Vettel: F1 can be very cruel

Sebastian Vettel philosophical about his fall in fortunes

Sebastian Vettel philosophical about the fall in his fortunes

For four years in a row Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull dominated Formula 1, until this season where Mercedes produced a fantastic race car while Renault delivered a below par engine to its customers, which in turn impacted the world champion – who is suffering as a result.

Speaking to BBC, Vettel acknowledged, “It’s been a tough start, a rough season so far. F1 can be fantastic, as I have experience of, but it can be very cruel in retiring from problems. You rely on your car. It is part of the game.”

During early testing Red Bull were in dire straits with what appeared to be a very good car but a new V6 turbo power unit which was not up to the job. But the Milton Keynes based outfit toiled long and hard and now have a car which is perhaps still no match for the Silver Arrows, but it has on occasions been the best of the rest.

Although his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo tasted victory in Canada, Vettel has still to win a race this season, “It hasn’t come our way yet, but I’m confident that it will. I’m struggling to understand the car so we are testing a lot of things. Some work, some don’t. Some laps were good, other laps I was messing it up and it doesn’t come as constant, as regularly as it did in the past.”

Sebastian Vettel has yet to win a race in 2014

Sebastian Vettel has yet to win a race in 2014

“We’re working on that as a team. I’m confident that it will still take a couple of steps but we’re willing to take them,” explained the quadruple world champion.

Despite the issues and about face in his fortunes, Vettel is adamant that he is still enthused by the sport, “I have one quote I very often read to myself, from a very good friend: Forget the people around you now; remember the little boy who was racing in go-karts, what you were dreaming of and what he wanted to achieve one day and what was his goal. Race for him.”

“I fell in love with the sport, I love racing. The amount of satisfaction I get just going around in a Formula 1 car makes me smile. So if it is a bad day then you tend to come out and say it’s horrible and you don’t enjoy. But if you had to pick between that and doing nothing, you would always pick that,” mused the German.

As for the title race, he has not given up hope, and insisted, “If there is mathematically a chance, there is still a chance. If things turn around from this weekend onwards you’d be stupid not to take the opportunity. So you have to be optimistic.”

Sebastian Vettel in action during the British Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel in action during the British Grand Prix

“Being realistic, though, the gap is very big. Mercedes are in a position to win every race if they want to, so it will be difficult to beat them. But our target is to finish first. We are not here to finish third or fifth. If that is the best you can do, you have to be happy with that and respect what other people are doing, but the goal is to win races and fight for the championship,” added the man who won his first world title in 2010 at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi that year.

Reports have done the rounds claiming that Vettel was restless in the Red Bull pen and looking to move on, but according to GMM sources he has denied that he is looking to move elsewhere.

“I’d rather be in my car. The fact that things are not going so well is clear, but I think that is just for the moment. Red Bull is very special to me, not only because of the past years in Formula 1, but also because of the support they gave in the very early years in my career,” he insisted.

Vettel is blatantly honest on why he is being beaten regularly by teammate Riccirado, “He is doing a a better job, and makes fewer mistakes than I do and so I have to pay him the necessary respect.”

Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo in Canada

Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo in Canada

“It’s good to see that there is fresh blood in Formula 1. I’m happy for him. He’s having a very, very good start to the season.”

It is well known in the paddock that Vettel is closer to Kimi Raikkonen than most of the other drivers, but Vettel does not agree that the two are having similar problems adapting to the new era cars and the related technologies.

“I don’t really know what kind of problems Kimi is having, but I think he is one of the most naturally talented drivers on the grid. He has demonstrated his talents on gravel and ice in rallying,” said Vettel.

And added, “It not just my driving style. I’ve had many reliability problems but also in terms of speed, I’m still far from where I want to be. I need to work on myself and get over it, and I think I can.”

Vettel won the German Grand Prix last year (at Nurburgring) and with it joined Michael and Ralf Schumacher as the only Germans to win their home race. (GP247)