The United States Grand Prix will mark Sebastian Vettel’s 100th race in Formula One.
Vettel made his début at Indianapolis in 2007 driving for BMW and has since raced for Toro Rosso and Red Bull, winning 26 races and 2 world titles.
“It’s all gone so quickly. One hundred is a big number – one hundred Grands Prix sounds a lot: one hundred starts, one hundred times surviving the first corner”, he told F1.com.
“If I reflect on it, it doesn’t feel so long ago that I broke into Formula One. That shows me that time flies when you do something that you really like and enjoy. So let’s focus on the second hundred!”
Vettel has also admitted that the 2012 season has been far from simple as he bids to win a third crown.
“The first race was good – it brought me a nice podium in Australia – but after that the rollercoaster ride started and the only good news was that everybody had checked in on that ride”.
“Sometimes we didn’t get the results that we deserved – and at others we got the result that we deserved – but we weren’t happy with those, so yes, it was not the easiest season. But we kept the belief from the very start and were never caught in a situation where we had to re-motivate ourselves to go out and fight for wins”.
“With everyone being very close to each other, with the performance of the cars being very equal, you might have a good car but finish only seventh. The next race your car is quite similar and you might win and the guy who won a fortnight ago is not able to do better than fifth or sixth. This is indeed very different to previous years when you knew that when the car felt good and had good pace you might still finish on the podium – even if someone else was quicker – as there have only been a handful of guys fighting it out. This year, well, not everybody can win, but the circle of suspects has definitely widened”.
Vettel also believes that in terms of misfortune, he and main title rival Fernando Alonso are roughly equal.
“Of course the last races we had were very good for us, to put it mildly. They have helped us a lot. If you look at the whole season with 20 races, you do have incidences that you don’t like to have, you probably have some retirements due to technical problems”, he said.
“We had those – and hopefully we have now passed this phase. It is very hard to run so many races without incidents. It is not something that is part of your calculation, but you have to be prepared when it hits you not to stand there with eyes wide open. (laughs) If you look at the races we’ve done so far I think Fernando’s and my DNF’s or calamities are equal. I still believe that the driver who deserves it most will be champion. No doubt we are in a very good position now and I hope we do well until the very end to make sure that we deserve the glory”.
Vettel also hopes that the best moment of the season is still to come.
“Maybe the first win of the season in Bahrain was a big relief – to know that everything is still functioning the way it used to. A highlight for sure was the win in Singapore, because I consider it physically the hardest race of the season. And, of course, the Abu Dhabi race. But as I just said, I hope the best is still yet to come”.