JUNE 18, 2015
F1 cars no longer scare drivers says Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has joined those who think a bigger serving of danger was better for formula one.
F1 legend Niki Lauda, and also Vettel's Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, have been quoted this week as saying the sport would benefit from an injection of danger.
Instead, the trend over the past decade has been for slower cars and safer circuits, but Vettel says what drew him to formula one as a boy was the noise and the danger.
"I can still remember standing with my dad on one of the long forest straights at Hockenheim and listening to the scream of the engines from afar," the German told Sport Bild.
Now, as one of the sport's top stars, he admits that the fences are now obviously less-densely populated by excited boys with their dads.
Vettel, as a director of the F1 drivers' union GPDA, says that is why the body commissioned a global fan survey, whose results will now be fed back to the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.
The 27-year-old, however, knows what excites him as a F1 fan.
"When I first got to drive a formula one car," said Vettel, "I was - and I have to be honest - scared.
"Please don't misunderstand me -- it's still difficult to drive a formula one car. But you used to need bigger balls."
Meanwhile, as Ecclestone heaps praise on the celebrity-showman Lewis Hamilton and criticises the fiercely private Vettel, the German has defended his approach to public life.
Indeed, while Hamilton's daily exploits are chronicled in tabloid magazines, Vettel is yet to even confirm that his partner Hanna is pregnant with their second child.
Vettel explained: "Personally, I don't care what car Roger Federer drives or what his girlfriend looks like. I am only interested in what he achieves as a sportsman."