There was a lot of excitement in Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville recently when none other than four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel surprised patients, visitors, volunteers and NHS staff!

Together with the brilliant Aston Martin F1 Team, Sebastian generously took the time to visit The National Spinal Injuries Centre, meeting with patients and staff to find out more about the ground-breaking care provided by the hospital. 

Sebastian and the team were given a tour of the spinal centre, spending time with plenty of people along the way who both shared their stories and spoke of how the hospital’s fantastic treatment techniques and care have helped them throughout their rehabilitation.

Having kindly spent time with patients, their loved ones and staff inside, Sebastian and the team then made their way outside, where Horatio’s Garden was waiting to give everyone as warm a welcome as ever.


With plenty of space for everyone, many people joined us outside to chat to Sebastian and the team, who explored our Stoke Mandeville sanctuary with intrigue whilst patients, NHS staff and volunteers talked more about the life-changing impact of the garden.

It was also the perfect venue for plenty of photographs and a few selfies too! Sebastian was more than happy to make time for everyone, listening intently to people as they told him more about their personal journeys and their plans for the future.

As Sebastian says on the Aston Martin F1 website: 

“It was interesting to learn about the injuries that can happen and, more importantly, how to deal with them after.” 

“Meeting the people and understanding how they are making progress in recovery is very encouraging and inspirational.” 

It truly was a pleasure to see Sebastian and the whole Aston Martin F1 team in Horatio’s Garden and at The National Spinal Injuries Centre.

Their visit really did bring so much joy to so many people at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and it was a privilege to both be a part of it and to be amongst so many phenomenal people.