Sebastian Vettel: F1?s Valentino Rossi?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel is winning over fans with his charm - and speed
Sebastian Vettel is winning over fans with his charm - and speed

Valentino Rossi is the mega star of Moto GP ?ǣ his immense personality is only dwarfed by the scale of his talent.

Few F1 drivers generate many column inches on personality alone. But Sebastian Vettel, now in his second full season of F1, could be the man to buck that trend.

Already this year many have remarked that the absence of the ??usual suspects? from the post-race press conferences, and the arrival of drivers like Vettel, has instantly made them more watch-able.

Vettel didn?t need to bring much to the party to mark himself out as an improvement over what had gone before. Watching Kimi Raikkonen grinding out the same vacuous PR garbage for the cameras, starting every answer with the inevitable ??for sure?, was verging on painful.

Vettel, on the other hand, smiles, makes jokes, interacts with the others and generally ?ǣ get this – looks happy to be an F1 driver. What a thought.

As Wesley put it on Monday:

I am joining the ranks of Red Bull fans myself,they are fun, friendly and Vettel is the kind of guy you love to root for?? seems a far cry from the stuffy people at some of the other teams.

In many ways, Vettel increasingly reminds me of Valentino Rossi. He re-named his latest RB5 ??Kate?s dirty little sister? ?ǣ having smashed up Kate Mk. 1 in Melbourne. It?s not a million miles away from Rossi?s cheeky ??Viva la figa?? (??long live pussy??) inscription on his racing leathers. Vettel?s various crash helmet re-designs is reminiscent of Rossi too.

But the FIA would never let Vettel go unpunished for the kinds of post-race antics Rossi is celebrated for. Last year he celebrated his eighth Moto GP championship by slowing down post-race to have his world championship ‘paperwork’ stamped by a friend pretending to be a lawyer. He donned a T-shirt with the legend “sorry for the delay” plastered across it – it had been all of three years since he last won the championship, after all…

F1 drivers, in comparison, are directed by the rules to return to the pits as quickly as possible and must not hesitate for anything as frivolous as a celebratory doughnut. And where Rossi has been able to foster a following around his iconic number 46 (as NASCAR racers also do), F1 drivers are forced to chop and change their numbers each year.

Rossi?s personality isn?t the only reason he?s so popular of course: the other is the fact that he wins all the time. Vettel hasn?t got there yet but the signs are very promising. After all this is the man who won 18 out of 20 races in German Formula BMW in 2004. He knows how to dominate.

Moto GP may not have as many fans as F1, but so powerful is the cult of Rossi that he has more fans on Facebook – 1,332,072 at the time of writing – than any of the Formula 1 drivers.

I suspect more drivers would reveal their real personalities if they weren’t so tightly bound by obligations to their teams and sponsors – and the onerous FIA rules.

Could Vettel replicate Rossi’s gigantic following in F1? Might the overbearing FIA rules prevent him? Or will he find less room for the playful side of his character as greater success beckons? Share your thoughts below.

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81 comments on “Sebastian Vettel: F1?s Valentino Rossi?”

  1. Vettel does nothing for me really.

    He seems like a nice enough kid, but he seems way to shy and “normal” to be a “superstar”. Maybe later.

    Actually Vettel reminds me of Hamilton when he came into F1. Cheerful, open and friendly. Unfortunately F1 and McLaren quickly broke him down into another PR machine.

    1. agree with you about Hamilton, it is a real shame to see him now compared to 2 years ago, for such a talent to be so submissive now is a worry, not only for Mclaren but F1 too

  2. I really rate Vettel, he is personable, and doesnt hide behind a facade like other drivers, Oz was one time where this rings true, how he wen to talk to Mario Theisson after his incident with Kubica is only testiment that F1 drivers are people that make mistakes, and he is a freshing breath of fresh air in the paddock. Although I want JB to win the championship, i wish Vettel all the luck in the world for this season and for seasons to come!

  3. I think Wesley put it very well, the whole Red Bull philosphy in F1 is to have fun while competing, as in other sports. And surely that is why the drivers are there?
    Maybe the time has come with a new generation of drivers to see their true personalities and the end of the corporate garbage. With smaller independent teams, and no huge sponsors, things can only improve…..

    1. I think Wesley put it very well, the whole Red Bull philosphy in F1 is to have fun while competing, as in other sports. And surely that is why the drivers are there?

      They also sponsor, support, nurture and have faith in a lot of young talent.

    2. Yeah, I think the team environment matters, Vettel would have appeared as a corporate drone if he stayed at BMW or was in McLaren. Ferrari, while giving a bit more leeway to their drivers, still require them to toe the company line when needed…

  4. Seems to me F1 superstardom can be a little fickle at best (e.g. too many are lauded as heroes for the occassional good drive), so I would say let the results and records mount up first before offering the usual superlatives. After all, look at Rossi’s record, it speaks for itself…

  5. CHAZ IS BACK!!!!
    Kimi has the best character!!! I like Vettel as well!!

    1. no he doesnt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. [Kimi] and two friends entered a powerboat race in the Finnish harbour city of Hanko while wearing gorilla suits. Again, he raced under the name “James Hunt”. They then won a prize for the best-dressed crew.

      In January 2005, at a London Mayfair strip club called “For Your Eyes Only”, Räikkönen allegedly stunned onlookers by cavorting with a lapdancer before launching into his own strip show

      What a guy.

    3. Kimi by far is the most interesting….seeing Button, Massa or Hamilton up there is a bore.

  6. kimi is the worst racer ever

  7. Here’s one for you Keith: In the NFL they give fines and in game penalties for overly celebrating a touchdown. They aren’t allowed to use props or have planned celebrations. For instance, it was snowing and a player made a “snow angel” as a celebration, and was fined.

    1. Seriously? i had no idea… what’s the fine when half the team huddles up and they throw a football like a grenade and then they all fall down? or is that just in the movies. not much NFL coverage in the Middle East I’m afraid.

    2. As a longtime NFL fan who has grown up watching the game, I must say that I agree with many of the anti-celebration rules the league has in place. While a racing driver doing some dough nuts comes at the end of a race, celebrating a touchdown almost always comes during a game, and in-game stunts are just classless, especially when done to taunt opposing players and fans.

      If you follow the NFL as I do, you’ll see there are PLENTY of entertaining and fun personalities at work in each of the 32 teams. Some have it as more of a part of their culture than others, but perhaps it should be noted that the teams with the least amount of screwballs- Giants, Patriots, Steelers, to name a few- are often the most successful.

      Ronman- I don’t ever remember seeing that happen in an NFL game, but if multiple players were involved, they would each get a decent fine.

  8. I think Vettel is definetly a rising star, and his attitude towards his involvment in F1 is fresh, so far. although a member of the RedBull academy his fresh outlook will remain part of his demeanor, unless he joins another team later on like Ferrari. he will ahve to learn to present a nice concise speaking language, and of course add For Sure to his rhetoric….

  9. robert Holt
    6th May 2009, 13:27

    Vettel = Rossi

    ummm, no.
    seems like a nice enough kid, but as someone who watches bike racing aswell as F1 I believe there to be no comparison in terms of personality, Racing abilities or comedy. having ‘Kates dirty little sister’ written on one of your cars pales into significance next to writing ‘long live pussy’ on your overalls!

    1. The article didnt say Vettel = Rossi, it was comparing similarities. It also didnt suggest at all that Vettel’s racing abilities were a match to Rossi. It was merely stating that, of the current crop of F1 drivers, Vettel is possibly the most similar when it comes to being a breath of fresh air so to speak, a little less serious off track, and quite a likeable chap. F1 doesnt allow Rossi style antics, so noone will ever come close to him in that respect in F1 – but for standing out as being a little different and fun, Vettel I think does, of those in F1, resemble Rossi slightly.

  10. For me, it’s the constant moaning by, for example, Kubica and Bourdais that frustrates me. For god’s sake, your living your dream racing an F1 car – I would kill for this… cheer up!

    Alonso is probably the most charasmatic out of the current drivers I think – still likes to speak out now and again.

    Get Ant Davidson back on the grid!

    1. hitchcockm00, Lewis is brilliant with his fans! I’ve met him a couple of times at events so I know. Meeting his fans is something that gives him so much pleasure and he usually has to be dragged away by his “minders” for spending more than the allotted time with them. I wouldn’t be open with the media if I were him either, as they print a load of garbage, lies and whip up hatred against him in the process, particularly the British media. Why should he be open with them?

    2. i would give you one of those thumb up ‘thingys’ they have in youtube i they were available.

      Keith you should put these in place!

  11. I don’t like Vettel at all. Lewis is still cheerful around his garage and the paddock when the media aren’t beating him up with a proverbial stick. Lewis has way more substance than Vettel. But we all have our own opinions.

    1. So far Vettel has 20,000 fans and Lewis has 376,000 but that may change, you never know.

    2. hitchcockm00
      6th May 2009, 14:11

      Lewis has way more substance than Vettel

      How does he have more substance than Vettel?
      Smiling with your mechanics every now and then isn’t really the same as being open and friendly with the media and therefore your fans (who will mostly see you in the media, not in your garage).

    3. I posted this in the wrong place:

      hitchcockm00, Lewis is brilliant with his fans! I’ve met him a couple of times at events so I know. Meeting his fans is something that gives him so much pleasure and he usually has to be dragged away by his “minders” for spending more than the allotted time with them. I wouldn’t be open with the media if I were him either, as they print a load of garbage, lies and whip up hatred against him in the process, particularly the British media. Why should he be open with them?

    4. hitchcockm00
      6th May 2009, 14:52

      He may well be brilliant in person, but Vettel is brilliant on camera as well, which is what makes people like him more than they like Hamilton.

      He should be more open with the media because if he wasn’t constantly towing the party line and making sure never to say the wrong thing then they would be kinder to him if he did make a mistake.
      As it is, because he’s so focussed on saying the right thing it’s always magnified when he says or does the wrong thing.

    5. hitchcockm00, in YOUR opinion, in YOUR opinion. There are hundreds of thousands of Hamilton fans out there who would beg to differ! I think Lewis looks wonderful on camera. Have a look at the 15 year old whizz kid. He hasn’t changed a bit, so you don’t know what you are talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngRq-vt-_6U

      He would be more open with the media if they didn’t print a bunch of lies about him. He used to have great interviews with Steve Rider on ITV – oh, how I miss those days.

    6. Hitchcockm00 you make a good point about being open with the media. The more open you are, it does seem the more forgiving they are on you. I think this does affect Lewis – not necessarily his fault, Mclaren drivers are notorious for being restrained (I am still sure this is why Kovalainen wasnt in attendance at the ROC last year when he has been for the last several years!)in what they say and do, but Lewis seems to do this to the letter, which doesnt always make him look so good with the fans. Vettel on the other hand seems at ease almost all the time in front of the media, even if he does say some odd things sometimes – you accept it as being just the way he is. Because Hamilton doesnt seem to act so natural in front of the media, anything odd he says gets blown out of context.

      The easiest way I can describe it is if you are with a group of people, some you know and some you dont, a mate can say something a bit forward/personal to you and you wont find it offensive, but a stranger could say the same and you would feel uncomfortable?? When you are used to something you accept it, when you arent it seems odd. Thats how I see the difference between someone like Vettel/Rossi and Hamilton with the media. If that makes sense?? Pedrosa in MotoGP is a little more restrained like Hamilton – although he seems much more friendly and happy with the media this year!

      I know Hamilton spends time with the fans, I have seen him spend plenty of time on more than one occasion at Autograph signings and stuff, which is really nice to see, but there is still something which feels a little restrained with him.

    7. in YOUR opinion, in YOUR opinion.

      lmao

      He used to have great interviews with Steve Rider on ITV – oh, how I miss those days.

      rofl ahhhh jeez this is just too much… well those days are over now I hope you like pink shirts if not too bad!

    8. hitchcockm00
      6th May 2009, 16:22

      S Hughes, yes obviously it’s my opinion, I never said it was anything else.

      He’s not a 15 year old whizz kid any more and he no longer comes across well in interviews most of the time.
      I’m not attacking him or necessarily criticising him. I’m just saying that he (or perhaps the team) has made the choice to be closed and guarded with the media and the result is that they become un-cooperative and print rubbish.

  12. Hmmm, I had never thought about any comparisons between these two before, but I think I can see where you are coming from.

    Rossi’s following is really quite unique – I am a supermassive Dani Pedrosa fan, and have been for years – but I cant help but like Rossi also. Rossi taking a win in front of Pedrosa (such as the Spanish race at the weekend) never feels like a bad result, yet if it were anyone else, I would be that little bit disappointed. Rossi winning all the titles that he has doesnt seem to make people resent a domination like it did with Michael Schumacher. And I beleive that his ‘can get away with almost anything’ status is almost completely down to his personality. His post race stunts are ace, which is one of the reasons I am glad he never came to F1 – he would never got away with anything like that in F1, and it wouldnt be the same. He is very likeable, despite having numerous fierce rivalries with other riders, and you cant help but smile when he does well, even if he isnt your ultimate favourite, and Vettel I think is a little bit like that.

    Red Bull is one of my least favourite teams on the grid (odd given that I think their fun philosophy is a great asset to F1, and i dont have any problem with Toro Rosso – it goes back to Klien not getting a drive, and me not being a particular fan of Webber etc…)yet I really enjoyed Vettel winning in China, it made me smile, just because it was him, and even though he beat my favourites, I still thought it was a good result – just like I do with Rossi in the MotoGP. Theres just something about him. Vettel isnt quite as extroverted as Rossi, but he has the same sort of appeal. He’s fun, he makes jokes, hes a cheeky chappy and people can relate to him more, yet none of it makes him a slacker on the track.

    As for the press conferences this year, havent they been great! Button and Vettel in a press conference together are a brilliant combination – throw in Barrichello also and you have a great trio!! And given that at least one of them has been in almost every press conference so far its made for really quite fun watching. I think part of it is also that the people featuring in the press conference are really happy being there. It hasnt been the norm for them necessarily, so they are very much enjoying being there which I think really shows. Long may the fun press conferences continue! :D

    My goodness to I waffle a lot – I do apologise for the length of that!

  13. John Spencer
    6th May 2009, 14:02

    I don’t know anything about bikes or about Rossi, but Vettel seems a world away in terms of personality apart from them both being generally cheerful. It will be interesting to see how life in F1 changes him.

    At the moment he can do no wrong, which is to say when he does do wrong, nobody makes a big issue of it. I wonder what the reaction would have been if Raikkonen or Alonso or Hamilton had got their braking wrong in Melbourne and rearranged Kubica’s bodywork.

    I’ve got nothing against the guy, and he does genuinely seem quick. But it’s difficult to say how quick. He had the measure of Bourdais last year, but perhaps Bourdais isn’t as good as his US reputation would suggest – the rookie Buemi is comfortably faster than him as well. Is Buemi another Vettel, or is Bourdais just a bit slow?

    Vettel also seems to be a touch quicker than Mark Webber, but how quick is Webber? He was quicker than DC and scored more points in 2008, but fewer points in 2007. And at Williams he didn’t dominate Heidfeld in the way Kubica did last year at BMW (I think).

    If there is any charisma lurking in Vettel (and who else on the grid can quote Monty Python?), I’m sure the combination of FIA regulations and sponsorship pressure will kill it dead as a Norwegian Blue.

  14. on ya ‘cool balls’.

    Don’t completely write Kimi off. He has some class, didn’t he enter in a snowmobile race days before Melbourne one year – under the name James Hunt?

    1. Ah yes I’d forgotten about the ‘cools balls’ thing. Another good example.

  15. Vettel seems a nice enough guy but time will tell i guess.
    On the flip side i remember a young Grman called Schumacher who sauntered around the pits like he owned them.

  16. Pseudohendrix
    6th May 2009, 14:31

    The Kimi jibes aren’t really fair. He is massively boring in press conferences but that’s more down to his delivery. He’s one of the few drivers who actually states his own opinions when asked and he is no-where near the worst for gratuitous PR bumf. Plus his catch phrase isn’t ‘for sure’, that’s Massa. Kimi is far more likely to insert a ‘see what we can do’ at some point.

    1. I agree, Kimi might not sound the most animated when being interviewed, but he really is quite funny sometimes, I am usually entertained by his interviews. Not as much as Button and Vettel, and maybe Barrichello entertain me, but not far behind. He is often brutally honest in them, more so than anyone sometimes, and you are right he isnt the worst for dropping sponsor pr stuff in at all. And yes Massa is the worst at the ‘for sure’s there is a championship being run on another website somewhere to see who says the most ‘for sure’s per press conference over the whole year. Massa is leading it so far, with an average of four per press conference i beleive. It amused me greatly! :D

  17. I do rate Vettel as well. He’s quick, he smiles, is laid back and approachable. But the amazing thing is, he’s a likable German driver for a change…

  18. Kimi is the best racer i have ever admired in my life……..wooww his cool racing moves are awesome………..i still remember……..as the article says the drivers have to park their car as soon as posible….i still remember spa 2007, when kimi did a lovely doughnut in front of his fan…not caring of any rules…..he’s awesome
    KIMI-VETTEL FOREVER !

  19. Vettel does come across as a little bit of a cheeky so and so, but he obviously has bags of talent and determination. His performance in China reminded me of another German driver thirteen years ago, at Barcelona, again in the pouring rain.
    As for the drivers lacking personality, you have the FIA to blame for that. Who can forget, years ago, Eddie Irvine splashing Mika Hakkinen with juice during a press conferance. Hakkinen, with Michael Schumacher still laughing next to him, chased the Irishman off camera, returning a few seconds later with the juice jug emptied.
    Antics such as these now seem alien on the current F1 grid. There are no stories of breifcases being flung from helicopters, no pictures of drivers smoking cigarettes on the grid James Hunt style, no personality!
    On seeing, back in 2007, Kimi Raikkonen celebrate his Spa victory with a Ferrari powered doughnut gave me hope that this could change. Afterall, we saw nor heard no complaint from the FIA or race officials. Some have argued since that, because it was Ferrari, there were no repercussions.
    The overall view, in my opinion, is that the FIA have for years desired in keeping the fans ‘hungry’ for F1 in limiting the opportunities in seeing the drivers to just the races themselves. When a champion is crowned, you read about the Monaco ceremony in the papers or on sites like Keith’s, you don’t see the driver collect the trophy at the season finale. This is, and always has, been a big annoyance for me.
    For all the fans who root, for seven long months to see their man crowned champion, you are left feeling
    robbed by the opportunity of missing the ‘moment’ Alonso, Raikkonen or whoever collects the trophy.
    If the FIA are truly serious about increasing the spectacle of the ‘SHOW’, then the drivers should be allowed to express their emotions properly and rewarded properly. The trophy should be in Brazil or Abu Dhabi or wherever the season finishes, so the fans can celebrate when their driver makes history. Instead, we focus on making front wings bigger and revs smaller, and it is not enough.

  20. I met Vettel at an autograph signing at Sepang. He was joined by Webber, Button, and Barrichello. Surprisingly enough, it was Button that was the friendliest of the 4, with Barrichello a close 2nd. Vettel and Webber had an ‘I’d-rather-be-somewhere-else’ look on their faces, and it did turn me off a bit, the way they looked.

    That said, I do like Vettel a lot. But I don’t think he’s similar enough to Rossi for them to be compared to each other.

  21. I don’t know enough about Rossi to compare Vettel to him but,I do know F1 is ready for a fresh breath of air from all the politics and the same teams running at the front.Red Bull and Vettel are helping to change all of that,they are great for this sport.

  22. graham228221
    6th May 2009, 16:12

    Isn’t it Felipe “for sure” Massa? I don’t think I’ve heard Kimi say that before….

    Vettel seems nice enough, you just feel that the more press conferences a driver has to do the more jaded they seem.

  23. In terms of personality:
    Vettel is too much of a kid for me, he lacks charisma and manliness.
    I mostly like the Hakinnen type of drivers: cold and introvert, yet likely to make cunning and funny comments – Kubica is one nowadays. And also the “tough guy”, take-no-prisoners drivers, like Senna or now Alonso.

    In terms of speed:
    It’s all about who has the double-difuser, better aerodynamical package and stuff nowadays.
    I really can’t make any honest judgement as to how fast Vettel really is. He never impressed me that much, really.

    1. Kubica isn’t like Hakinnen at all – when has he ever said anything amusing?

      He is the modern day F1 driver – quick and consistant, almost special even, but with the personailty of a brick.

      I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but off the track he doesn’t make F1 any more appealing.

  24. I guess I’m another who’s gonna speak up for Raikkonen. I like Kimi’s English interviews, his wit is often quite dry and he’s nearly always to the point, he’s not afraid to say what he thinks and generally gives the impression he’d rather be doing something more interesting than talking to journalists who usually repeat the same mundane questions.

    Also not having the ability to speak Finnish I’ve never been able to grasp his character in his native language and I think it’s pretty unfair to put him down when you’ve only heard him in his second language.

    Is Vettel like Rossi? I can see where you’re coming from but Vettel will always draw more comparisons from the UK media with Michael Schumacher simply because he is talented and German despite being nothing like him.

  25. Sush Meerkat
    6th May 2009, 16:14

    starting every answer with the inevitable ‘for sure’,

    god yes, you deserve an award for services to making me laugh sometime Keith, while you pepper your articles with sly digs and humourus truism’ like the above make you truely stand out from any other F1 blog, that and you actually make original articles.

    Sorry off topic, you really do deserve praise week in week out Keith as well as increased traffic.

    Anyway i’ll carry on reading the rest of the article now, hopefully one day i’ll make a valid comment as opposed to a rubbish joke (they are terrible).

    1. Thanks Sush! :-)

  26. Sush Meerkat
    6th May 2009, 16:22

    Last year he celebrated his eighth Moto GP championship by slowing down post-race to have his world championship ‘paperwork’ stamped by a friend pretending to be a lawyer

    he jumped into a portable loo inside the race track after last race, while Rossi fans held onto his bike, coming back he hugged them all, will we ever see that in F1? no

    Also the MotoGp 250cc second place (sorry silver medalist) Bastista a spanish resident jumped out of Parc Ferme and onto the pit wall to greet his spanish fans.

    Come on F1, give something back to the fans, be a funny Webber for us, be an embaressed Vettel, hold back the tears like Massa and spill your guts like SeaBass, we like that…. have a personality more often!, have fun and people will like you more for it F1 ? ok?, we have a deal?

  27. starting every answer with the inevitable ‘for sure’,

    “For Sure” is widely used up and down the paddock, it’s a phrase that translates well into English from different languages or from the point of view of someone learning English as a second language and therefore many who speak English as a second language, not only in F1, use it.

    1. for sure

      $ : )

    2. Certainly ;)

  28. The way Formula 1 is at the moment it doesn’t allow a Rossi type character. They even try to stop the winning drivers to get close to their team and celebrate after they get out of the car by having a second set of barriers, they have to get weighed straight away and then go to the podium.

    Vettel has shown more personality than most of the other drivers, but that isn’t hard is it. It will be interesting to see if he changes once he becomes one of the big name drivers, consistently in the media spotlight and all the pressure that will bring.

    Hasn’t Martin Brundle said that away from the press Raikkonen can be really talkative?

    1. I tried to search for it on Google to check but somehow I got distracted.

  29. Vettel, is OK, but seems a bit childish sometimes. Some how he just has not got “it” maybe that will come when he’s a bit older. I think the person with the “it” factor at the moment is Lewis Hamilton. Shame the press seem to bring him down all the time. Best thing for him to do is to give them the cold shoulder. He does not need them to win.

  30. Watching Kimi Raikkonen grinding out the same vacuous PR garbage for the cameras, starting every answer with the inevitable ‘for sure’, was verging on painful.

    Hmmm, I thought we were all in favor of real racing without caring too much about the rest of the stuff (you know, like refueling). Now we care about what the drivers say to the press?

    1. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

    2. Indeed.

      Senna for example – his intensity in interviews mirrored the kind of character he was on the race track.

      The same for Vettel perhaps – when he went to apologise to Mario in Melbourne, as Brundle said on the BBC, this was a nice gesture but maybe revealed a bit too much to his fellow drivers about his character.

      The cars & rules are fascinating, but it’s the organic bit behind the wheel that interests me the most.

    3. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

      Neither are refueling and real on-track racing, but that’s how you presented that issue. There was an implicit false dichotomy in that post: as though refueling was the biggest cause of the lack of real racing. That’s why I thought you were against _all_ the stuff outside the tracks – including press statements.

  31. Man, no effort is too little to cast a shadow on Hamilton, not even a GERMAN guy that is already being announced as Schumacher successor. I think that is bad for him… as far as image goes Schumacher cheated, lied… and never got punisher like other driver with all know…

    Let the kid be and we’ll see what he will do. For now it’s just another great rookie that let us forget Nelsinhos and others passing throw drivers that just don’t have what’s needed to be in Formula One (if there will be such a thing next year…)

    But, please let us not forget the stars of the show – if Formula One is a Circus, then there must be main attractions – for better and for worst (being the better on track and the worst some of the things happening outside the track) there is that old chap 2008 FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPION – Lewis Hamilton, runner-up ‘sad’ Felipe Massa (this one will never be a number one, just a good numbertwo), ‘cool and lazy fast boy’ Kimi Raikkonen, ‘Mr. Big Shot I’m too important to even look at you’ Fernando Alonso…, ‘Mr. Big Nose and not so good without a great car’ Robert Kubica…, ‘Mr. Cool Nice Guy’ Jenson Button and ‘old papa’ Rubens Barrichello 

    Let the kid grow, hopeful away from Schumacher ways and we’ll include in also on the ‘Carte’

    Now, let’s get out buts on the Barcelona and hope for a great race!

  32. One thing I am certain about is that I feel much happy/refreshing seeing Vettel on the Post Race conference and on the Podium more than anybody else. Many times I felt that even though Raikkonen is a great driver, he kind of becomes boring on podium and conference. I do miss the Schumey’s leap on the pedestal or orchestrating the Italian anthem or the hot argument that Massa and Alonso had on the FIA weighing machine at nurburgring 2007. Frankly vettel is an overall successful entertainment package. From aggressive racing to naming cars to freaking cries after winning like monza 08 to joking with button on post conference to speaking to Mario after the incident. It inspires me more to watch the race and the events before and after that. He gives F1 better coverage and creates more fans base and a person to support. And more than anything he makes the sponsors happy because their brands gets more media coverage.

  33. From what I have seen of Vettel, he has a good personality and is fun to listen to, but so are some of the other drivers on a semi-frequent basis. Hopefully he keeps the good nature up and remains friendly when whatever successes he has come his way, as sometimes drivers change when they get to a certain level of performance.

    As for Rossi, can anyone tell me where he got the nickname “The Doctor”- I’ve never gotten a proper explanation for it.

    1. I don’t know, but maybe its because he makes you feel better?

      My fave Rossi stunt was the helmet he wore with a picture of his screaming face on the top, so all you could see as he bent over the handlebars was this scream. It was hilarious !

      Vettel has got a great personality – maybe not on the scale of Rossi, but then F1 is a different environment to MotoGP. I don’t think F1 is as conducive to antics like Rossi’s, although I think it would be better for it if F1 took a leaf out of MotoGP’s book.

      I have been fortunate enough to meet all of the current F1 drivers, most of them more than once and I must say that when you get them in a relaxed setting – without press and PR – most of them are actually really personable guys who like to have a joke & interact with their fans. There are a few exceptions, but on the whole they are generally guys who I’d like to have a beer with.

      Sure sometimes they might seem grumpy or whatever, but I think its worth remembering that it must be hard to cope with everyone wanting a peice of you all the time, and treating you like a commodity.

  34. StrFerrari4Ever
    6th May 2009, 21:24

    Well i got to see Seb @ The Race Of Champions and i gotta say he was very friendly he said he was positive about this season and that last year made him realise many things.It’s always good to have someone whose fan friendly and does what the fans want and that others deem outrageous whether he will be like Mr Rossi is yet to be seen but one thing is for sure The Doctor has the personality medicine.I mean who stops to use a toilet on the side of the track after a race classic :D

  35. Like the majority have said Vettel seems like a really nice guy and a talented driver but the comparisons to Shumacher and Rossi are very pre-mature. It is nice to see him on the grid and he is still very young so we have a long time to see what happens.

    As with the Kimi bashing I think he’s hilarious remeber when Brundle asked where he had been and he replied ‘I just went for a sh**’ or something along those lines- Brundles face was priceles! He gets up to alot of funny antics off the grid but on the grid he is ‘the iceman’ and I can understand how some people dislike him.

    As for Hamilton and Vettel… Hamilton has more fans on the mentioned facebook but Vettel doesnt have any hate groups as of yet! There are loads for Lewis including ‘I F****** Hate Lewis Hamilton’ and ‘100% anti- Lewis Hamilton’ which i am both a member :P
    Oh, and Rossi Rules!

    1. I hate hate

  36. ILoveVettel
    6th May 2009, 22:10

    Identity suffices :)

    To me also, the best driver in the grid is Alanso…
    But still I love this guy…

    1. ILoveVettel
      7th May 2009, 0:39

      Oh.. I forgot to mention Rossi… He is owsome.. Too good..

  37. If only *if only* F1 guys were like Rossi :) He is my ultimate Motorcycling hero. He is *the* showman, he is the guy you can relate to. If only F1 wasn’t so PR controlled and they realised that we want our heroes to say what they feel.

  38. I agree with Keith entirley, The are so many formality’s in F1 that the drivers are forced to go thru, exspecially celebrations, they can’t have a personality! Rossi is popular because MotoGP let’s him express his personality!
    Just last week he stopped his bike and ran into the bathroom for a minute! Hilarious! Can you imagine the backlash the FIA would have against something like that? There the Nazi FIA is what they are.

  39. Vettel hasnt got ‘WLF’ on his race suit, like Rossi does. (if you dont know what it stands for look it up)
    I do like Vettel though, he seems very genuine & not faking it for the camera. Remember Lewis shaking hands with everyone in the pit garage last year?

    1. Or read about what WLF means in the article that Keith wrote …

  40. Reminds me more of Michael Schumacher than Rossi.

    Wins in anything, and is just pure speed. Where he goes after Red Bull is what will make or break his career.

  41. I loved the interview with F1 Racing where he climbed Mount Fuji after the Grand Prix. I can’t see him breaking the usual F1 pattern of charm diminishing with success though. Alonso used to be all about card tricks and jokes, Villeneuve used to have different hair and a different pop singer girlfriend every race etc but give them a championship and they go all serious.

  42. Re “Doctor Rossi” A motorcycle fanatic friend explained that this refers to a Rossi stunt where he would come out of the garage with a stethoscope, and carefully check out the health of his bike. This sounds typical, but who knows?

  43. “The Doctor” (always in English) is a nickname Rossi gave himself when he moved up to the 500cc class (as it then was) in 2000. He said that he needed to be clinical and detailed in every part of his racing. Since then he has developed the persona further, by dressing as a doctor and checking over the bike in at least one post-race stunt.

    As for whether Vettel is like Rossi – only time will tell. Personally, I doubt it, and F1 rules seem unlikely to give him much opportunity to really demonstrate some of Rossi’s style! As others have said, let the results flow, and maybe the rest will follow. Rossi has had 14 years in the public eye to hone his personality.

  44. Rossi and him have a different flare, but Vettel is just awesome. Great guy and driver. He brings that racing spirit you wish to see from everyone.

  45. If you’re in the UK, check out this interview:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8040968.stm

    Hamilton is about to say the dreaded ‘for sure’ and then switches last minute to ‘for.. of course’

    Maybe he’s reading Keith?

  46. As an avid Vettel supporter for many years, I have to say I completely agree with this. He is so amiable as well as an amazing driver, his smiles brighten the pits as the other drivers saunter about. He will be world champion, not this year, maybe next year. He is the new Schumacker. But with a nicer personality.
    I love you Sebastian Vettel

  47. Kimi=Rossi

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