Vettel: I hope I’m not close to retirement

By on Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sebastian Vettel. Photo credit: Red Bull GEPA

Sebastian Vettel was only 19 years old when he took part in his first Formula One race, driving a BMW Sauber. He replaced Robert Kubica – who had suffered a horrific accident in the previous race - at the 2007 US Grand Prix. Despite his young age, Vettel finished the race in 8th place and scored one point. Since then, he has started 81 Grands Prix, winning 21 of them, scored 773 points and became the youngest double champion in F1 history. In an interview with Swiss journal Sonntagsblick, Vettel reckons he will drive in F1 as long as he is having fun.

“At the moment, I’m very happy. But if at some point I do not feel the desire or the joy, then it is time to stop. I don’t think it is always related to age. If Michael [Schumacher] is having fun, then he should drive,” the German driver said. “I hope that, being 24, I’m not close to retirement,” he added.

Formula One is a very competitive sport and beating your teammate is the first goal of every driver. Nevertheless, Vettel thinks it is possible to have a relaxed relationship with a teammate.

“I think so. But real friendships are difficult. The relationship is easy going if there is mutual respect. Of course, each one will always want to beat the other; that is taken for granted. But that doesn’t mean that one can’t be reasonable with the other outside the cockpit. There are 24 people in Formula One, and it is like the school classroom: you get along well with some and not so well with others.”

The double world champion does not believe that language is a factor in determining who he gets on well with and did not name his teammate, Mark Webber, among those he likes the most.

“We often hear that language is a criterion. But that is rubbish, because they all speak English. I get along very well with Kimi [Raikkonen]. Okay, he doesn’t speak that much, but he is always direct, open and honest. I also connect with Glock, Buemi, Schumi and Button,” he stated.

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