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Vettel: You’re not too old as long as you’re quick enough

At the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel will be starting his 200th grand prix, a significant milestone for a driver who is only 30-years-old.

In an interview published in the Bahrain GP official race programme the German was asked how he felt ahead of the big 200, he replied, “Nowadays, at 30 years old, you already are a more experienced driver.”

“If you look back at the history of Formula 1, for example, Juan Manuel Fangio wasn’t even driving when he was 30. To me, when you’re quick enough you’re old enough, and you’re not too old as long as you’re quick enough.”

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Four times F1 World Champion Vettel, who has 48 grand prix wins on his CV, also revealed, “After a few years you learn how to deal with the excitement and tension before a race, but a healthy tension is part of the sport and competition, and also a reason why I like it. So, yes, I still get nervous and excited.

Looking back on his first race with BMW-Sauber at the 2007 United States Grand Prix, Vettel recalled, “The whole thing came as a bit of a surprise to me. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare as [Robert] Kubica’s accident [at the Canadian Grand Prix] had just happened the week before, but from what I remember I was ready and very focused.”

“I tried to get the maximum out [of the car] and I was happy to bring home a point. Fortunately, Red Bull gave me a chance afterwards, with Toro Rosso, to continue in F1.”

When asked what he would change in his past if he could, “Nothing really. The path is the most exciting bit. Shortcuts are boring. I believe the most important thing is that you enjoy what you do and never think too far ahead.”