Sebastian 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.”
2013 F1 season
- Take F1 Fanatic’s new 2013 season quiz
- F1 Fanatic’s new year thanks and credits 2014
- The complete F1 Fanatic 2013 season review
- The drivers, teams and cars of 2013
- Schumacher’s condition “slightly improved” after second operation
Browse all 2013 F1 season articles
Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty