Faster Travel

Epic drives: Sebastian Vettel

The Formula One pack is getting used to chasing Sebastian Vettel again this season. Now you, too, can follow in the four-time World Champion’s tyre tracks with five exhilarating drives, from his homeland of Germany all the way to California

01 Gotthard Pass
1

St Gotthard Pass, Switzerland

For centuries, St Gotthard Pass in Switzerland was the main route from central Europe into Italy. In the early 20th century, the more than a dozen hairpin bends were paved with cobblestones and the road was known as La Tremola – or ‘the trembling one’. It’s one route I still get excited to drive, catching the amazing views around each winding turn. Car of choice: Fiat 500

03 Odenwald
2

Odenwald, Germany

I grew up in this area so know the roads well, but I never get tired of driving them and passing the familiar sights. On the route, you can enjoy beautiful beechwoods and small villages along the Neckar River. It’s also the perfect place for a pit stop in the restaurants and pubs dotted along the way, serving up the type of hearty local food that reminds me of home. Car of choice: Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider

02 Highway 1
3

Highway One, San Francisco to Los Angeles, USA

This is a spectacular coastal drive that winds around the tops of isolated cliffs high above the crashing surf below, passing farms, fishing towns and hidden beaches. It’s great to use the roadside lay-bys to scan the Pacific horizon for whales and explore the Californian coastline, dotted with cool rock formations relentlessly pounded by the surf. A bonus: Laguna Seca racetrack is close to both Salinas and Monterey – so a great place to stop if you’re a petrolhead like me. Car of choice: Ferrari California

04 Nordschleife
4

Nordschleife (North Loop), Nürburgring, Germany

Racing fans across the world know about the Nürburgring racetrack in Germany. It opened in 1927 and was originally more than 28km long in its biggest configuration. With amazing turns through some of the most scenic countryside, it’s a drive you’ll never forget. One of my idols, the legendary Sir Jackie Stewart, called the track the ‘Green Hell’ because of the intense green landscape. Car of choice: Alfa Romeo 4C

05 Ennstal
5

Ennstal Classic Rally, Austria

I haven’t actually driven this yet, but it’s something I really want to do. For three days, the beautiful Austrian mountain landscape becomes the centre of the racing scene for classic cars. It’s about returning to a golden era of driving – driving on asphalt roads. Car of choice: Ferrari Daytona