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Vettel: I like it!

NEWS STORY
16/10/2015

With three wins under its belt already this year, it's hard to recall the misery of 2014 for Ferrari, which, along with poor performance on track, witnessed a culling of senior management.

Of course, Sebastian Vettel had his own problems in 2014, but a year later, the German and his new team appear to be getting on famously.

"Ferrari is the biggest of all the teams we have in the paddock," he tells the official F1 website. "It has been there from the very beginning of F1. It is the history, the drivers, there is something outstanding about Ferrari. So it was a dream come true when I joined - and against all odds the first year so far has been amazing."

Asked if it is "different" to Red Bull, he replies: "That goes for all the teams. Every team has its own unique DNA. Here it's much about a family atmosphere. The Italians have something special about them. My summary is: I like it!"

The situation must be helped by the fact that he enjoys a good relationship with his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen.

"It's a good match," he admits. "Kimi quiet in many ways. Then there is the background that you have according to where you come from. Maybe the Spaniard is a bit more hot blooded, the Finn more cold blooded - and the German in between - but in the end it is the individual's background I would say. Kimi and I are happy with the team - and vice versa. That's what makes success."

Asked if this is the happiest he has been in a team since those early days at Toro Rosso, he is quick to defend Red Bull.

"I have been very happy in the years between," he says. "The four titles speak volumes. For sure, 2014 was not a nice season. I was not performing the way I wanted to perform - and if that happens it is more honest to show your feelings and not hide behind a fake smile.

"So about the same time last year I understood that it was time to move on. And the stage I am at now proved me right. I am very happy with how things worked out. Sure, when I joined Ferrari there was never any guarantee in terms of results, but now it is nice to know that we've exceeded all kinds of expectations, including mine - maybe."

The move to Maranello involved negotiations with three different team principals, Stefano Domenicali, Marco Mattiacci, and Maurizio Arrivabene…

"It's a bit strange indeed, but hopefully not in a bad way," he admits. "It simply felt like the right time for me to start a new project. Maybe yes, it's a bit weird how it came together. I always had a good relationship with Stefano, and I had a good relationship with Mattiacci from the start. I didn't get to know Luca di Montezemolo too much - I never worked with him - but now with Maurizio and Mr Marchionne things are shaping up and we are on the right path."

Asked how the team compares to how it was during the Alonso era, he replies: "I was never part of the team when Fernando was part of the team, so how can I compare?

"Also, so many changes have happened on all levels: Ferrari has a new president, there is a new team principal - there has been quite a fluctuation. And the fact that we were successful early on with a podium, that helped a lot to push the Ferrari project to the top. We have a fantastic atmosphere in the team now. How it was last year I have no idea - I was not there!"

Finally, as the conjecture over his old team(s) continues, the German admits the situation saddens him.

"There are a lot of rumours in the air and I have not spoken with Mr Mateschitz lately, but it is hard to believe that it could really happen," he says. "It would mean a huge loss. But in the end I doubt that it will happen. That's my position - and I don't think I stand alone on it."

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1. Posted by Vinicius, 17/10/2015 6:38

"For sure the "fake smile" is to Ricciardo."

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