Vettel: “You don’t want any gifts”

2013 F1 season

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013Sebastian Vettel says the thrill of winning would be diminished if he felt his success was being handed to him.

Speaking to NBC last weekend, Vettel said: “Of course a win is always exciting. But you don’t want to win, how can I say, the wrong way.”

Vettel, who scored a controversial win in Malaysia after overtaking his team mate when he’d been told not to, said: “You want to work for it and you want to make sure that you get the feeling you really achieved the win because you worked for it.”

“You don’t want any gifts, that’s for sure, because it just doesn’t feel the same,” Vettel added. “If anybody puts me a piece of paper here and says ‘sign here, you’ll win the race’ or ‘sign here, you’ll win the championship’ – ultimately in a way that’s the target, to win the championship. But where the excitement when you sign a piece of paper and you know the result before going into the race?”

“I think the thrill you wait for when the lights are on, when the lights go off, to start racing, the thrill once you’re in the race, to fight for position, make sure you’re consistent, you look after yourself, after the car, the tyres etc… and you fight and race hard until the end. And when you cross the line then and you win the race that’s the biggest satisfaction you can get.”

“So I think we’d lose a lot of the excitement and the thrill if you just write the story beforehand.”

“Sometimes it doesn’t help telling the truth”

Following the Malaysia fall-out Vettel said he accept it wasn’t always possible for him to get his point across clearly in the media:

“I think first of all you have to some degree limited input on how much you can change or influence your image. Because ultimately people have the right to make up their own minds. For sure with the situation with the media as it is they obviously have the power to make things come across the wrong way.

“But I think the most important is that deep down yourself you know the truth. Sometimes it doesn’t help telling the truth because people are maybe not ready for it or not really listening. I think controversy is always more popular than probably the truth. But I think these things they equal out.

“It’s a long process, it’s a long career probably people have in Formula One. It’s a long season as well so with all the stuff going on sometimes of course you feel why people don’t get what’s really going on. But then, as I said, the most important is really that you know for yourself. The one thing I really care about is that the team knows, the people I work with, the people I enjoy my time here together with, that they really know what’s going on.”

Vettel is one of the three drivers on the grid who does not use Twitter: “I’m not a fan of social media,” he admitted.

“Some people like it, some people don’t. I don’t judge anybody but it’s not made for me, I don’t see the need to tell everyone what I’m doing.”

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228 comments on Vettel: “You don’t want any gifts”

  1. uan (@uan) said on 26th April 2013, 19:52

    I think Webber is quite happy with gifted wins, after all Multi 21 was designed to gift him the win. It would also have been pretty artificial, which seems to be something Webber supposedly doesn’t like either.

    I wonder if Webber’s entire strategy after Vettel pitted a lap too early was to do whatever he needed to do (including using much more fuel) to get to that last pit stop in the lead knowing the team would shut down the racing.

    As we saw in Bahrain, Webber does struggle to pace himself throughout a race – he ruined his race by burning through his tires on his second stint.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th April 2013, 22:00

      That is exactly what Webber wanted.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 29th April 2013, 17:42

        Or…MW was driving according to the team’s requests all day, and therefore they had a hand to play in what condition MW’s car and tires were by the last stint hence the ‘sympathy’ toward him, or at least the desire not to punish him by having him turn down the car and get passed by SV. Hence the order for SV to hold station. The team may have thought it not fair on MW to have gotten into the position of leading the race after the final pits only to cut him down at the knees by letting SV pass him while he has to sit there dialled down. It’s early days and early in the season and they are still learning these tires. They may have decided MW shouldn’t pay detrimentally for how they ran his strategy that day, and given the history between the two drivers and the fact that they were likely going to finish one-two either way, didn’t see risking said one-two as being prudent to their sponsors.

  2. Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 26th April 2013, 20:02

    Go to Ferrari then, as Alonso’s team mate. Then you’ll have to work for it.

  3. OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 26th April 2013, 22:08

    If Webber had been aloud to pit on the lap he requested, then Vettel probably would’ve fallen behind Hamilton after the last stop. In hindsight knowing Mercedes were so mariginal on fuel Vettel still would’ve been able to finish 2nd, but truth is without Hamilton Vettel wouldn’t had been close enough to Webber to challenge him. Red Bull gave Vettel the earlier pit stop so he could remain 2nd, not so he could challenge Webber, that’s another reason (added to the pre-race agreement to maintain position if in 1-2) for them to tell Vettel to back off. Funny that Vettel is talking about gifts as he was gifted the earlier pit stop…

    • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 26th April 2013, 22:27

      @oel-f1 If Webber had dirven so slowly Hamilton would never have figured in the equation in the first place. That’s the whole point of the “get Mark out of the way” comment on the radio.

      Furthermore, protecting a 1-2 is hardly ‘gifting Vettel’, that’s was simply the team’s best interest.

  4. To give Keith has due, he keeps most of the worst crazies off his site. You go to some other F1 fan sites and they’re basically sewers. But I think it’s worth wondering why F1 fans are so much worse in many respects than the fans of other sports. For example, it’s hard to imagine a football forum where large numbers of people are unaware that Christiano Ronaldo used play at Man United under Alex Ferguson. But large numbers of F1 fans are unaware that Kimi Raikkosen used to drive Adrian Newey cars at McLaren for several years. What’s that about?

    This sport seems to attract some rather .. how can I put this delicately .. peculiar people to it.

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 26th April 2013, 23:02

      Planet F1 is pretty bad

    • @jonsan – I just think that’s the minority though: in general I find F1 fans to have much more bearable personalities than football fans (of course I’m not saying this applies to everyone though). I’ve seen nothing in the way of verbal or physical attacks due to F1 rivalries, but sadly they are all too common here in Scotland between Glasgow Rangers and Celtic…

      • puneeth Bharath (@puneethvb) said on 27th April 2013, 7:39

        @Vettel1

        Absolutely agree with you…
        I am a massive Liverpool fan and the insult I have had to face from United fans is unbelievable… But here most of the time the debates never becomes personal.. which is a very good thing in my opinion…

  5. I think there are a number of different factors which combine together to result in what is best called “vettel Derangement Syndrome”.

    1) Many of the “old guard” F1 fans are traditionalists who hate the sight of some drinks company coming in and dominating F1. If Red Bull money was funding success for Ferrari, McLaren, or Williams it would be a lot less objectionable to this faction. The fact that Red Bull’s success is being led by a brash young driver just rubs salt in the wound.

    2) At the opposite end of the spectrum there are a lot people who only took an interest in F1 around 2007 – 2008. It may be hard to remember now but at the end of 2008 the talk was all along the lines of “Is Hamilton as good as Senna -or is he better?” and “How long before Hamilton breaks Schumachers record of seven drivers titles?”. The fact that Vettel is having the career which it was believed would happen for Hamilton is causing a lot of people to get bent severely out of shape.

    3) For reasons which I’ve never really understood, many in F1 respect coming second in the WDC more than they do coming first. The theory seems to be that coming first shows a good car while coming second shows good driving in a not-so-good car. Vettel was never so respected as when he finished second in 2009. If he finishes runner-up this season and next, SV’s stock will rise more than if he wins. Strange, but true.

    4) Seb’s nationality. Visit any of the less moderated F1 fan sites and you’ll see bucket-loads of people who are quite up front about the act that they hate Vettel because he is German.

    • @jonsan – I actually see the last point as blatant racism: I couldn’t care less about nationalities (except if they are Scottish, but even then not a lot) which is why I happily support a German driver yet dislike all bar one of the Britsh drivers (the one being Paul Di Resta)!

      I should be flying the flag for Britain but honestly I don’t care! Which probably explains somewhat why I don’t get national hatred but I still think it’s wrong to judge someone purely on their national anthem…

    • Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 26th April 2013, 23:35

      @jonsan

      I think point 1 is quite true… I cannot say anything about point 2, because I’m German and I never really supported Hamilton. But I don’t really get point 3. Except for 2007/8 he always had superior cars. Sure, Button won 6 out of 7 Races in the beginning of 2009 but in the second half of the season the Red Bull was clearly quicker. Only reliability issues cost them the world championship that year. And Vettel is yet to show what he is able to deliver in an inferior car. The car wasn’t inferior in the first half of last year (it just didn’t suit his driving style at times which played into Webber’s hands) and it still isn’t this year. So if he finished runner-up this season, everybody would say: he had the best (or at least one of the best cars), he should’ve done that championship easily.

      I really would like to see what he is capable to do in a situation similar to Alonso’s last year. If he can manage to be as impressive, it would gain him an awful lot more respect in my mind. And we’re still about to see such a situation.

      • Except for 2007/8 he always had superior cars.

        You don’t have the foggiest idea if he had or not. There is no way of knowing for sure how “superior” or “inferior” any car is. If you define as a “superior” car any car which vettel does well in, which IS what you are doing, then by definition any car Vettel does well in is always a superior car. You’re just playing silly word games.

        The car wasn’t inferior in the first half of last year

        Yes, it was.

        if he finished runner-up this season, everybody would say: he had the best (or at least one of the best cars), he should’ve done that championship easily.

        Thank you for that textbook example of VDS.

        I really would like to see what he is capable to do in a situation similar to Alonso’s last year.

        But by your definition he can NEVER be in the “same situation” as Alonso last year. Even if the Ferrari wins the WDC and WCC this year and Seb finishes second in the WDC, you’re already admitted that you will still say “He should have won the championship easily”.

        • Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 27th April 2013, 21:50

          @jonsan

          No need to be that aggressive.

          You don’t have the foggiest idea if he had or not.

          Oh, but you do? So tell me then if he had or not. The only thing I know is that I’m following F1 closely for about 13 years now. You really want to deny that the Toro Rosso has never been a front-runner car or that Red Bull has a front-runner car for the 5th year in a row now? Sorry, those are simple facts.

          If you define as a “superior” car any car which vettel does well in, which IS what you are doing, then by definition any car Vettel does well in is always a superior car.

          You completely misread that. Concering 2009 I clearly wrote the Red Bull was on top in terms of car perfomance in the second half of the year. This has got nothing to do with Vettel doing well in a car or not. Webber also won 2 GPs that season.

          Concerning 2012 and your comment about the RB8 being inferior in the first half of the season, I want to ask you a few questions: Why was Vettel leading the championship over the course of two races, why was Red Bull the first team winning a second race (Webber did so too, and even on more race than Vettel) and why was Vettel so much quicker than anyone in Valencia until he retired? You still want to tell me the RB8 was inferior? Seriously? Sounds rather like a reversed version of your VDS.

          You know the thing is: Having a car capable of winning races is one thing, being able to use that is another. And I never ever doubted his abilities behind the wheel. Just because I’m saying he had quick cars doesn’t mean I think he’s overrated. He’s a triple world champion for a reason.

          Thank you for that textbook example of VDS.

          This isn’t a textbook example. Everyone in the paddock knows the Red Bull is at the front this year again and after having dominant wins in Malaysia and Bahrain nobody would say they’re not the quickest team at the moment. Surely, nobody can tell how this season is going to unfold, but it’s unlikely Red Bull will drop down the order this year. And looking at it now it’s hard to see how he’s going to lose this championship.

          But by your definition he can NEVER be in the “same situation” as Alonso last year.

          Oh really? And if the Red Bull next year is much slower than the Ferrari/McLaren and Vettel excells despite this? Ever regarded that?

          • Sounds rather like a reversed version of your VDS

            Sounds like you really don’t like your own style of thinking when it’s reflected back at you.

            Everyone in the paddock knows the Red Bull is at the front this year again and after having dominant wins in Malaysia and Bahrain nobody would say they’re not the quickest team at the moment.

            You’re entitled to your opinions, but you are not entitled to claim that “everyone” agrees with you and that “nobody disagrees with you. The Ferrari has been the best car over the first four races this season.

            if the Red Bull next year is much slower than the Ferrari/McLaren and Vettel excells despite this

            The Ferrari was not “much slower” than the Red Bull in 2012.

            looking at it now it’s hard to see how he’s going to lose this championship.

            The difference between us is that I’m indifferent to whether he does so or not, while you are deeply unhappy at the prospect.

          • Why was Vettel leading the championship over the course of two races ..and why was Vettel so much quicker than anyone in Valencia until he retired? You still want to tell me the RB8 was inferior?

            You’re free to argue that a car in which a driver leads the WDC and/or leads some races is by definition a “superior car”. But using that definition, Alonso’s 2012 Ferrari was a “superior car” for much of the season. After all, he led the championship for a dozen races, more than half the season.

            I don’t care what standard you use to judge drivers by. I do care that you use the same standard for all of them though, and you’re not doing that. You consistently do exactly what I suggested you do – you regard any car in which Vettel does well, over a season as in 2012 or a part of a season as in the second half of 2009, as a “superior” car. And you do not apply that same reasoning to other drivers.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st May 2013, 3:28

            @wallbreaker

            You really want to deny that the Toro Rosso has never been a front-runner car or that Red Bull has a front-runner car for the 5th year in a row now? Sorry, those are simple facts.

            What is your basis for calling Toro Rosso a front runner? It’s laughable really. Vettel wins STR’s first and only race, takes consistently good results, 8th in the WDC and is Autosport Rookie of the Year, but the car is labelled by fans (like you) as a front-runner, and Vettel gets criticized for not driving a bad or midfield car. If Vettel just sits there, does almost nothing (like Scott Speed or Sebastien Bourdais) and gets sacked by Toro Rosso, the fans say he never got a chance because his car was so bad.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 26th April 2013, 23:50

      @jonsan I love your post… the most coherent I have seem in ages… COTD

      • Kim Philby (@philby) said on 27th April 2013, 0:29

        @Jon Sandor
        This is the best justification I have ever read! In fact it is so good that I fall into 3 out of 4 categories.

        1) I always believed that if the team was Williams instead of RedBull i guess I would respect it more. And all the ingredients are there, british team, blue livery and Andrian Newey.
        2) I differ on this since as a Ferrari fan I never understood that much interest about drivers except Senna, I never liked Schumacher, Raikkonen or Alonso but I got over it when the joined Ferrari
        3) Agree also. A gracious defeat after a gallant effort is so much more worthy than an easy victory. The trouble with Vettel is that the last 4 years enjoys the best or joint best car of the season and hasn’t produced any really phenomenal drives, something Alonso and Hamilton have done.
        4) Agreed. Even if I don’t want get political if he was Austrian he would have the same name, face and personality, and he would speak the same language but I would I suppose I would find it easier to like him if he ever got to ferrari.

        For all those reasons I suspect he will be the first ferrari driver since the mid ’80s -when I started watching- that I will not support

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st May 2013, 3:54

          @philby

          The trouble with Vettel is that the last 4 years enjoys the best or joint best car of the season and hasn’t produced any really phenomenal drives, something Alonso and Hamilton have done.

          Disagreed. Vettel has had “phenomenal” fightbacks (e.g. in the Toro Rosso in 2007,also one with a damaged car and faulty radio, while fighting for the championship), and “phenomenal” dominant performances, like India 2011 being a solitary example, that match anything the other 2 have done.

  6. HaulassHarry said on 26th April 2013, 23:50

    Vettel derserved the win at Malaysia! When he asked his team to have Webber move out of the way at the halfway point in the race, they told him to chill there was still half the race to go. Then a quarter of the race later, they tell him to hold position with the infamous “multi 21″ command. Just when was he suppose to pass Webber? I guess when Vettel came in for for tires too soon on the first stop, it was over for him as far as the team was concerned. And then people fault him for not following team orders! What a joke! He should have not only passed Webber, but wrecked him doing it, then jumped up and down on the podium laughing!!

  7. MartyF1 said on 27th April 2013, 0:20

    Yes nothing like pointing out that those who disagree with you have a “derangement syndrome” to make for rational arguments.

    Personally I would warm to Vettel a lot more if someone took the time out to show him how to celebrate with his index finger in the correct fashion. The way he does it is different to how I’ve ever seen it done, and is more in line with a middle finger gesture.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 27th April 2013, 0:28

      So your reason to dislike Vettel is his celebration?

      Yes nothing like pointing out that those who disagree with you have a “derangement syndrome” to make for rational arguments.

      He is not saying that everything is due to people hating Vettel; but you can read some comments and some are pretty irrational, to be polite, and when another driver has made the same mistake and his fans choose to ignore it and conden another driver for what they price in their favorite there is no other way to xplained than hate…

    • It would help your objection immensely if you made a rational counter-argument instead of complaining about his finger.

      • MartyF1 said on 27th April 2013, 16:41

        There are lots of things to dislike about the guy, I was just giving an example of one that didn’t make your list then it gets thrown back in my face.

  8. MartyF1 said on 27th April 2013, 0:45

    My opinion of Vettel is complex and not as simple as a few points on an arbitrary list. When people try to cite reasons for disliking Vettel and give examples, these examples are thrown back in their faces by quoting similar yet not identical situations by other drivers.

    Everyone is entitled to make up their own mind about a driver without a swarm of apologists trying to classify them into a single group of disgruntled whingers.

    • Kim Philby (@philby) said on 27th April 2013, 0:56

      I on the other hand like arbitrary lists. But only for the sake of conversation. I say I don’t like him because I genuinely I don’t like him and I don’t feel the need to justify this to my self. @Jon Sandor raised some points and they were fair. But is this everything about Vettel? of course not because as you said it is much more complex.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 27th April 2013, 1:00

        MartyF1 @philby fair enough. If you don´t like someone nothing can be done.

        But at least there most be a level of “justice”. If driver A does something and his fans price him as the best thing that have walked under the sun; and then driver B does the same, but get called names, to say the least, you can´t put weight an take their opinions seriously…

        • MartyF1 said on 27th April 2013, 16:45

          I don’t think anyone can sensibly make an argument that Vettel isn’t an extremely talented driver. For some people that’s all that matters, but not for me.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 27th April 2013, 10:10

      I think the difference is the 2fold support. In football you support a team. In F1 you usually support a team and a driver and whenever somebody chooses to switch teams a F1 fan could find himself in the odd position to cheer for a guy they previously trashed – the oddness is nothing more than a coping mechanism.

  9. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th April 2013, 1:17

    Sebastian Vettel says the thrill of winning would be diminished if he felt his success was being handed to him.

    I take back everything I said about Christian Horner being a poor manager. He’s clearly convinced Sebastian Vettel that his success is his and his alone, and not the product of favouritism from within the team.

    • othertales said on 27th April 2013, 12:35

      Indeed!

    • I’m sure you wrote a lengthy and thoughtful post expounding on how exactly you think Seb’s success is due to “favoritism from within the team” but the computer unfortunate ate it.

    • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 27th April 2013, 14:34

      Obviously.
      It’s not like you have to take one line out of context, and ignore all the praise Vettel gives to the team every team, to come to that conclusion

      Oh wait…

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th April 2013, 18:06

      He’s clearly convinced Sebastian Vettel that his success is his and his alone, and not the product of favouritism from within the team.

      Tell me then @prisoner-monkeys , why a driver might get favoured in the first place, or why you feel that Vettel’s success was handed to him, while everyone else earned their wins?

  10. fangio85 (@fangio85) said on 27th April 2013, 1:38

    Trash talking vettel makes you look as silly as trash talking Alonso imo. They are both excellent drivers, they are also both very intelligent, and I find it funny reading comments that try to make either of them look any less. I must be in the minority that respects and likes them both. It’s ridiculous to say who else would win the wdc with vettels red bull, of course he’s had dominant cars, so did Alonso when he won back to back titles. Ayrton senna also had dominant cars, as did schumacher, and indeed the majority of world champions. I am a ferrari fan, I support my favourite team, but I judge drivers on performance, not what colour their car is. I have a lot of respect for vettel, as I do for Alonso, and indeed Hamilton and raikkonen.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 27th April 2013, 10:07

      I’m with you on that one. It’s one of the most competitive field of drivers I can remember. While I’m more of a RBR fan, I enjoy watching VETs, ALOs, HAMs, RAIs racing craft immensely and whoever wins deserved it.

  11. Only after Vettel ends his career he will possibly see the full picture as it stands he knows that is RBR star.

  12. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 27th April 2013, 7:14

    I have a doubt.

    During the press conference before this year’s Chinese GP, a journo asked Seb that was the win in Malaysia a payback for Brazil 2012?

    Seb replied, “Probably you could indirectly say so. I never had support from his side. In terms of my relationship with Mark, I respect him a lot as a racing driver but I think there was more than one occasion in the past when he could have helped the team but didn’t”

    Isn’t that contradicting?

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th April 2013, 22:11

      @neelv27

      No. He’s just saying he thinks it’s odd for Webber to expect help from him when he has never received help from Webber.

  13. AndrewMansell (@andrewmansell) said on 27th April 2013, 8:11

    LOL!

  14. maxthecat said on 27th April 2013, 12:03

    Sorry Seb, but pretty much all your victories have been handed to you. You’ve had easily the best car for years.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th April 2013, 22:11

      Keep telling yourself that.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 29th April 2013, 17:57

        Virtually every time, the WDC has the WCC winning car, and if not, then it is a car that is a very close second place car in the WCC. That doesn’t mean the WDC didn’t have to earn his title and not squander the package he had, not buckle to pressure, not buckle to competitors on the track. He still has to take the tools he is given and convert that to Championship winning points.

        But to say he doesn’t want it handed to him after asking the team to have MW move over for him, is entirely hypocritical and hardly feels like a Champion going after hard-fought honourably-gained points toward a title. MW was fighting hard and going by the team strategy too.

  15. Carl Craven said on 27th April 2013, 12:34

    Seriously Sebastian? While I don’t doubt your ability, you have had pretty much the best car on the grid for several years (this year being an exception as it’s much closer) It doesn’t get any easier than that in F1.

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