It’s hard to believe that Sebastian Vettel, who is so at ease and more often than not supreme behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car these days, was actually scared when he tested for the first time at the wheel of a BMW powered Williams FW27 at Jerez back in 2005.
Speaking after his victory at the Japanese Grand Prix, the triple World Champion recollected, “You know, I love racing. When I was small, I was dreaming about F1 and honestly never thought that one day I would be able to test one of these cars. First time I tested the car, Mark [Webber] drove in the morning, I drove in the afternoon. I sh*t myself the first couple of laps and I thought, alright, that’s for real men, not for me.”
The man who has since amassed 35 grand prix wins, and is heading to his fourth World title, got to grips with the power of F1. His name is now mentioned along with the acknowledged greats of the sport.
Vettel added, “Then I got used to it and obviously wanted to do more. A couple of years later, obviously I had the chance to get a drive, Red Bull gave me the chance at Toro Rosso to get some races.”
“It’s incredible what’s happened over the last couple of years but nothing has changed in the way that I still love racing, I love the challenge, I’m still nervous when I wake up on Sunday, still excited when I walk on the grid and tense, looking forward to the race,” revealed the 26 year old German.
It is well known that Vettel has a keen sense of F1 history, but he says that breaking records is not the end all and be all for him.
“Enjoying – not the numbers – but enjoying the fact that I’m racing and a great crowd today, a fantastic day. As I said, I think it would be a shame if you were too tense and if you tried to force things too much. I think you have to allow yourself to enjoy it because this is not normal, it doesn’t happen to everyone,”he mused.
“I think I’m very fortunate that I’m one of these 22-24 guys in F1. As I said, we leave the hotel, great respect from the fans, they’re cheering, they’re shouting our names and it’s just great. That’s what I’m looking forward to most, obviously try to do it again.”
“I love trophies so I don’t mind collecting a few either!” he acknowledged as he prepares to claim his fourth F1 World Championship crown. Fifth place at the Indian Grand Prix is all that is required from the guy who ‘sh*t’ himself’ when he first tried an F1 car. (GP247)
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