[F1 2018 VIDEO FEATURE] SEBASTIAN VETTEL: STRIVING FOR FIVE

There’s no doubt that Sebastian Vettel is in an elite group of Formula 1 World Champions, his talent behind the wheel beyond question.

SOUNDBITE (English) GERHARD BERGER,
F1 DRIVER, 1984-1987:
“We know his capacity, we know his strengths, we know very clear what he can do. He proved it with four times world championship in Red Bull, so I always thought he was the perfect choice for Ferrari.”

SOUNDBITE (English) CHRISTIAN HORNER,
TEAM PRINCIPAL, RED BULL RACING:
“What he has demonstrated so many times is creating opportunities when sometimes… you have thought they are not going to be there.”

The German joins Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost, and Lewis Hamilton as F1’s most successful drivers of all-time.

But, Vettel’s four world titles were all taken with his former squad Red Bull Racing during the brand’s glory days from 2010 to 2013.

The puzzle’s missing piece, a title for the sport’s greatest marque, Ferrari.

Of the nine to have won titles for Ferrari, Schumacher is still well ahead with five. Alberto Ascari and Niki Lauda have taken two for the Scuderia, while Juan Manuel Fangio heads a list of six others on one.

Vettel’s teammate Kimi Räikkönen remains the last to have won the championship for the Prancing Horse in 2007.
A stat the German is desperate to turnaround, in replicating his childhood idol’s achievements – and taking Ferrari back to the top.

SOUNDBITE (English) SEBASTIAN VETTEL,
4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
"When I started karting, Michael [Schumacher] won his first world championship, so it has always been Michael [Schumacher]  that I have been looking up to.”

For Vettel, it’s been a long time coming, going back 15 years to his first days in cars with Formula BMW ADAC. The German taking 18 wins on his way to the 2004 title, his trademark victory salute already established.

Fast forward 10 years, and Vettel’s arrival at Maranello at the end of 2014 was part of the squad’s reboot under new chairman Sergio Marchionne – the German getting his first taste of Prancing Horse-power at Fiorano.

SOUNDBITE (English) SEBASTIAN VETTEL,
4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“Obviously, it’s a very different colour for me. Everybody’s dressed in red, everything is red. But it really is something special.”

2018 has so far been a successful campaign with two-straight wins, on the back of stable technical regulations. Ferrari taking its most victories last year since 2010.

But Vettel knows the SF71H still needs work, despite great strategy calls earning the prancing horse wins in Australia and Bahrain.

“We still have to improve our car, and work on it. We still need to improve the balance,” the German said in Bahrain.

Ferrari will need to get to grips with the new car, and fast, if it’s to challenge for the title – with Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton winning the championship on the back of its consistent form last year.

So far so good, though, but there’s 19 races still to come.

…and with the Silver Arrows still looking cool, calm and confident, it’s red alert in Maranello while the homework is done on the SF71H.

The pressure’s on for Vettel to lead the Prancing Horse back to the world title – and there’s no time to lose.