Vettel: "World Series gives me the pace to race"
Sebastian Vettel was one of the wonder boys when he was asked by Carlin Motorsport to replace his Red Bull mate, Colin Fleming. He won the two first races in a row! Sebastian Vettel has now come back to the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 to stay. The newly announced driver at Carlin Motorsport will combine the thrill of racing in the World Series championship with acquiring Formula One test experience as the third driver in the BMW Sauber F1 Team.
What's the point of a World Series Formula Renault 3.5 comeback?
"For me is very important to compete, to be on the track with the others, to qualify and to be able to race. This is why in 2007, it is very important to take part in some races. I'm very happy to be able to combine my activities as a test driver in Formula One with racing in the World Series, a high level championship with a very competitive car".
People say that racing in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 and being in Formula One at the same time may be an advantage for the title -
"I don't think it is an advantage to do both programs at the same time, but the decision has been made and I will make the best out of it. For me it's not a big problem, I pushed for this decision because I wanted to race, so that's the reason why I will drive in the World Series. If I had thought that it was impossible to do both, I wouldn't have done it".
Do you think that success in this championship may open the door for you to a confirmed F1 seat in 2008?
"The title is important for my future progress. Of course, my target now is to win the championship, although I don't know how many races will clash with my Formula 1 commitments. Last year, my experience in Formula One helped me to get a feel for the car, and hopefully I will have the opportunity to improve a lot this year".
How do you feel about competing with the Carlin Motorsport Team?
"Good. I'm having a lot of fun with them. They are very nice guys and also quite professional. Everybody in the team is very motivated for this season and that's the main thing. Of course you need to be quick and have a fast car, but is very helpful if everybody is happy and in a good mood. So I'm really looking forward for next year. So far, the tests in Vallelunga and Valencia have been really successful".
What similarities have you found between the Formula Renault 3.5 and F1 single-seaters?
"The Formula 1 car is in a different world. You might think it is very quick and very good, but in reality it's just a hundred times more than this. That's why it's difficult to compare a F1 with anything else, but I think the Formula Renault 3.5 is good preparation for any driver. With it you have a lot of high speed and downforce, and the work you do with the car is similar with what you do with the Formula 1 car".
Apart from racing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
"I do the normal stuff. I like to do things that happen very spontaneously and I also like to do a lot of sport. I like to hang out with my friends and play football and sometimes I like to go out at night. Basically, I like to enjoy life!"
Now that Michael Schumacher has retired, what do you think about being considered as one of the biggest "German hopes" in motorsport?
"I think the press is in the position of saying "Okay, Vettel, now you have to replace Michael" but in my opinion that is completely ridiculous. What Michael has done for the sport is just amazing. In Germany, Michael Schumacher stands for F1. So, to compare anybody with him is nonsense. As far as I'm concerned, I don't feel pressure to fulfil anyone's hopes. I'll just concentrate on my stuff and enjoy it."