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Vettel: I want to prove it to myself

NEWS STORY
29/12/2019

In many ways, 2020 is a make or break season for Sebastian Vettel.

In the final year of his contract with Ferrari, the German is already under intense pressure from his teammate, Charles Leclerc, who has just agreed a new deal which keeps him at Maranello until the end of 2024.

As he waits on confirmation from Ferrari that Leclerc has equal status - not to mention the ongoing media speculation linking Lewis Hamilton with the Maranello outfit - these are difficult times for the four-time world champion who dreamed of emulating his boyhood hero, Michael Schumacher in restoring the Italian team to title winning success.

Despite the apparent pressure and the seeming lack of time, Vettel insists that he has nothing to prove to anyone, only himself.

Asked if he still wants to prove himself to be the best racing driver in the world, he tells Germany's Motorsport-Magazin.com: "That's why I'm here...

"I want to prove it to myself," he adds, "that is the most valuable thing to me.

"You can never prove it to everyone," he continues. "I can't do that, but it's irrelevant to me too.

"If I'm good or not, some people like it and some don't. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to sound too selfish, but I do it for myself.

"I enjoy it very much, I love what I do and I am very ambitious. I want to achieve something with this team. This is my motivation, this is my goal. I want to prove to myself that I can achieve this."

With four titles to his name, some would say he has already proven it.

"I don't see it that way," he responds. I don't think to myself: 'Ah, I've won this before, I don't have to win it again.'

"I don't think that any success I've had in the past will bring me success in the future. At the same time, I am very, very privileged to have been in this situation more than once, to have been able to prove to myself that I can be the best, that I can beat the best and that I am among the best.

"But I don't wake up in the morning and think: 'I'm the best!'," he insists. "I know that you can read a lot about that in books that tell you how to think and stuff. It doesn't work for me.

"I don't read these books, it doesn't work for me. I just don't wake up and think to myself that I'm the best and unbeatable. I do wake up and know that I can be the best and beat the best.

"That gives me extreme joy," he admits. "I want to do that, and on top of that I want to achieve it here. It means even more to me to win with this team. I know I haven't achieved it yet, but I want to."

Despite his well-documented interest in the history of the sport, Vettel has said that he has no interest in the legacy he leaves behind.

"History is very important to me," he says, "I love the sport, I am a fan. But I am not a fan of myself.

"I know I drive the car, I don't need to be reminded of that. I don't look at it that way. I don't wake up and think: 'Wow, I'm an F1 driver!'

"Those numbers mean a lot to me," he continues. "But if there's a legacy I want to leave behind, it's for myself and not what it might mean to others. I do it for myself.

"And that means for me, the team and the people around me and the people supporting me. It's not realistic to have everyone in this world on your side.

"It is a privilege to travel and see so many people from different places and different cultures. That's how I know that in the end we are in a bubble here.

"All in all, can we leave a legacy behind with what we do? Probably not. But it means a lot to me and I want to make a legacy for myself."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spindoctor, 02/01/2020 13:40

"I wish him well, and the 'pressure' is to some extent off for 2020 - he just needs to 'do a Lewis' and clear his mind & focus. There is no guarantee that either Ferrari or Mercedes will have the best car for 2021, so even losing that drive may not be a disaster.

More seriously, for me at least, is the way that Seb's crashes often seem to be related to misjudgements in distance and\or depth perception. He gets too close, or cuts-in too soon, when even from outside the car there isn't space. One of Verstappen & Hamilton's big strengths is their ability to judge those gaps accurately and pull-off those "impossible" overtakes. Seb, on the other hand more often gets it wrong."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by SteveAikens, 29/12/2019 16:47

"Well said. I'm a Fer fan and a Vet fan. This past season hasn't gone as well as I'd have liked to see. I believe that's mostly from small issues with the car that have translated to bigger issues on the track. I also think Vet hasn't really had his head in the drive as well as he has in the past. I'm really looking forward to this coming season for it all to come together for the team. Lec has been doing an awesome job and I think Vet has as well. I'd obviously like to see them both just kill it this coming season."

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