The unexpected victory of young Vettel in the Italian Grand Prix was a splendid change from Lewis Hamilton being the Formula 1 driver so often publicised. One must accept that Hamilton was fortunate in having a long period of race experience from karting upwards, but I note that Motor Sport claims 23 GP starts for Vettel prior to his 2008 victory.
It is always nice to see a young and less experienced driver beating the top opposition, and history certainly repeats itself. I recall how 21-year-old Luis Fontes decided in 1935 that he wanted to do some proper racing. He had entered an MG for the long-distance JCC International Trophy race at Brooklands, but somehow got this changed for the Alfa Romeo previously raced by John Cobb and the Hon Brian Lewis which he hired from Thomson & Taylor.
As his first entry had been allocated he was allowed to take number 13!
The seemingly inexperienced driver drove a steady race to win at 86.96mph from Freddie Dixon’s Riley and Hall’s MG, and nine others including the Wisdoms, Shuttleworth, Malcolm Campbell and Raymond Mays. I can find no evidence that he ever raced the MG. When he had trouble with the law he said that if he wasn’t wanted on the road he’d take up air racing, which his sister was doing. So he bought the Miles Hawk Speed Six G-AGPG and competed in races such as the 1935 and 1938 King’s Cup contests.