Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Vettel: Nurburgring form hard to predict 22 Jul 2011

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Nurburgring, Germany, Thursday, 21 July 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB5 and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5 at the head of the queue at the start of qualifying.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 11 July 2009 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Nurburgring, Germany, Thursday, 21 July 2011 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing celebrates his first GP win on the podium with second placed Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing (Centre).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, German Grand Prix, Race, Nurburgring, Germany, Sunday, 12 July 2009 (L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing with Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Nurburgring, Germany, Thursday, 21 July 2011

Going into his first home Grand Prix as world champion, Sebastian Vettel says that form round the Nurburgring could be difficult to predict, even though the off-throttle blown diffuser makes its official return after the temporary ban at Silverstone.

“I think you need to see that Valencia and Silverstone are very, very different from each other,” the German said when asked if Red Bull’s Valencia form would be resumed. “At Valencia, there are no really fast corners and there are hardly any slow-speed corners at Silverstone - just a couple in the new layout - but the circuits are very different to each other. It’s difficult to say. Here you have a bit of both, a bit of slow speed, more than in Silverstone, and more high-speed than in Valencia, so I would say right in the middle, but we need to see. At this stage, after Silverstone, it was very difficult to say okay, now because of the rule change, that’s why Ferrari was quick, that’s why - I don’t know - McLaren was maybe a little bit worse that weekend. I don’t think that was the reason. In the end, we all lost a little bit. It’s difficult to measure. Now we go back to where we have been in Valencia, so I think, generally, we didn’t change the world switching the blown exhaust or the blown diffusers on and off. The most important thing is that we focus on the racing again.”

This will be an important race for Vettel, in many ways.

“Generally after winning the championship last year, coming here is not that different to two years ago or last year in Hockenheim. It’s always great first of all to have the opportunity to race in your home country, in front of your home crowd. We are six [German] drivers now so we all share that feeling this weekend and I am looking forward to it. Many times people talk about extra pressure or things that could slow you down but to be honest I think it is more positive than anything else to have people in the grandstands, people outside the paddock and inside the paddock as well support you and trying to push you forward to allow you to find maybe this extra tenth or two around the lap.

“As to performance, I think we have seen the true performance throughout the season so far already. We have had enough races to judge. Last weekend unfortunately we were discussing or we were talking more about rules and rule changes rather than the racing. But from here it should be clear right from the start so there is not a lot to talk about in that regard and we focus on racing again. I think it has been fairly tight all year, especially the last three races with three different teams winning, so for here it is difficult to say who will be strongest. We are here to find out but I think we have a good chance. We seem to like the track. We had a very good race two years ago, very, very good race pace so we will see. Since then things have changed. I think we have learned a lot. At this stage everything looks fine. We are as confident as we can be and I, in particular, am looking forward to the race on Sunday.”

Inevitably, there has been a lot of talk in Germany of late about Vettel assuming Michael Schumacher’s mantle as the dominant force on the track. But yesterday Vettel wasn’t being drawn into the debate as Schumacher sat beside him.

“I can rate many seasons by Michael, he did a lot of seasons and he obviously won the championship seven times. Obviously he’s sitting next to me, so whatever I say, he can hear as well but I don’t think we have to go through all this again. You have been there for most of the time as well, so I think you remember. He had very good seasons, but he also had seasons where he was in a bit of trouble and came out of it, made huge progress with the team and himself, even though he didn’t win the championship.

“I’m not his brother, he has one already. Surely, for all of us, except Michael, we will always be compared to him and left with his big footsteps or footprints, but it will be very, very difficult to catch up. Everything he achieved is quite phenomenal, so the question is not only if there will ever be a German achieving that again, the question is if there will ever again be a driver in Formula One achieving what he has done.”

Michael smiled at all of this. “Well, as he talked about footsteps,” he said kindly, “I think we both have similar sized shoes so it should be good.”

David Tremayne

For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.