F1 cars as a way of feeling more attached to the race cars. Whimsically, Vettel only gives his cars female names; he explained in an interview: “The Mechanics and I believe that the car is beautiful so it would be wrong to call it Dave (male-oriented name)”. This season, Vettel revealed he has christened his Aston Martin Cognizant F1 car with a fitting, 007-inspired moniker — ‘Honey Ryder’, named after the Bond girl in the first Bond film Dr. No (1962).
Written by Zaki Ali Rahman, Edited by Susannah Peel
Below we have compiled a list of Sebastian’s creative monikers for each of his F1 cars since his fledgling days in Toro Rosso, right up to 2021’s ‘Honey Ryder’.
|2008||STR3||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Julie||Vettel got his and the team’s first win in this car, aged 21.|
|2009||RB5||Red Bull Racing||Kate/ Kate’s Dirty Sister||Vettel altered the moniker during the season after ‘Kate’ crashed and the car was given a new chassis.|
|2010||RB6||Red Bull Racing||Luscious Liz/ Randy Mandy||Again, Vettel had to change the name after the team found minor damage on the chassis and replaced it.|
|2011||RB7||Red Bull Racing||Kinky Kylie||This year, Vettel opted for a ‘naughtier’ name for his car. Various F1 media assumed Vettel was alluding to Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue, despite no confirmation from Vettel.|
|2012||RB8||Red Bull Racing||Abbey||Possibly derived from either Vettel’s favourite Beatles album ‘Abbey Road’, or the famous corner at Silverstone.|
|2013||RB9||Red Bull Racing||Hungry Heidi||Vettel supposedly took inspiration from German-American Supermodel Heidi Klum.|
|2014||RB10||Red Bull Racing||Suzie||Unfortunately, ‘Suzie’ was Vettel’s first F1 car to not deliver a win.|
|2015||SF15-T||Scuderia Ferrari||Eva||Vettel’s first year in red was successful in ending the qualifying dominance of Mercedes.|
|2016||SF16-H||Scuderia Ferrari||Margherita||Vettel purportedly referenced Margherita of Savoy, the Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy from 1878-1900. ‘Margherita’ joined ‘Suzie’ as the second car Vettel drove that he achieved no win in.|
|2017||SF70-H||Scuderia Ferrari||Gina||According to a report from the German newspaper Bild, ‘Gina’ is derived from the name Regina — the latin word for ‘Queen’.|
|2018||SF71-H||Scuderia Ferrari||Loria||In an interview, Vettel explained his choice of name, and said “Maybe if this year we do really well, at least there will be a girl named Loria in Italy, it will be fun right?”|
|2019||SF90||Scuderia Ferrari||Lina||This season brought change for Vettel and Ferrari in the form of new teammate, Charles Leclerc, and new team boss, Mattia Binotto.|
|2020||SF1000||Scuderia Ferrari||Lucilla||A tough year for Vettel, Lucilla was the driver’s third car to not deliver a win.|
|2021||AMR21||Aston Martin F1||Honey Ryder||Vettel chose to name his car ‘Honey Ryder’, the name of the first Bond girl from the original Bond film Dr. No (1962).|
Vettel’s intriguing tradition of naming his F1 cars has become a well-known idiosyncrasy of his and has marked his racing career since his first full season in Formula One. It’s a marker of the comedic banter Sebastian brings to an often serious sport, and we hope he continues to add to this list, for many years to come.