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Ask the Expert - Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel 31 Mar 2009

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 27 March 2009 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB5.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 29 March 2009 Podium and results: 1st Christopher Wassermann (AUT), Josef Kaufmann Racing, centre. 2nd Sebastian Vettel (GER), Eifelland Racing, left. 3rd Adrian Sutil (GER), HBR Motorsport GmbH, right. Formula BMW ADAC Championship, Rds13&14, Nurburgring, Germany. 17 August 2003. World © Miltenburg/Sutton (L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing on the grid with Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 29 March 2009 (L to R): David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing with Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Race, Magny-Cours, France, Sunday, 22 June 2008

Have you ever wondered how much your favourite driver knows about his day job, his home town, his team - even his own career history? If the answer is yes, then you’re set to enjoy our new series, ‘Ask the expert’. Although we can't promise to reveal all the facts and stats stored away in your hero’s brain, we can guarantee you a surprise or two. First to take our trivia test is Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel…

Q: You drive for Red Bull. Can you name three of the ingredients contained in Red Bull’s new cola?
Sebastian Vettel:
Three is the target? Ok, let me think: water, vanilla, mustard seed, coca leaf. I know that those four things don’t make the cola - I have to read the ingredient list next time.
Correct - three out of three. The other ingredients are sugar, carbon dioxide, natural caramel flavour, natural flavours from plant extracts: galangal, lime, kola nut, cocoa, liquorice, cinnamon, lemon, ginger, orange, corn mint, pine, cardamom, mace, clove, and lemon juice concentrate, caffeine from coffee beans.

Q: You come from Heppenheim in Germany. The town’s coat of arms features the lion of Hesse, but what is the lion holding in his paws?
SV:
A torch, I think? Shame on me that it doesn’t come quick as a shot! I'll have to look when I’m home the next time.
Incorrect - it’s a sword.

Q: Your team mate for this year is Australian driver Mark Webber. If he said to you, ‘Rack off, you big galah!’, what would you do?
SV:
I have no idea - but he says so many things that I don’t understand so it doesn’t make a difference if there is one more!
Incorrect - a rough translation would be ‘ Get lost, fool’.

Q: If Red Bull’s technical director Adrian Newey retired from Formula One racing, what would we he probably choose to design instead?
SV:
Yachts - and as he always aims for the top, America's Cup yachts.
Correct

Q: Can you explain understeer in fewer than 10 words?
SV:
I can do it in three words: opposite of oversteer. That simple!
Half marks - not quite what we were after, but a clever answer nonetheless. Understeer is when the car’s front end doesn't turn into a corner but slides wide.

Q: When, where and in what series did you enjoy your first single-seater victory?
SV:
It was in 2003, Formula BMW in Adria.
Correct - 10 May, 2003, to be precise.

Q: A member of Red Bull’s management team scored 14 points during the 1995 British Formula Three championship. Which one?
SV:
Christian.
Correct - Red Bull Racing team principal, Christian Horner.

Q: Red Bull’s Factory is based in the English town of Milton Keynes, which feature some famous concrete what?
SV:
Straight away I would have said roundabouts! But I guess it must be some animals - cows?
Correct

Q: Your team principal Christian Horner famously jumped into a swimming pool in Monaco almost naked back in 2006 to celebrate the team’s first podium finish. What did he use to cover some (if not all) of his modesty?
SV:
A superman cape. Underwear? No underwear. Just a superman cape?
Correct

Q: You are the youngest driver to win a Formula One race. Who remains the youngest driver to have ever competed in a Grand Prix?
SV:
I have no idea about his name but I guess it was a Canadian driver. Tell me.
Incorrect - it was Mike Thackwell, a New Zealander, who started the 1980 Canadian Grand Prix for Tyrrell aged 19 years.

Q: On your first-ever outing, during practice for the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix, you were fined for speeding in the pit lane. How much did you have to pay?
SV:
Too much. It was $1000 in Istanbul - and at my second race in Monza they raised it to $2000!
Correct

Q: When asked about you, who compared you to Ayrton Senna or Stefan Bellof?
SV:
Gerhard
Correct - former boss Gerhard Berger.

Q: You’re a fan of the Beatles. Which of their songs holds the record for the most versions recorded by different artists?
SV:
Difficult. They had so many big hits that have been recorded by so many different artists. I wouldn’t know.
Incorrect - it was ‘Yesterday’.

Q: In what year was the first can of Red Bull sold?
SV:
Same year as I was born: 1987.
Correct

Q: How many laps did you lead at the Italian Grand Prix before you won the race?
SV:
Don’t know exactly. I would say something around 40. Didn’t count them.
Close, but no cigar - it was 49.

Q: You dominated the 2004 Formula BMW championship. How many races did you win that season? SV: 18 - this number I will never forget.
Correct

Q: How many different teams has Mark Webber driven or tested for during his Formula One career?
SV:
He started with Minardi, then he went to Jaguar, then he went to Williams, now he is with Red Bull. So my guess is four.
Half marks - he also tested with Benetton and Arrows.

Q: You enjoy British comedy, but which member of Monty Python was born in America, not Britain?
SV:
I don’t know. I think it is already an effort to know about Monty Python at my age so forget about the details.
Incorrect - Terry Gilliam

Q: Where was your former Toro Rosso team mate Sebastien Bourdais born?
SV:
Le Mans.
Correct - home of the famous French 24-hour race.

Q: You replaced veteran David Coulthard at Red Bull. Can you guess how many interviews he sat through during his F1 career?
SV:
He was in Formula One for 15 years, so my guess is that it is probably three times the amount of women he had - something around 30,000?
Incorrect - 55,400 (we’ve no idea about the women!)

Final score: 14 points from a possible 22
Ask the Expert rating: 64%

So Vettel sets a strong benchmark - more drivers coming soon.