Vettel promises even stronger 2011

Sebastian Vettel says he hopes the 'tough lessons' he took on board during his title-winning 2010 campaign will help make him an even better driver and person next season

Vettel promises even stronger 2011

The Red Bull Racing driver was officially crowned as Formula 1 champion at the FIA Prize Giving Gala in Monaco on Friday night - as he collected his trophy at the star-studded event from FIA president Jean Todt.

And although overjoyed at seeing his name etched onto the drivers' award, Vettel has said his focus is already on becoming even stronger next year so he can keep hold of it.

"I hope there is much more to come," Vettel told AUTOSPORT in his first interview since collecting his world champion trophy. "I want to become a better driver and a better person, but I think this year has been a very tough lesson, but with a very sweet outcome in the end."

One of the toughest aspects of Vettel's 2010 campaign was his sometimes troubled relationship with team-mate Mark Webber - with the flashpoints being their on-track collision in Turkey and the off-track spat at Silverstone over a new front wing that was put on the German's car.

Despite their troubles, it emerged at the end of the season that Vettel never wavered from being a team player - as highlighted at the Hungarian Grand Prix when he tried to give Webber a headstart at a safety car restart so he could bring more points home for the constructors' title. However, in doing so, he was given a drive-through penalty for not having stayed close enough to his team-mate.

Vettel never mentioned his intentions at the time, as the incident was put down a mistake, but he has now finally acknowledged what happened.

When asked what he was willing to say about it, Vettel said: "Well, I think I learned a lesson. Obviously, as you can see from the pictures, I was obviously very disappointed because things did not go according to plan. I threw away a win..."

Speaking about his role as a team player, and whether he felt people appreciated it, Vettel said: "I am who I am. I don't need to make any talk about that.

"I didn't do it all year and I won't do it now - it is not the time. In the end, I learned a lot this year and what matters most is when you get back - either to a hotel or to home - and finally you can face yourself in the mirror and know exactly what happened.

"You have to understand it yourself and deep down in your heart you have to know what is going on. That is more important than whatever people think, or they write or say. In the end, it is impossible to please everybody.

"Sometimes it might be seen from a different angle, but as long as you know for yourself, then that is all that matters. I don't want to make any speeches now, because I haven't done all year, and it's not the time to."

Vettel said that he was now keen to have a bit of time to relax over the Christmas holidays - having had a packed schedule since the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

When asked if a break was important for him, he said: "Yes, for sure. Also to get the energy obviously for next year.

"At the beginning of this season I was printing out pictures of this trophy, because as a sportsman you look ahead. So this is a very, very nice souvenir, and very special, but you always look forward to the next step."

shares
comments
Early form critical to Ferrari's '11 hopes

Previous article

Early form critical to Ferrari's '11 hopes

Next article

Q & A with Sebastian Vettel

Q & A with Sebastian Vettel
Load comments
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021