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Podcast

GP Racing Podcast: The many faces of Sebastian Vettel

Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has driven his final grand prix, and the latest Flat Chat podcast from GP Racing magazine examines his career and legacy.

Artist Mr Dripping and Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula 1, present a painting to Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

GP Racing columnists Mark Gallagher and Matt Kew join editor Stuart Codling to debate the hot topics of Vettel’s life in F1. How did the cheeky young hotshot who liked to quote Monty Python become a four-time world champion – and become public enemy number one after publicly shunning team orders? Why did the German public not take him to their hearts as they did Michael Schumacher? Why did he ultimately fail to emulate the achievements of Schumacher, his childhood hero, despite his attempts to forge a similar path?

Vettel is the cover star of this month’s GP Racing magazine and he leaves a fascinating legacy – particularly after his final two years in F1 where he reinvented himself as a force for social change. As our panel observes, while he hasn’t compelled any of his colleagues to champion the same causes as him, he has supported and helped empower those who wish to speak up for issues they are passionate about. And is he finally done with F1, or will he continue to use his star power to be a positive influence from the sidelines?

One driver who sees retirement as a mere speck in the distance is Pierre Gasly. His new boss, Alpine’s Otmar Szafnauer, told GP Racing this month that he believes Gasly to be a better bet than the team’s original choice, Australian Oscar Piastri. Naturally Szafnauer would say that – but could he be right? And what to make of Gasly’s firmly expressed belief that his own best achievements lie in front of him, not in the past?

Our panel also debates the latest moves in the team principal market – so many of them that Szafnauer, who joined Alpine at the beginning of last year, is now F1’s fifth longest-serving team boss. Have we now entered the era of the rent-a-manager? One thing is for certain: every world championship since 2010 has been won by either Red Bull or Mercedes, both of which have been run by the same individuals for many years.

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