Formula One racing champ Sebastian Vettel, whose last pit stop in the country won him the Grand Prix, is head-over-heels in love with the Indian way of life — spending happy time with your family even if you’re down to the last penny.
After waiting until the last race of 2010 to top the points table, Sebastian Vettel made it a one-man show from the start of 2011 to the finish. His second title in as many seasons puts him in elite company in the annals of F1 history.
“In Europe, money plays a big role whereas here, I don’t think money is as important, and it seems that it’s more important to enjoy your life with your family,” says the 25-year-old Red Bull racer, who defeated Fernando Alonso at the Indian Grand Prix held at the Buddh International Circuit last week.
So, how does it feel to bag the fourth win in a row? “It feels pretty amazing. It’s very hard to target these kind of things. I think they either happen or they don’t. The secret, if there is any, is that we didn’t approach the first of those four races thinking we can win all, but instead took it step by step,” says the German speed star, admitting that the Indian track did have some challenges of its own. “There are some corners that you always think you could do a bit better next time, so the circuit challenges you to the limit,” says Vettel.
He reiterates, though, how it was the life outside the paddock that won him over on his second visit here. “We all know the Formula One paddock, but seeing the life just outside of the circuit in Delhi shows that it is very different compared to the other places we go to. It is quite incredible to see how people live here, and see a culture that is very very different,” he says, adding, “I grew up in Germany where it’s black and white, but it’s very different in India, and it’s nice to see that the people are so happy and warm-hearted.” And did he try any Indian food? “Yes, I loved it even though it was very spicy!” Finally, ask the youngest world champion, whose childhood heroes were “the three Michaels” — Michael Schumacher, Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson — about what would he have been if he was not a racer, and he says, “I would probably now be at University, studying some mechanical engineering!”
Who’s that guy?
Name: Sebastian Vettel
Profession: Formula One racing driver
Recent wins: Indian, Japanese, European and Canadian Grand Prix (all in 2012)
Records: Most championship points earned in a season, Youngest Grand Prix winner, Youngest driver to score a grand slam, Youngest driver to set fastest time in Grand Prix.