Triple world champion Sebastian Vettel denies he is a carbon-copy of fellow German and Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher.
Earlier this week, new Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene hailed the arrival at Maranello of Red Bull’s quadruple world champion.
“I was around in Michael (Schumacher)’s time,” the former Marlboro executive told Leo Turrini’s blog, “and I confess that there are times when I look at Vettel and, in some ways, it really seems like a carbon copy of Schumi!”
Vettel, however, reacted to Sport Bild: “It is almost impossible to compare any driver to Michael. What Michael achieved was unique — he played in his own league.”
Ferrari insiders, however, insist that 27-year-old Vettel has adopted a Schumacher-like disposition at the fabled team, as he stalks the paddock analytically taking notes.
“It is always very special to be compared to Michael,” he acknowledged. “And I’m also happy that I have been so warmly welcomed by everyone at Ferrari.
“Still, I’m Sebastian, not Michael, and I must and will go my own way,” Vettel insisted. “I also think today is a very different time to Michael’s.”
But the early signs are positive, as Ferrari has begun yet another test week with impressive pace from the new SF15-T car.
“The first impression at the tests has been good,” Vettel agreed, “but we need to keep the ball nice and flat. I know how much work we still have ahead of us.
“Ferrari is a team that is changing and it will be a while until everyone feels comfortable in their new roles. Including me,” he said.