Formula 1
27 Jun
-
30 Jun
Event finished
11 Jul
-
14 Jul
Event finished
25 Jul
-
28 Jul
Event finished
01 Aug
-
04 Aug
Event finished
29 Aug
-
01 Sep
FP1 in
8 days
05 Sep
-
08 Sep
FP1 in
15 days
R
Singapore GP
19 Sep
-
22 Sep
FP1 in
29 days
26 Sep
-
29 Sep
FP1 in
36 days
10 Oct
-
13 Oct
FP1 in
50 days
24 Oct
-
27 Oct
FP1 in
65 days
R
United States GP
31 Oct
-
03 Nov
FP1 in
72 days
R
Brazilian GP
14 Nov
-
17 Nov
FP1 in
86 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
28 Nov
-
01 Dec
FP1 in
99 days
Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Sebastian Vettel a study in "living the dream" on first days at Ferrari

shares
comments
Sebastian Vettel a study in "living the dream" on first days at Ferrari
Dec 2, 2014, 11:50 AM

When an F1 driver gets a special helmet made with the message "My first day at Ferrari" printed in Italian on the side, for his first outing as a F...

When an F1 driver gets a special helmet made with the message "My first day at Ferrari" printed in Italian on the side, for his first outing as a Ferrari driver, you know that we are in the realms of boyhood dream fulfilment.

Sebastian Vettel, a four time world champion who lost some of his motivation and feel for F1 this season after four years of dominance, has been very considered about the way he has transitioned into his new life as the star driver of F1's most iconic and charismatic team - Ferrari. This is a rebirth, a re-igniting of his passion for the sport of which he is already listed as an all-time great as far as numbers go, but now clearly feels he needs to grow out to fill and justify that persona, to shape a legend. A stint at Ferrari is the answer, even if it might not bring a fabled world title in the near future.

There are so many reasons to worry for Vettel in this move; the technical shortcomings on hybrid, the politics, the uncertainty and instability of the last seven months being the top line, but he's been clever here to cast all that aside and just talk up the fact that he's "living the dream".

Sebastian Vettel

F1 is above all about passion and he has correctly identified the need to reconnect the sport with the passion that brought him as well as millions of fans around the world to the sport in the first place. The politics and the negativity which have swirled around this 2014 season are secondary.

The boy who clung to the fence at Maranello in the early 2000s hoping to see Michael Schumacher testing at Fiorano, has become the man who drove the scarlet car for the first time on the same track and as Christmas approaches, the whole thing feels like a John Lewis advert (* for non UK readers a sentimental advert about love and Christmas)

"There are a lot of fairytales about Ferrari and how it feels to drive a red car," said Vettel, "In the end I can only confirm these fairytales.

"It's not just a story; it's a true legend that exists. And it feels really, really special to become part of that and to be inside the car, to see the people coming, running to the track and trying to climb the walls to see the car."

The emphasis here is clearly on playing up the romance of the situation. Vettel often describes himself as "old fashioned" in many of his attitudes to racing; he likes the scream of the old V10s and V8 engines, rather than the efficient whirr of the hybrid turbos and he's been very careful to emphasise the heritage and the passion which underlines this team. Ferrari needed a morale boost right now and Vettel has done his best to talk up how special the team is. The attention to detail on the helmet has not gone unnoticed.

Sebastian Vettel

He is also learning Italian, knowing that his chances of touching the tifosi will be greatly enhanced by being able to communicate with them via the Italian media in their own language. He is a skilled English speaker, able to explore nuances of meaning with words and if he can get anywhere close to that level in Italian he will have them in raptures.

That said, what the tifosi appreciate more than anything else is effort or "la sfida" - the great heroes of Ferrari history are not necessarily the drivers who did the most winning, like Schumacher and Niki Lauda, they are the ones who gave everything, showed effort and emotion and suffered for the cause like Gilles Villeneuve and Nigel Mansell. The tifosi admire Schumacher, but they loved Villeneuve Sr.

Vettel is one of few current drivers with a strong sense and knowledge of the history of the sport. He will get great pleasure from playing his part in the legend and writing a new chapter in the Ferrari history.

But the greatest gift he can give them is to restore pride after one of the most challenging years on and off the circuit in their recent history.

* Just to complete the transformation, Ferrari later Tweeted a team photo with Vettel at the heart of it - with a message in Spanish!

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 11.44.16

Meanwhile on Tuesday Vettel went from Maranello to Milton Keynes, to say goodbye to the Red Bull Racing team with whom he won his four world titles. Which will finish ahead in next season's world championship, I wonder?

Sebastian Vettel, Christian Horner

Are you a Ferrari fan? What does Vettel's arrival mean to you? How do you rank it with the arrival of other champions like Schumacher, Alonso, Prost etc in the past? Leave your comment below

Next article
Caterham F1 buyer and seller enter arbitration

Previous article

Caterham F1 buyer and seller enter arbitration

Next article

McLaren to consider Alonso's teammate on Thursday

McLaren to consider Alonso's teammate on Thursday
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel Shop Now
Teams Ferrari Shop Now