With four Formula 1 World Championship title on his mantelpiece, Sebastian Vettel’s name will always be etched among the greats of our sport, but the very private German is not worried about his legacy when he quits the pinnacle of the sport at some point in the future.
During a wide-ranging interview with Sky F1, Martin Brundle asked Vettel how he would be remembered to which he replied, “I don’t care, I don’t need a legacy.”
I think, especially nowadays, the world is moving so fast – I don’t need to be remembered. I’m not sad about it, it’s good to move on. As much as I love tradition, and I’m a traditionalist, I’m against being stuck in a moment, or era. I think it’s good to go on, it’s good to go forward, we have to.”
“I hope that when I’m older, I’m progressive – moving forward and not looking back. I think it’s nice to look back on a career, but it’s not the point of our lives, I guess. It’s much more about looking forward.”
While his legacy may not be important to him at this stage of his life, he did concede, “I never imagined… I don’t think you can even dream that big, to have achieved so much. But as always, it doesn’t stop there, you want more.”
“In this regard, I am greedy, I want more, I want to win with Ferrari, to win the championship.”
From 2010 to 2013, Vettel with Red Bull dominated F1 winning four consecutive F1 titles. In 2015 he moved to Ferrari and since has yet to taste championship winning champagne, while the Reds have not won a championship since they won the constructors’ title in 2008. Kimi Raikkonen was the last driver to win the drivers’ title for the team when he did so in 2007.
Asked if he would swap two of his titles with Red Bull for one with Ferrari, Vettel replied, “Maybe I’m a bad dealer but I wouldn’t because I’m convinced I can win with Ferrari. No need to trade!”
Should he win the title for the Scuderia, he will be the tenth driver to power to victory for the legendary team in F1, “Nine is not a good number, let’s make it 10! It’s something that I want to achieve first. I don’t want to sound selfish or arrogant, but I put a lot of pressure on my shoulders.”
This year that pressure has been dialled up a few notches since 21-year old Charles Leclerc replaced Raikkonen in the team, Vettel acknowledged, “I think it’s normal if you’re in the same car, you’re fighting your team-mate for the same spot on the track every now and then.”
“Obviously it’s up to me to make sure he’s rather behind rather than in front. We are obviously pushing each other and pushing the team, I think that’s the priority. To get Ferrari back to winning ways and then the rest will be sorted out.”
Of his own mistakes, the 31-year old said, “I’m very critical, so I was my first critic and I wasn’t happy with myself. It’s not allowed to happen, simple as that, but it did happen. You have to move on, you can’t guarantee that you’re never going to do a mistake again but, obviously, that’s not the way it should go.”
Unlike the majority of his colleagues in F1, Vettel has shunned social media and explained why, “I just can’t identify with a generation that wants to share everything, at all times. It’s not that I have something to hide, not at all.”
“I think many people are thinking that life of a Formula 1 driver is a lot more exotic than my life is, but I actually like to have a normal life, and I think I qualify as living a normal life. But I don’t have the desire to share.”
“Why? I don’t get the point. Why do you need to tell people what you are doing?” added Vettel who lies third in the championship standings ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend in Barcelona.
Big Question: If Seb quit now what would his legacy be?