Here at Formula One Analysis we’re always interested in the latest happenings in the sport, and so we were delighted when none other than four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel approached us, informed us he was a great fan of our work, and that he’d like to write a regular column for us. He even was keen to take part in our Prediction League, however in a close vote we decided against, citing Vettel’s inside knowledge of the sport as giving him an unfair advantage.
We were so ecstatic about this opportunity that we completely forgot to ask our lawyer to draw up a contractual agreement with Mr Vettel, and so we have no idea how long he’ll be writing for us, how often, or even what the content will be. All we know is that he has promised a ‘window in to the inner workings of a four time World Champion’. And so reader, it’s time to er...read on.*
I had a really good heart to heart with Christian during the week in his Jacuzzi over a bottle of wine. I told him how hard it was this year, what with having only the second best car, and he gave me such a great piece of advice. He said that back when Red Bull were only targeting podiums (before The Finger came along), he used to get quite sad and so he used to write a diary and it helped. I don’t really know where to start, but here goes.
I was a bit surprised when I arrived at the Hungaroring, as for some reason Dan turned up with a new slogan on his car saying, ‘cool as a cucumber’. I was a bit confused but then Rocky explained that it was to do with me, and I was so angry. He’s so unoriginal – can’t he come up with his own vegetable? He has to steal mine! I was the one who called that Hormone Replacement Therapy driver a cucumber first...
Everyone seems to love Dan in the team and I don’t understand why they don’t find his smiles annoying all the time. I’ve always held true to my beliefs, and one of my biggest beliefs is that you can only have fun in Formula One when you are winning races by thirty seconds in a dominant car (for the record Dan only won by 5.2 seconds in Hungary, so he shouldn’t be happy). I’m really proud that this year I’ve been able to show people how miserable a driver should be when their car is a cucumber – and it’s a terrific motivator for the team.
The other day a journalist asked me who was more miserable this year, me or Fernando? Well, obviously I’m better at him than that, just as I am better at driving. It’s so strange that people keep discussing who is better – me or him. Well, I’ve won four championships and he’s won two, so I’m twice as good as he is. And he won his titles when I wasn’t even driving, so that wasn’t really fair. Plus he’s old.
I had this really great idea the other day for a new exhaust blown diffuser – it came to me in a dream. I drew it up and showed it to Lord Adrian. It was pretty weird, he sat and looked at me and then said, “Look Seb, I’m afraid I don’t have the time to be patient with people as much anymore because I’ve decided to design boats than can do 300mph, so I’ll be honest. All your drawings last year were nice, but you don’t actually know anything about aerodynamics, so I had to throw them away. Plus for some reason this year, you’ve drawn the diffuser on the back of a cucumber rather than a Formula One car.” He then started to get really angry and I was quite scared. He said the car was great this year and it wasn’t a cucumber, it wasn’t his fault that the engine was 5000bhp slower than everyone else’s and broke all the time and that he was never going to work with the French again. He then went off to look at pictures of boats and I left.
Hungary was one of those weekends where you leave asking yourself, ‘what if?’. It all started so well, and I destroyed Dan in practice and qualifying, but things didn't go my way in the race. I was keeping Lewis and his ubercar (according to Rocky the Mercedes was 3.2 seconds per lap quicker than us at Hungary) behind me, but then something happened (I think Lewis hit me) and my tyres were flatspotted and I had to pit again and everything was ruined.
It was a shame, because in Hungary I had a new strategy to beat Dan (in Germany I pushed him off at Turn One but thought it would look strange if I did it again); I bribed Pastor Maldonado. I knew Dan would probably get lucky (I still can’t believe Canada. The Fingers’ itch nearly ended there) so I told Pastor to crash into Dan and make it look like an accident; I knew Pastor’s driving is so bad (how is he still in F1!?) that no one would guess anyway. Sadly it didn’t quite work out, as Pastor got bored of waiting for Dan to lap him so he just drove into Jules Bianchi instead.
Alas, Hungary remains one of just a few tracks in the world where I haven’t destroyed everyone yet. I was going to do it last year, but Lewis had a much better car than me (again) and made a deal with his friend Jenson that he would stay out for ages and not let me get past. It was so obvious! Jenson always pits early. I was quite frustrated, because The Finger was cocked and ready to go that weekend, but it never got the chance. It’s ok though because after the race I drove around on F1 2013 on the Playstation and crashed in to Lewis and then I won and The Finger came out and we showed everyone.
Although it’s been a tough season so far, the one thing you can count on with Sebastian Vettel is that he will keep fighting until ze end. As I’ve already said, it would be foolish to give up on the title at this point, despite being over 100 points down, and driving a car which is a long way off the Mercedes, powered by a Renault engine that gives away a second down the straights and which can’t be updated until the end of the season. And even if the title eludes me this year, you can be sure that The Finger will score some amazing fastest laps (check out my one in Spain, it was really good).
Sebastian Vettel (4 X WDC)
*Disclaimer: We hope that no fans of Vettel are offended (too much) by this piece. We rate Vettel as one of the top drivers in the sport, but for reasons unbeknownst to us, he found himself to be the focus of this latest column. We hope Mr Vettel himself wouldn’t be offended, as he generally seems to have a good sense of humour – except on occasion when his car keeps breaking.