F1 2019 · Interview

Vettel: The support of those who believe in me gave me strength.


Sebastian Vettel Interview with Sky Italy, ahead of the race at Sochi. 

How special was the Singapore podium?
SV: The champagne at Marina Bay? After a race something so cold is very pleasant. I certainly enjoyed it, we worked a lot to get a win after a long time. And it was easier to relax on Sunday night after the race.

Emotions on the podium: message to those who thought you had given up?
SV: I don’t give weight to these comments. In general if you are sincere with yourself, you know when you have given your best. I am the first to criticize myself when I am wrong and when I do not get the results I expect. 

Emotions from Monza to Singapore.
SV: Surely the support of those who believe in me, both in Italy and in Singapore, gave me enthusiasm. It was great and gave me strength. I received so many personal messages that talked about their experiences of managing their own ups and downs. This is my passion, but listening to people who talk about their life brings you back to Earth and it gave me energy, also because I am lucky enough to have a job that is my passion, my life. 

The #EssereFerrari flag on the podium in Singapore.
SV: What does it mean for me to be in Ferrari? One day, when I am chubby and old, I will be thinking how good it was to have been part of this family. I will be proud to have been part of this team. I realize that my sport is to get in a car alone and drive, but I know that I’m part of something bigger. And that’s what counts for now. When I’m old, I’ll be thinking about this story. 

Vettel before winning a championship and the one who dreams of the title in Ferrari: the differences.
SV: I am always the same person. I enjoy it as I enjoyed myself in many ways. I am certainly in a privileged position for the many races I took part and the championships won. But I feel that I miss winning a Ferrari title. Then, surely, I have become more experienced and more intelligent. I do not know if I got more handsome… But I am always the same and I still enjoy driving, feeling the thrill. 

How F1 has changed you.
SV: Life has changed since I was 20. I am certainly not the same person in some ways, so I have a different view of things. When you do this job, you lead a different lifestyle than everyone else. When I started, my high school friends have graduated, they built a family and found a job, everything changes. 

A difficult season.
SV: This is not the first difficult season for us. Let’s say it didn’t go as we imagined. We realized that things didn’t go as we expected. Here (in F1) it’s like a bubble, we don’t realize how fast time goes by. We are focused on the moment and we do everything in order to improve and win races, to do our best. But we do not realize the speed of time. The challenge is to achieve perfection and win races. Everything is focused on reaching perfection. If I think about it, the race in Australia doesn’t seem so far away, time passes by faster than we imagine, but things have improved for us, and six months have passed. But we always look forward to the next race. 

Was Monza difficult for you?
SV: Yes. I thought I could do better. The car was good, Leclerc showed that it had improved. In some ways I was happy. Then it was a race full of expectations for Ferrari, it was good for the team to win. 

Did you feel like a bomber who found their aim the again?
SV: For me it is as if nothing had changed. After Monza, I tried to figure out if something was wrong. Then, instead, I realized that there wasn’t something wrong, but that I had just made a mistake. I expect more from myself and that’s why I immediately looked forward to the next race. I didn’t arrive in Singapore thinking about Monza. Then it was good to come back to winning, yes. Like a bomber who finds the aim? I have regained confidence in my means, but in the end it is a question of being aware of what to do, we hope there will be a bomber effect, and I hope it will be so also in the races that remain until the end of the championship. 

The radio team after Singapore.
SV: I don’t remember what I said exactly on the team radio. The reference was to the guys who were at the circuit, but I don’t forget those who work in Italy, in Maranello, those who have contributed to creating the package we have. They were able to make that step. They are also part of the team, everyone does their part. The pieces that allowed us to win in Singapore are part of a job we started some time ago. There is a lot of work to do. Their contribution is not it is seen only after this victory, but it comes from afar. 

The podium in Singapore.
SV: If I split that podium with someone? No, because you enjoy the moment. Of course the team is with you. I didn’t feel alone. There was Charles and all the boys of the team. But honestly I enjoyed the moment. 

One thing you would never change about Ferrari?
SV: The red car, the legend. I hope it will always remain like that. 

A message to the mechanics.
SV: If I have something to say, I go down and tell them (laughs). What people don’t understand is the work and the passion they have. People who work late at night. I’m lucky because we, the drivers, can go away, while they stay to work at night. The beauty is that they don’t want to change what they do. They love the races and they always want to be there. Hard to understand, but it’s the spirit of F1 and it makes it special. They do so much for me. On the grid we look into each other’s eyes with those who are next to or in the mirror with those behind. And this gives me confidence. They are small moments. In Singapore I had a wet seat for the second time and I was thinking of a joke… but it was the water bottle. They are very nice. 

The qualities of Seb.
SV: I never look at myself saying” wow”, but in general I think honesty is important and I don’t like it when people are stingy with money and emotions. 

A word in Italian that can represent your future. 
SV: Campione, campione per la Ferrari. (=Champion. Champion with Ferrari.) 

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