Formula One Fantasy - Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel 01 Apr 2011
If youre being paid to travel the globe whilst racing some of the worlds most technologically-advanced cars, many would say you are living the dream. But if youre already an F1 driver, and have firsthand experience of the glitz, glamour and glory, what would you spend your time daydreaming about? Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel reveals his Formula One fantasies, which include battling team mate Jochen Rindt around the Nurburgrings Nordschleife in a McLaren MP4-5
Q: You must choose a city for a new Formula One street circuit - which city, anywhere in the world, do you choose, and why?
Sebastian Vettel: Very clearly and 100 percent New York. There have been rumours lately and I think that it would be the ultimate city to race in. Everybody knows New York and it would be awesome to be part of such a race. The paddock in Central Park and racing along Fifth Avenue, all the way down to Washington Square. Manhattan is not that big so we could have a circuit passing all the important landmarks. Awesome!
Q: If you could choose one former world champion as your team mate, who would you choose and why?
SV: Jochen Rindt, very clearly! For me he had something that was very inspiring. He was a cool guy and it would be an honour to race against him in the same team. In that way you could get all the secrets of his exceptional personality, and of course it would be a big challenge.
Q: Formula One innovations of the past - ground effect, active suspension, turbocharging, six wheels, the list goes on. If you could bring back one past innovation, what would it be and why?
SV: Id put big V12 engines in the car! Put lots of downforce on because this is it what gives us the feeling and sensation. I definitely would go for a lot of power, a nice sound - some brutal machinery so that you have to rise above yourself every time you jump back into the car.
Q: What innovations would you like to see in the future?
SV: Nothing really new - just making it possible to overtake. That would be fantastic for the drivers and obviously help the show. Everybody knows that it is almost impossible in Formula One to overtake so if you manage to do it you know that youve achieved something. Overtaking is something that separates the men from the boys. On the other hand I think that overtaking should never be artificial. And that is partly what I feel we are facing with this moveable rear wing and I am just hoping that it is not becoming too artificial. Obviously it is really hard to find a mode that allows the fastest man to find his way through. I think that what is important is to have a sizzling atmosphere around the track - to have a 100,000 excited people. Such an atmosphere would be very special and thank God we have a lot of races where the atmosphere is fantastic. You always really look forward to these races.
Q: You can only drive at one circuit for the rest of your life - which circuit, past or present from anywhere in the world, do you choose?
SV: It would either be Suzuka, Spa or Nurburgring Nordschleife. Obviously we would have to discuss the run-off areas here and there, but at these tracks you would never get bored.
Q: Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Tyrrell, March are just some of the teams that have departed the sport. Which former team would you most liked to have raced with and why?
SV: Clearly Lotus from the old days. The Colin Chapman outfit. I think the drivers didnt have an easy time there but it was iconic. And of course it was a big challenge to have Chapman as your team principal.
Q: You have to design a new Formula One circuit, combining all your favourite corners from other tracks around the world. Which three corners are top of your list and why?
SV: Sector one of Suzuka, sector two of Spa and some parts of the street circuits of Singapore and Monaco.
Q: You can travel back in time and compete in any decade of Formula One racing, from the 1950s to the 1990s. Which decade would you choose and why?
SV: The 1970s. With the safety standards of today! The atmosphere must have been very special and being part of that must have been quite some experience. I guess even being there made you some kind of hero. Formula One was obviously very special in that decade but of course from a pure instinct of survival you would always choose today. From an emotional point of view the 70s must have been fantastic. How pure the racing was, the camaraderie among the drivers - thats whats missing a bit today.
Q: What current Formula One regulation would you most like to change and why?
SV: I would put a V12 engine in the car - (Im) against all the four-cylinder advocacy. I would take KERS off the car and put a V12 into the car. That would be greener than what we have now!
Q: If you could pick two Formula One greats of the past (from different eras) to watch race against each other, whom would you pick?
SV: Senna and - yeah Prost. It happened but today I would understand much more about their battles. When it happened I was too young to understand and of course I was too far away from the action to get a real idea. They were both so completely different in their personalities. Today I would like to witness that.
Q: If you were a team boss, which current driver would you pick first for your team (excluding yourself and your current team mate)?
SV: Nobody of today. I once again would aim for Senna and Prost. I would probably have to take some sort of course to learn how to handle them.
Q: Just 20 of the worlds motor racing circuits feature on the current F1 calendar. You can add one more. Which circuit do you pick and why?
SV: Kyalami, South Africa or Buenos Aires or the Nordschleife!
Q: You are having a dinner party and can invite four people from the world of motorsport, past or present. Who do you invite?
SV: Bernie (Ecclestone), Jochen Rindt, Fangio and Senna.
Q: You are given the chance to drive any legendary Formula One car of the past (excluding those made by your own team). Which car would you choose?
SV: I think the McLaren from 1990. The MP4-5.
Q: Rooftop swimming pool, bowling alley, revolving sushi bar - just some of the features most F1 motorhomes dont possess. If you could add one thing to your teams motorhome, what would it be?
SV: A good gym with a sauna. My Finnish trainer would be very happy then. And you wouldnt struggle to find all the other Finnish guys in the paddock. Just go to where the sauna is!
Q: You have just won the world title. Where do you go for your celebratory meal and what do you choose from the menu?
SV: Wienerschnitzel with Pommes (breaded veal escalope with sliced potatoes).
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