So what was my role in Sebastian's career? Well not a father figure, because his father, Norbert, was always with him. And I never wanted to be his manager, because that sounds like a lot of pressure to make money – and I never made any money supporting Sebastian. Let's just say I was his mentor.
Ann 'Media Guru' Bradshaw
Formula BMW and BMW F1
Sebastian seemed to be almost ready packaged when I first met him. You get used to drivers coming to you having done media training, but he was just a natural. He seemed to enjoy media time and to want to do well at it. So I didn't really have to teach him very much.
He was confident, not in a cocky way, that he would be able to do PR and that he would be able to give a journalist the best interview he could. He was always quite happy just to say 'here I am', without trying to be something that he wasn't. And he was always keen to know who he was speaking to and to understand what they wanted. He was quite informal about it as well. He would often chat to me over lunch about what he should be doing and if there were better ways to do media. I've never worked with a Formula One driver like him.
Trevor 'The First Brit' Carlin
Owner of Carlin Motorsport
We were part of Seb's early story with Red Bull. I'd seen Seb race in Formula BMW when he dominated and then he was thrown in at the deep end with us, in 2006, at a World Series by Renault race in Misano.
I remember that he qualified reasonably well and finished third. He'd finished third at the Macau Grand Prix Formula 3 race the year before and I was wondering whether he'd always be third. Then it turned out the two guys ahead of him were penalised and disqualified, so he actually won on his debut. Suddenly I started thinking of him as 'golden bollocks'.
Since then the results really speak for themselves. He knows what he wants and what he needs to extract the maximum from the car, and when all that's in place, he's pretty hard to beat.
He's very easy to talk to and he likes having a conversation. He'd probably make a very good race engineer if he wasn't such a bloody good driver. His pace, when he can unlock the whole thing, is incredible. And he delivers, so he's rewarding to work with and teams thrive on that. They're happy to work all-nighters if they know that they'll get a result.
Did we mentor him? He's not the sort of person who needs mentoring. He's at ease with himself, which makes people at ease with him and creates a very nice working atmosphere. I think that happy manner people see is because he has a capacity to relax once he knows he has everything else under control. He's still the same kid who used to drive for us.
What we did give him were the tools to do the job at one stage in his career, and as we were the first English team he had worked for, we gave him the 'banter' – and that's essential to survive British race mechanics! That should have prepared him well for working with a lot of the guys at Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes. I think we probably taught him how to swear in English.
by Anthony Rowlinson & Werner Jessner
Article courtesy of the Red Bulletin. You can check out the November issue of the Red Bulletin in full at: www.redbulletin.com