In an interview for Italy’s SKY LIFE, Sebastian Vettel talks about his expectations for the new era of Formula 1.
Q: We are close to the start of your eleventh season in F1, and also your third season with Ferrari. How are you approaching this new season after the winter break? Are you ready, have you rested enough? How are you?
Vettel: The approach is more or less the same as any other season. During the winter break it is important to get in shape for the following season. Especially this year, because the new cars require a bigger physical effort and, as the other drivers, I am following an intense workout regime. Besides training and going to Maranello, I had time to rest and to spend time with my family and my friends, I’m fine.
Q: So, are we going to see new cars, new tyres and new stories in the fight for the title?
Vettel: New cars and new tyres for sure, regarding new stories in the fight for the title, I can’t make any predictions. The new cars will be very different and I expect many technical developments throughout the season, so yes, it’s gonna be fun.
Q: Are we approaching the beginning of a new, challenging era?
Vettel: Yes, rule changes always bring new challenges, which is good because challenges also bring new opportunities. As for the drivers, we need to get in a better physical shape for the new season. The new cars will be faster, especially in high speed corners and we have to learn about the new tyres as well. What we don’t know yet is the effects of the new technical rules on the cars during the race and on overtakes.
Q: Obviously your ambition is to stay on top, but what are your expectations and your feelings about the new season?
Vettel: It’s really too early to make any predictions. In the Barcelona testing we’ll get a rough idea of the performance of our car, but it will take time before we get to know where we are compared to the other teams. With such radical rule changes, there will be more uncertainty than usual. Some teams will bring upgrades for the second test while others will bring upgrades directly to the first race in Melbourne. We have to wait for the first races to have a clearer view of how things are going on.
Q: Have you seen or talked to Nico Rosberg after his retirement from F1? What do you think of his decision?
Vettel: No, I haven’t seen him since the race in Abu Dhabi. Regarding his retirement, all I can say is that it has been his choice, and I have great respect for him.
Q: Lewis, Valtteri, Daniel, Max, Fernando, Stoffel, and so on. Who will be the biggest surprise of the season, in your opinion?
Vettel: I guess it’s fun for the fans seeing changes among the line-up of the various teams. We, on our side, will benefit from the continuity that we have had in the last two years, so we can focus only on our performance.
Q: What is the aspect that fascinates you the most about this period before the start of the new season?
Vettel: This time of the year, and at this stage of the development of the car, we are all a bit more agitated than usual, because we don’t know what the other teams have done, so you are never sure if you have done enough compared to the other teams. But this applies on all the teams, so we just have to trust in our abilities and in the efforts we have made. As for me, I just want to get back to racing and I’m looking forward to the beginning of the season.
Q: Which Vettel will we see this year?
Vettel: A happy Vettel!