Vettel: “You must have the right people around you”

By on Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sebastian Vettel. Photo credit: Red Bull GEPA

Sebastian Vettel has won the last two F1 World Championships. While in 2010 he had to wait to the season finale in Abu Dhabi, where he arrived as outsider candidate to the title behind Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber, in 2011 he was able to clinch the title in Japan with still four races to go. In an interview with German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, the German driver has addressed the reasons why both seasons looked so different; and he does not think it is solely due to his improvement as a driver.

“I think both seasons are difficult to compare with each other. In 2010, we as team and I as driver made many mistakes. There are things which I regret, from which I could learn a lot and that maybe, I would not do the same way again. There were also many things that went wrong that nobody could really change. This year, we have paid more attention to the details. That way, the car was more reliable. Renault also took a huge step forward. There were no problems with the engines at all. Last year, we lost many points right at the beginning of the season. If that had not happened, maybe the whole season could have been different,” he said.

The world champion does not think that the Red Bull RB7 was that much better than the McLaren or the Ferrari.

“This season, small things could make a big difference. The 2010 cars were focused on the double diffuser. This season, the exhaust gases directed to the diffuser played a crucial role. Some teams got that better than others. Nevertheless, the top teams were closer during the races than it seemed during the free practices, as there were other things playing a role like the Pirelli tyres or the car set-up,” he described.

Vettel was heavily criticised by the international press after he crashed with McLaren driver Jenson Button in Spa 2010. But even if he thinks he has learned a lot from his mistakes, Vettel admits he would not react much differently if he found himself in the same situation again.

“Sure, there are situations where I would back off now, those that are too risky. On the other hand, you are sitting inside your car and you have to make your decision at that moment. You don’t do anything that you already think is going to go wrong. If the situation with Button happened again, I would not really react in a different way. When you see the gap to pass is there, then you go for it. Maybe now, I would wait one or two laps more; the race was just beginning then. But I don’t see it as a bad mistake, because I was under pressure from behind. Of course, what happened was not good and I’m sorry for Jenson and myself,” he explained.

When he is asked about the crash with his teammate Mark Webber in Turkey 2010, which ended up with both Red Bull cars out of the race, Vettel does not think he can be blamed.

“It’s not just me who you have to ask about it. I did not try to do something impossible there. There are things that just happen,” he states.

Vettel reveals his secret to overcome the bad moments or phases is the people he has around him.

“The environment is very important. You must have the right people around you. That prevents you from falling into a deep hole. There are people there who reach out a hand and hold you. But you are responsible for your own environment. Everyone builds his nest the way he likes it,” he said.

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