BMW Sauber test and third driver Sebastian Vettel talks about his early years Q: When did you first start thinking about racing? Sebastian Vettel: When I was three and a half years old and I was driving in our back yard. When I was five I...
BMW Sauber test and third driver Sebastian Vettel talks about his early years
Q: When did you first start thinking about racing?
Sebastian Vettel: When I was three and a half years old and I was driving in our back yard. When I was five I was able to drive on a proper karting track. In March 1995 I was able to enter the mini class as, according to the rules, you were allowed to participate in this series in the year you turned eight.
Q: Have other members of your family raced?
SV: My sister Stephanie, who is four years older than me, was also karting back in 1993 and '94, while the other sister was more interested in horses. Then Stephanie stopped because I was driving so much and I always wanted to drive and didn't want her to drive! But she still likes racing and comes to watch me when I race in Europe. Obviously my father is also very keen and spent a lot of years driving me to my races.
Q: When did you first start thinking about a fitness regime?
SV: That was when I was 12 and moved from the mini to the junior class in karting. Physically it was a big step as these karts had much more power and better tyres, and it meant I started to think about fitness for myself. I started by running about 15 minutes a day, but it is different now. Fitness was part of the programme when I was in the Formula BMW ADAC Championship, and when I joined Red Bull I was offered a good programme. I know how important it is to be fit.
Q: What did your schoolfriends think about you being a racing driver, and have they changed their attitude to you now you're in F1?
SV: When I was racing in Formula BMW they didn't know much about it. Thanks to Michael Schumacher, Formula One is well known in Germany of course, so they know exactly what is happening and ask me how things are going. But they don't treat me differently. I didn't talk much about my racing when I was at school. If I was asked, I would tell them what I was doing, but preferred to keep quiet about it and never volunteered the information.
Q: Did your move to Formula One in 2006 cost you the Formula 3 Euro Series title?
SV: Absolutely not. I just made some mistakes and that was it. I was pushing hard to catch up with Paul di Resta, and when you're driving at 120 per cent such things happen. For me the mistake I made in Le Mans was crucial as I didn't want to go to Hockenheim a long way behind in the points.
Q: You are only 19 and you are in Formula One, so has your dream come true and did you ever have a plan of what your ideal career would be?
SV: Yes, I always had this dream since my childhood. However, I never had any idea how it would all turn out or if it really could happen. I still have a long way to go to realise this dream, and that is my goal now.
-credit: bmw sauber