Q: One of the things that makes Sebastian Vettel ‘different’ is that you say no to (self) show-off, no to social media. Do you see yourself as the only one who sees it that way?
Sebastian Vettel: I just can’t really understand it (laughs). Maybe I grew up in a generation when you were actually embarrassed to share pictures of yourself online or see pictures of yourself. Of course, there was always someone in the class who was showing off what they can do, but, I don’t think I’ve ever been one of them. And I don’t understand the trend of setting yourself to pose. I think it depends on what kind of person you are. I just don’t really get along with that trend – the generation of showing off to everyone who you are, what are you doing, with who you’re hanging out. For example, it’s more important for me that if I shake hands with someone then I say to others that I met him/her and describe it as an experience, rather than taking a picture with them. I see that myself – people come to me and ask if we could take a picture together and then I say “yes, okay”, and then they just leave afterwards. Or when I am busy and I say no to pictures, they just say “okay” and go away. The main aim for them is usually to just take a picture. I often ask them what they do with the pictures and they say “I don’t really know” and I reply “oh well, it’s good you took one then”. I remember one time, there was someone who said that he really needs the picture as a proof for his girlfriend and I said “well, you must be a very trustworthy boyfriend if she doesn’t believe you without showing her a picture” and he just replied “yeah, I don’t know”. Well, it’s actually not really fair because this can bring people in a very awkward situation (laughs). But that’s why I prefer the “old-school” method, because I didn’t grow up like this and I don’t really have the desire to communicate like this. But I do not criticize those who want to let people know what they do and even more. It’s great.
Q: Motivation is also a great aspect. What do you look for in that?
SV: Well, I was lucky to listen to people and at some point attend lectures about ways of keeping yourself motivated, what you can do, where you have to pay attention, but, I don’t really have a use for that. The only real motivation in life is to have fun. To develop a passion for something and I think that this is something which is stronger than anything else. I can see that myself in our team. Everyone in our team gives more than sitting in an office from 9am to 5pm, doing overtimes. We don’t even discuss about that, it’s normal. The fact that you work on weekends is normal. We don’t have a fixed schedule like people in “normal” jobs have. The fact that some people survive with 3 hours of sleep for weeks is a proof of this passion. That’s the biggest motivation – to have fun. If you show that without having to force yourself like “oh I have to smile/laugh now so that everyone will be in a good mood” but instead you actually feel that and have fun, then it actually gets positively transferred to others – which is why I think the driver is a key figure for transferring that to the team, but it has to be genuine. All those principles like: you have to do that to show a strong appearance, to be careful etc, I personally think that it’s all quark (german saying)! At the end of the day, you have to be yourself. I can’t be an actor.
Q: Is there a life motto represents you, or at least some parts of it?
SV: Life goes on. It always goes on, even if at some point you’re not satisfied with your life or you don’t know how it’s going to be in the future. There will always be obstacles in life, some are small, some are bigger, but life still goes on even if you can’t overcome an obstacle. I don’t know, maybe there’s a way on the left or the right which you’ve never seen before or imagined. On the other hand, what is another option? To put an end to it – to draw a line – that [the obstacle] should not be an option because there are so many beautiful things in life that can make you happy. As previously said, I once again think I am in a lucky position that I have seen so much around the world, met so many people, different cultures, different approaches to life – so it’s never boring for me.
*We apologize for any mistakes that might be spotted in the translation of the interview above.
** Big thank you for the word to word translation to twitter.com/ARCHlEVERONlCA
*** Translation edit by sebvettelnews