Sebastian Vettel - the next Michael

Frugal driver, quiet champion. He doesn’t collect women, he’s not social, he drives racing cars. He’s the driver next door, with the same girlfriend for years, who buys the Ferrari he likes, not the most expensive one. Sebastian Vettel belongs to another time. He’s a team player and a loyal teammate. He loves racing and he loves Ferrari. He’s a great champion already with four world titles, but to give like Schumacher he has to win championships with the Red.

His love for the Prancing Horse was born because of Michael Schumacher. As Vettel himself has said: “My first time in the Ferrari pit was, thanks to Michael Schumacher, in 2003; to see people wearing all red was for me something magic.” And when at last he drove it, the German said: "Ferrari? A dream. Schumi told me. Michael was my idol when I was little and to this day. He’ll always be number one, I remember when I first met him, I was so tongue-tied, so tense. He is not just a driver, he worked so hard to get Ferrari to the top. He’s one of a the few people you meet in your life who has an answer for everything; I miss his advice as they were perfect and you could adapt them to each set of circumstances, they always worked.”

Gigi Mazzola, who was the leader of Ferrari testing team for the whole period that Schumi was in Maranello, says about Michael: “One time we were testing a new solution on which we had really invested in resources, projects, hopes. He got in the car, drove some laps and got back to the pits. He was still in the cockpit. He opened the visor and I realized his eyes were watering from excitement. It works, he said, we made it … He wasn’t just a great driver. He was, as Enzo Ferrari liked to say of himself, an agitator of men. It’s a cinch to you?...”

“Michael Schumacher has always praised Sebastian”, Jock Clear says, “and he was absolutely right.”

Leo Turrini says: “A quality of Vettel: he manages to take the maximum from the car, if he trusts the mean he’s driving. A defect of Vettel: he easily gets nervous when things are not working and this is a limit he has to pass, Schumi didn’t do that.”

Vettel talks about his relationship with Formula 1: “I’ve always been a passionate of this sport. I still remember my father standing at Hockenheim very excited every time a car got closer to the bleacher where we were sitting.” He also remembers his first experience in a Formula 1 single-seater: “The first time I was scared, I admit it. Some time ago cars were much more difficult to manage, it was really needed [to have]a pair of balls to drive them.”

What kind of cars are there in his garage? Vettel says: “I have an old red Fiat 500 with fan-opening doors, a 430 Ferrari bought years ago and then, since I’ve been in Maranello, I also dispose of a Maserati and a Jeep. I also possess a classic Volkswagen van, a Corvette C1 of 1958, a Bmw R90 bike…”

Sebastian Vettel is one of the greatest F1 drivers in the history of the sport. Born 3 July 1987, he is currently driving for Scuderia Ferrari and is a four-time F1 World Champion, having won the championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 with Red Bull Racing.

After his winless 2014, he won three races in his first Ferrari season in 2015. 2016 also became a winless season, finishing in fourth place in the championship. In 2017 Vettel and Ferrari got four wins. In Belgium Vettel signed a new three-year deal with Ferrari. The German is currently in fourth place among all time race winners (47), polesitters (50) and podium finishes (99).

Vettel was born in Heppenheim, then West Germany. He has described himself as competitive, private, and impatient. He is in a relationship with Hanna Prater, a childhood friend. On the Formula One circuit Kimi Räikkönen is a close friend. Sebastian also shows to have a good friendship with Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. Vettel started amateur karting at the age of 3½ and began racing in karts series in 1995. Having shown early talent, he was accepted into the Red Bull Junior Team in 1998, and kept on winning various titles.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz stated his belief Vettel would be one of Formula One's big stars in the future. "Vettel is one of the young guys with extraordinary potential [...] He is fast, he is intelligent, and he is very interested in the technical side." At the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, Vettel became the youngest driver in history to win a Formula One Grand Prix. Toro Rosso team boss Gerhard Berger said, "As he proved today, he can win races, but he's going to win world championships. He's a cool guy." Hamilton praised the German, stating that this victory showed "how good he is".

The next stage of my Formula 1 career will be spent with Scuderia Ferrari and for me that means the dream of a lifetime has come true. When I was a kid, Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest idol and now it's an incredible honour to finally get the chance to drive a Ferrari. I already got a small taste of what the Ferrari spirit means when I took my first win at Monza in 2008, with an engine from the Prancing Horse built in Maranello. The Scuderia has a great tradition in this sport and I am extremely motivated to help the team get back to the top. I will put my heart and soul into making it happen,” says Sebastian Vettel.

Inspired by American bomber pilots in World War II, Vettel has made it a tradition to name his cars. "It's important to have a close relationship with a car. Like a ship, a car should be named after a girl as it's sexy." The car he drove for his first season at Toro Rosso was named Julie, followed by Kate and Kate's Dirty Sister (2009), Luscious Liz and Randy Mandy (2010), Kinky Kylie (2011), Abbey (2012), and Hungry Heidi (2013). Vettel's 2014 Red Bull was baptised Suzie. Sebastian continued this tradition with Ferrari and christened his 2015 Ferrari Eva, his 2016 one Margherita and his 2017 SF70H Gina.

The story of the 21-year-old's fledgling career led the German media to dub him "baby Schumi", although Vettel did not have the same opinion: "To compare me with Michael Schumacher is just a bit ridiculous... It will be difficult in normal conditions for us to repeat this achievement." This comparison not just for his nationality, but also because of his driving style, his concentration and the hands-on role he plays with his team of engineers. Vettel simply said he wanted to be the "New Vettel". In 2011, Pirelli's Paul Hembery was impressed when Vettel was the only driver to take the time to visit the factory. The "only other driver that asks us a lot of questions" is Michael Schumacher. Hembery "found that interesting. It is like seeing the master and the protégé at work".

Mar 08, 2018