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
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021