'Flying' Vettel dedicates win to parents
4 November 2013
Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel has dedicated his latest F1 triumph in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to his Mum and Dad.
Vettel dominated at the Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday, eventually finishing more than 30 seconds up on his team-mate, Mark Webber, as he romped home to claim his seventh win in a row and the 37th of his career.
“It means a lot [to win in front of my Mum and Dad],” he said on the podium after the 17th round in the 2013 F1 World Championship. “Obviously I spent most of my time racing in front of them when I was a small kid and obviously now there's a little bit bigger toys and more people watching, but it's very special to me that they were here this weekend. I love them very much and want to dedicate the win today to them. I think I learned a lot of good things from them and one day, if I have kids, I want to pass exactly these things on.”
Vettel also paid homage to the fans and to his team: “Thanks to all the fans. There is so many people, so many German flags [here] – it is so nice to see and to get so much support. [There is] more and more for Red Bull [too] so I hope that kicks up more in the next few years,” he continued.
“The car was absolutely brilliant today - absolutely brilliant. Not much more to say. I was flying at some stages - at least it felt like it. There was massive gaps, a big surprise. Thanks to the team, thanks to Renault as well. A lot of our success is also down to them. They're doing a very, very good job and I hope that next year we'll have an engine that's as powerful and as reliable as this year's.”
Meanwhile, Vettel conceded that taking seven wins in a row and equally the record held by Michael Schumacher and Alberto Ascari was something that made him feel proud.
“It [getting these records] doesn't make me jump into the car but it's a shock when you mention these [people, Schumacher and Ascari]. I knew that any kind of record you talk about, Michael is involved for sure. But I don't know what [else] to say. The thing is that people see seven races. People don't see the challenge it takes every single race to nail it. It's been exceptional.
“The fact that we got everything right: smooth pitstops; reliability. All these things need to come together. To answer your question, the numbers are not that important to me but equally they make me very, very proud. If you equal something or you're close to something then... the guys you talk about are the most special drivers in the world in F1. So, yeah, I don't think I'm old enough to realise [the importance],” he added.
Pressed on if it was an emotional day, he replied: “Yeah [it is]. Obviously winning is very special. As I said, obviously seven races in a row - every single race is tough. It's a lot of work that goes into it, from Thursday, even before that at the simulator, and then the whole weekend. Please stop mentioning these kind of things because, yeah, it makes you realise a little bit what it means.
“I remember when I was a small kid watching F1 and Michael was with Ferrari and dominating F1. They had a very strong car, very strong team spirit for many years and if you look back you feel like he won every second race but to equal some of the stuff that they managed to achieve is very, very special. Not just for me – but also I think for the whole team. Definitely after 2011, a special year, we said it would be very difficult to repeat a season like that and maybe it comes along once in a lifetime. Now, we can probably say it came across twice at least.”
Finally, asked for the secret to his success and why he is so gentle with the tyres, Vettel joked it was because he has traction control.
“I've got traction control – at least that's what they said three or four races ago!” he jested. “No. These tyres are difficult to drive - extremely sensitive. Obviously it helps when you are in free air, [as there is] not so much in traffic. But somehow we got the hang of it - more and more so towards the end of the year. Looking after them, really listening to them and being able to extract maybe a little bit more performance than the other guys. But I don't think there's any secret genetically,” he concluded.