Sebastian Vettel acquires 32-piece art collection honouring F1 world champions

by Rachel Hack

Four time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has recently become the proud owner of the ‘World Champions in Art’ series of artwork. The collection, created by Mark Dickens, was put together in homage to 32 of the FIA‘s World Champion drivers in individual artistic form.

Dickens’ is a well-known name in motorsport, his work having been associated with the arena since he was asked to commemorate the opening of the new Yas Marina circuit, by Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management, back in 2009. His creation did not go unnoticed by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who then acquired Dickens’ services to create a series of paintings, one for each of that year’s Grand Prix rounds. Ecclestone felt it was appropriate that Vettel, as a world champion himself, should now be the owner of Dickens’ latest work.

“I first became aware of Mark Dickens’ work in 2009. In 2011 I commissioned Mark to create 19 paintings, showcasing each of that years’ races. The following year we presented each painting to the respective promoter.

“I was delighted to see that Mark had teamed up with Keith Sutton to collaborate on this new series. World Champions in Art. There has never been a collaboration like this before.

“I’ve known Keith Sutton since he started his career in motorsport photography almost 40 years ago. He has demonstrated to me his enduring passion for the history of the sport.

“Now that Sebastian has acquired the collection of 32 World Champions, how appropriate it is to know that the works now belong to a World Champion.”

Recognised international artist Dickens, used mixed media, building layer upon layer of photographic transfers, hand­made paper, gold leaf, fabric, resin paint and text, a style that has now become his trademark, for each of the individual works, which he created in collaboration with Keith Sutton of Sutton Images.

TCF - Vettel Art 2

Credit: ©Cision

An integral and unique part of each painting, was the inclusion of words from drivers and leading motorsport personalities, describing what made their chosen World Champion special. The quotes have then been integrated into each painting, providing a fascinating insight into what each driver represented to those who knew or were inspired by him. Some of the quotes featured in the World Champions in Art Collection are below:

Sir Stirling Moss OBE:

“For me, Juan Manuel Fangio will always be the greatest Formula One driver. A man of enormous talent, humility, honesty, honour and integrity. A man I admired. It was an honour to compete against him and an even greater honour to become his teammate. He was a wonderful friend and teacher. It has been my pleasure to follow him on the track and in life.”  

Kimi Raikkonen – 2007 F1 World Champion:

James Hunt “Genius, Legend, Party Animal, Playboy……World Champion….Perfect!”

Alan Jones – F1 World Champion 1980:

“I never really got on with Nelson (Piquet) that much. Nelson was reasonably arrogant and ill-mannered. Apart from that he was a lovely bloke.” 

Vettel is well-known for his interest in the history of the sport, which he has been fascinated with for some time, and already has his own impressive collection of sporting memorabilia. The German, who was thrilled to now have the artwork in his possession, was pleased to be able to add the collection of champions’ images, to his unique hoard.

“I have long held an interest in the history of Formula 1 and the champions of this sport.

“When I first heard of this project from Keith Sutton three years ago I was fascinated, but it wasn’t until I saw the completed original art works in London last December that I realised how impressive they are.

“The addition of the quotes collected by Keith from so many different motorsport figures gives a great insight into the champions. I know I will appreciate these works for years to come.”

Mark Dickens himself was happy to have been involved in such a fantastic project.

“It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Keith Sutton on this project.

“I first approached Keith about my idea to realise this project some 3 years ago. He was delighted to be part of this historic series of Artworks and Quotes.

“It’s a proud day for me to know that the 32 paintings now belong to a great World Champion.

“In addition to the 32 paintings, we produced a painting about Bernie Ecclestone with the sale proceeds going to Great Ormond Street Hospital. There will be a cheque presented to the charity at Silverstone during the British GP this week.’’

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