30 March 2015
F1 Malaysian Grand Prix: First Ferrari win ‘means a little bit extra’ for Vettel
Sebastian Vettel admits he takes a little more pleasure in clinching a win with Ferrari than his success with Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
Sebastian Vettel has branded his first F1 win in Ferrari colours as 'a little bit better' than his maiden successes with Toro Rosso and Red Bull, saying he is 'proud' to be flying the flag for the historic team.
In only his second race for Ferrari since switching from Red Bull – with whom he clinched four drivers' titles -, Vettel swept to victory over Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, marking both his and the team's first race winning success since the 2013 season
Bringing Vettel up to 40 career wins – just one shy of Ayrton Senna on the all-time list -, though the German is used to standing atop the podium, doing so with the 'prancing horse' on his car lends a particular significance for the four-time champion.
“I've been my entire life with Red Bull and celebrating that first win at Monza was unique (the last time the German driver has won with an Italian team). “Then, I think winning the first time with Red Bull in China, 2009, was unique. This is just as unique. Maybe a little bit better because it means a little bit extra… I don't know. It's my dream.”
Reflecting on his younger days when iconic Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher used to visit his go-kart track, Vettel says that the chance to emulate him is an 'emotional' achievement.
“When I grew up, Michael was my hero and for all of us – and I speak for all of the kids at the go-kart track at the time in Germany – we were looking up to him and when he turned up every year and to look after us a little bit, it made our lives.
“I probably don't understand yet how special it is. Very, very emotional. To see the guys there, and to realise at the parade lap, I really tried to soak everything in, enjoy the fans here around Malaysia and, yeah, I recognised obviously for the first time, all the Ferrari flags.
“So really, really happy and just proud. Especially proud to beat these guys because they have been phenomenally strong the last year and a bit, so to be the first one to beat them really fair and square, I think is an incredible achievement, so big thanks to all the guys back in Maranello.”
Two more wins would see Vettel vault Senna to become the third most successful race driver in terms of wins, ahead of Lewis Hamilton on 34 and Fernando Alonso on 32.
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