Vettel: Nothing to prove to F1 critics who wrote me off

Sebastian Vettel feels he has nothing to prove to critics who wrote him off after a difficult final year with Ferrari in Formula 1, saying he is “not interested in what people think.”

Vettel: Nothing to prove to F1 critics who wrote me off

Four-time F1 world champion Vettel endured a disappointing 2020 campaign as he finished 13th in the drivers’ championship, scoring barely one-third of team-mate Charles Leclerc’s points total.

Ferrari had informed Vettel prior to the delayed start to the season that he would not be retained for 2021, prompting the German driver to sign with Aston Martin.

Vettel’s tough season with Ferrari led to questions about his ability compared to the rest of the current F1 grid, and whether he still had what it took to compete at the highest level.

Analysis: Has Vettel got his mojo back at Aston Martin?

But Vettel made clear following the launch of Aston Martin’s new AMR21 car for 2021 that he was not interested in how he was viewed or what his legacy would be, instead preferring to focus on his own performances with his new team.

“I’m not interested in what people think,” Vettel said.

“It's more about making a point to the team, to myself, rather than the people. Our world is moving very fast, and the world has to move on fast and quickly, which is healthy and good.

“Otherwise you will always be stuck in the past and you will still say Juan Manuel Fangio is the lord and saviour of all racing drivers. No doubt he was very, very special. But if you ask a 15-year-old now who is Juan Manuel Fangio, I don't think they know.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin Racing

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin Racing

Photo by: Aston Martin Racing

“That's good. Time will move on. And especially nowadays, probably Fangio had a longer legacy than any one of us will ever have, independent of the amount of wins and so on. And that's good.

“It's good to move forward and to move on. So I'm pretty sure that when I say goodbye to Formula 1, I will be forgotten very quickly, and that's OK. I think that's healthy.

“So that's why I'm also not too bothered about proving a point to people, and really just focusing on my own bit, which is right in front of me is myself.”

Aston Martin has expressed confidence in helping Vettel rediscover his best form, believing the AMR21 car can suit his driving style. The team is already impressed with how he is gelling with his new crew and surroundings.

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer has set out a three-to-five year timeframe for the Aston Martin squad to evolve into championship contenders.

Asked if he expected to be part of the team’s project for that period of time and if he had another championship in him, Vettel replied: “I think I have, obviously I’m not too old.

“There’s now older drivers joining the grid, rather than younger drivers. I don’t think it’s an age thing, I think it’s a question of do you have the car and the team around you?

“I think it’s in me. It’s been in me and was probably a big relief, winning the world championship, knowing that you can do it. Since then, I don’t really see why that’s not there any more.

"Age-wise, I think I still have a long time in me, but in all honesty, it depends a little bit on the circumstances of how things are going in the near future.”

shares
comments

Related video

Williams won't sacrifice brand for "last drop of sponsor money" in F1

Previous article

Williams won't sacrifice brand for "last drop of sponsor money" in F1

Next article

Leclerc spent more time than ever at Ferrari in F1 2021 build-up

Leclerc spent more time than ever at Ferrari in F1 2021 build-up
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Aston Martin Racing
Author Luke Smith
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021