For the first time in the history of Formula One there will be six world champions on the grid this season. But who were their heroes when they were growing up? Sportsmail finds out…

Sebastian Vettel

When I was growing up, similar to a lot of kids In Germany at that time, Michael Schumacher was my hero. I had posters of him on my wall, although when I got a bit older I took them off and put different ones up. There have been a lot of great drivers and, of course, for me, Michael is one of them.

 Jenson Button

For me it was Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. That is when I started watching Formula One, when I was seven or eight years old. Obviously ‘Our Nige’ has got to be in there as well, just for the moustache. Those are the guys that I watched when I was younger and I suppose you get inspiration from them and you want to be like them.

Lewis Hamilton

Ayrton has always been my favourite driver. I think he’s the best driver there ever was and, still, to this day, I don’t believe anyone would beat him. There are many people who I respect but my ultimate hero was Ayrton. He put everything into getting that lap and he had no fear, that is what I loved about him.

Fernando Alonso

If I have to say one name it would be Ayrton Senna. When I was seven or eight Senna and Prost were fighting. That is the first image I have from Formula One when I was a kid. Ayrton was winning the championship in those years and when you are a kid you always go with the No. 1 car.

Michael Schumacher

The only heroes I really had were in the karting days, seeing two guys one of which was Ayrton Senna and the other Vincenzo Sospiri. They were so special in their own way, dominating the karting world. It was just fascinating to watch them. It is so sad we had to lose Ayrton.

Kimi Raikkonen

I still don’t have one. Of course, I was hoping for good results for the Finns but I didn’t really… it didn’t make any difference who won it then. There wasn’t one guy I hoped for or was looking up to so…

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