About ten years ago, it was very common to hear the German national anthem in Formula One over and over again during the podium ceremonies. There was this dedicated German man and his team dominating together and taking big number of victories, podiums and 5 championship titles in a row. Michael Schumacher and Ferrari was an unbeatable combination during the early 2000’s.
Now the history repeats itself, Once again there is a dedicated German driver who is making incredibly great job in the car. Sebastian Vettel’s incredible pace is really starting to remind Schumacher’s glorious Ferrari years, and the young German might actually be on par, or is already greater than his country man. Many people talked about Schumacher’s records being unbeatable, and that it will take ages for someone to even get close to all the things Schumacher has achieved during his career. It now looks like the time has come sooner than anticipated. As they say, The time is now, and the Man is here!
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With only 26 years of age, Sebastian Vettel confirmed his 4th World Championship title in India and celebrated it in style. The style, which later cost him 25,000 euros, but was worth of every single euro for Vettel, his team, and the racing fans around the World.
Too often you can see people saying that “Vettel wins, only because he has the best car”. That argument has been invalid for a long time. The best car, a good car, has always played a part in champions’ success, and the car is playing even bigger and bigger role today. To get the job done, like how Vettel does, you obviously need a great car, but you also need a talented driver to make the little difference that matters. Drivers with special talent are always able to take the car into a whole new level, which makes a great racing car even better. A great driver can try to push a bad car into it’s very limit too, but the truth is that nobody can do miracles if a car is bad. Just look at the smaller teams like Caterham or Marussia where a good driver can make a difference compared to his team mate, but fighting with rivals who have a better pace is impossible. Saying “let’s put Vettel into a Marussia and let’s see if he can win a race” is far from realistic. Let’s not forget the fact that Vettel won his first race in Monza with Toro Rosso back in 2008 and that victory is still the only victory for Toro Rosso.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing has been on the league of it’s own, especially on Vettel’s hands. Mark Webber, who has been Vettel’s team mate, ever since the days when Vettel moved to Red Bull, has struggled to get into the same level with Vettel. At some tracks Webber has been close, and the Australian driver has also been incredibly unlucky this season. During the initial years, when Vettel joined Red Bull, back in 2009 and 2010, Vettel and Webber had a similar pace, but as the years have gone by, Vettel has been learning a lot and gaining an advantage over the ‘AussieGrit’. This is one of the reasons what makes Vettel the great driver, he is able to develop his skills, and learn new things every single time he steps into the car. Back in 2010, his first championship year, he was still making some mistakes, but he managed to win the championship. Since then he has learnt a lot and became more mature, (in terms of his driving skills, to say the least) which has made him stronger. Today, you rarely see him doing any mistakes on track. His control over the car is incredible and he trusts his car to 100% and gets even more out from it. Vettel is possibly the only driver on the grid right now, who can trust in his car that way. He has grown up so much during these last few years, that it’s very hard to try and find a weakness from him. He is great on one lap, which often leads into a pole position from qualifying. He has a great race pace and is able to control his pace depending on the situation, which was also something what his fellow German Michael Schumacher mastered.
What is markable in Vettel is that he doesn’t need his teammate’s help to win races and championships. This year it has gone into whole new level, as Red Bull would still be leading the constructor’s championship all alone, if only Vettel’s points are counted! Vettel wants to win, and he showed his champion attitude at Malaysia this year with the ‘Multi 21’ saga. Webber was leading the race, and both the drivers received the ‘Multi 21’ command. In other words, they were asked to save their cars and at the same time to hold their current positions, which would have let Webber to win the race and Vettel finish second. Vettel didn’t listen to the order though and passed his teammate and won the race. Needless to say, Webber was furious about it. Vettel showed that he has a hunger for winning and by ignoring the ‘Multi 21’ order, he basically put people’s opinions into two categories: to the ones who think it was right to not back down, and for those who think it was wrong to ignore team’s order. To take the matter to a new level, We have to remind you that it was only the second race of the season. Team orders are followed, but it’s not the greatest thing to do so early during the season. Vettel demonstrated that he wants to win at any cost. He is independent and has his nature of a ‘Lion’, when he gets into his racing car. Outside of the track, he is a humble young man who talks a lot, and is humorous, but he is not innocent and that’s what the ‘Multi 21’ showed. Also, Vettel was fined for performing the donuts, and not bringing the car to the ‘Parc Ferme’ in India, and in Abu Dhabi, after his another dominant victory, Vettel decided to do donuts again, and quoted Kimi Räikkönen’s famous phrase on the team radio: “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing!”. This time Vettel wasn’t fined though, as he has performed the donuts enroute to the ‘Parc Ferme’. These two incidents show that Vettel wants to give a ‘good show’ for the fans and for his team. Even though Vettel isn’t your favorite driver, the donuts put a smile on your face, don’t they?
Even though Vettel isn’t your favorite driver, the donuts put a smile on your face, don’t they?
The ‘Multi 21’ saga possibly started something among the fans, which isn’t great for the sport: booing. And to be clear, boo Sebastian Vettel. It sadly became a trend in Europe, and also at some other races, to boo Vettel when he was on the podium, and when he started to talk during those podium interviews. Not sure if the booing was originally caused by the ‘Multi 21’ saga and those people who think Vettel performed a terrible act by not following the order or just the fact that people don’t want to see Vettel’s success over and over again. No matter what the reason is, the booing is disrespectful. Of course, you can’t like everybody and that’s natural, but people should be able to show some respect to one of the greatest drivers to ever exist in the history of F1 and it doesn’t matter how much they would dislike him. It’s heartbreaking to see and hear that happening when a driver gets booed after a victory, which he totally deserved by performing his best on the track. This really doesn’t give a good image. Of course, not everyone is like that. Vettel has said that he will never apologize for winning, and that’s absolutely right. He doesn’t need to!
What needs to happen is that the fans need to realize that they are witnessing a greatest act in the history of F1. Vettel will be and already is one of the best drivers in the history of the sport and it’s silly how his skills as a driver are still under doubt, even though, he couldn’t be more perfect than what he is doing right now.
Vettel was lucky to win his 2013 title in India. Why? Because the fans in India cheered for him and were truly happy to see Vettel performing a historical act.
Another common argument seen among the fans is that Vettel can’t overtake, and he wins only when he starts from pole. The German has proved this isn’t true on various occasions. Not all his victories are achieved by starting from pole, and he has made a good progress by fighting through the field. Good examples are Abu Dhabi and Brazil in 2012 season, as in both races, he had to fight himself through the field and he still managed to finish high. In Abu Dhabi, he was 3rd and in Brazil after the dramatic events, he finished 6th and confirming his 3rd World Championship title.
For those who are getting bored with Vettel’s dominance, 2014 will be a year of big changes in Formula 1 and it can change a lot. Nothing is guaranteed and it’s difficult to know who will be strong with the new engines and new rules. Even though rules change, Red Bull and Vettel might still stay strong as Adrian Newey and his team have worked hard and will continue working very hard with the new car, and could be having some innovative ideas. The field might be much closer next year and it will be very interesting to see how it will turn out. Still, Vettel will be the man to beat, and that’s the reason why Ferrari has two strong World Champions in their team next year, hoping to beat this young German champion, but the task will be far from easy.
Vettel’s self confidence, driving skills and his focus are at an incredible level that makes it very hard to get this man down. On a bad day, he finishes second. This tells something about him and the special talent of his, even if you don’t like Vettel, at least show some respect to one of the greatest drivers ever in the history of Formula One. He will continue breaking records, even though he says he doesn’t care about them. What he cares about is racing, and especially winning. He gives his everything on track and this brings home, the kind of results that are able to beat a big number of records in the history books. That’s what the real champions are made from, and Sebastian Vettel is one of the greatest.
- By Sini Salminen