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Sebastian Vettel contemplates the future: “I may stop in five years”
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Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Jun 2013   |  10:41 am GMT  |  233 comments

Three times world champion Sebastian Vettel has said in an interview with the German Welt am Sonntag newspaper, one of the more serious papers in Germany, that he may quit F1 in five years time.

The 25 year old has won the world championship for the past three seasons and enjoys a strong lead in this year’s points table after six of 19 rounds.

There has always been speculation that he might leave Red Bull and join Ferrari, part of a destabilising process which is common in F1 when a team and driver combination is winning.

But he has always denied rumours that he has signed any kind of pre-contract.

However he has not previously mentioned the possibility that his career may not run into his 30s. Because Vettel started at 19 and had won three championships by the age of 25 – an unprecedented feat – the risk of burn-out or drop in motivation is always there.

Maybe I won’t be driving in five years because I’m tired of it,” he said in Welt am Sonntag. “Maybe in five years I’ll be with another team because I feel like a different challenge.

“Everyone evolves over the years and priorities shift.”

Vettel adds that he is happy at Red Bull and that he can “not imagine sometime somewhere else to go.”

On the face of it this is a non-commital answer and merely reflects reality, that one doesn’t know what lies ahead in the future. It doesn’t mean that he will cut short his career or move to another team.

But it does show that he’s thinking about it. Both statements reflect his understanding that to maintain motivation as a top sportsman, you need to find fresh challenges.

Vettel is a shrewd man and he has gently put this message out there for a reason. Even if it is only to motivate himself..

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233 Comments
  1. James Wilson says:

    He’d be crazy not to take a mega deal from Ferrari when Alonso hangs it all up in a few years. He loves heritage – so would he really bow out of F1 after driving for a “fizzy drinks” company the whole time?

    1. Elie says:

      Yeah but he might not like being beaten by ahamilton in a Mercedes either

      1. Lol says:

        You mean the same Hamilton that is being beaten by Rosberg?

        No, the fact he has more points means nothing: Rosberg had 2 DNFs with mechanical problems and 1 race he got teamorders to not pass Hamilton. 3 poles, 1 win.

        Many sources have said Alonso is blocking Vettel coming to Ferrari, including Italian sources. Why is he scared if he thinks himself and Hamilton are the best? ;)

      2. Tealeaf says:

        Thats because Alonso is bluffing and trying to make himself look good, Hamilton is close to Alonso in terms of ability and Alonso has to say Hamilton and himself are the best or whatever, but yes deep down he knows Vettel would blow him away at Ferrari, every year that goes by favours Seb more because of age, Seb is now coming into his prime and Alonso is past his peak and in decline, to save his own reputation he needs Ferrari to not sign Vettel, and also Vettel is better than Hamilton and Rosberg.

      3. gudien says:

        Now both Alonso and Vettel are making noises of stopping F-1. What does this say about the ‘burnout’ factor at the top?

        We spend too much time worrying about what driver is going where and don’t focus enough on the management abilities at each team.

        The movement of Wolff, Lauda, Lowe, etc., etc. to Merc is quite remarkable.

      4. Justin Bieber says:

        2 words: Team harmony

      5. Jordan says:

        Perhaps the threat of Kim in a Red Bull is causing Seb to make some noise. Kimi would stop Seb going for Schuey’s record. I think there is an underlining message here.

      6. Richard says:

        lol @ mechanics failures.

        Maybe he over drove the car. I’m not saying this was the case but there are so many factors that no one – not even the team – can know for certain what caused a “mechanical failure”.

      7. LiamC says:

        Is that the Same Nico Rosberg that was beaten everytime by Mark Webber in every race that they both finished in 2006 at Williams?

        So MW is better than LH by extension? But Webber is beaten by Vettel so the pecking order is SV > MW > NR > LH

      8. LiamC says:

        To extend this further, LH had the better of FA at their time together at Maclaren, so the order goes SV > MW > NR > LH > FA. LH also had the better of JB, so the order now is SV > MW > NR > LH > FA, JB

        You can “prove” anything with statistics.

        We can also fit FM and KR in the mix (2007-08). As KR has one WC to his name, but Massa finished ahead in 2008, and we know that FA is better than FM, we have

        SV > MW > NR > LH > FA, JB, KR > FM

        Oh well, it was a good theory…

      9. Equin0x says:

        Actually LH didn’t get the better of Alonso they were close and each beat eachother about evenly in the end it was Ron Dennis that made Alonso slower by over 0.5sec in the last 3 races, I thought Alonso had the upperhand from Monza and Spa but nobody won there, Also Jenson Button didn’t lose to Hamilton either over 3 years Jenson scored more points and had the highest championship standing out of the 2, Mark Webber beat Rosberg but then Rosberg waws only 21 years old and wasn’t ready for F1, at their peaks they would be close and both are slightly faster than Hamilton, your theory there at the end is not far off the true pecking order but I must stress FM had the better of Kimi before his accident in 2009 and seems to have lost speed but what is clear is Vettel is top of the bunch and he would have eaten Hamilton for breakfast if Hamilton joined Redbull this year and you’re right Hamilton is no quicker than Webber, hardly anyone is, apart from Vettel…

      10. Dave C says:

        He would never be beaten by Hamilton,he is clearly a better driver than Hamilton in terms of mental toughness, speed, consistency in fact everything, Hamilton should worry more about how to beat Rosberg cleanly without the help of Ross Brawn.

      11. Elie says:

        Never is a long time Dave !.. and Nico has a three year head start with Mercedes maybe next year we can have a fair comparison – but actually I think Lewis will be quicker even at Canada in a few days. You got to hand it to Hamilton for making the move its already proved a very strong decision.

      12. Aj says:

        Hear hear

      13. Equin0x says:

        Yes ok Hamilton should have the upperhand at Montreal, Nico is not invincible, but the nonsense about head start is false, this year’s car is all new and the tyres are new, also the engine is the same one Hamilton’s used since he started F1, look lets face it Nico is not a top driver he was often beaten by a 43 year old Schumacher who in his prime would have destroyed Rosberg, for Hamilton’s sake he better beat Nico this year or his reputation will be in tatters, the decision to move? It wasn’t a brave one it was about money but he’s paying for that now.

      14. Nigel says:

        If Hamilton went to red bull there would not be much in it in my opinion but I think Hamilton can drive an equal car quicker than vettel. But the problem if Hamilton was at red bull is Vettel will still be the teams main driver as webber has suffered there been the clear number 2 driver.

      15. Rockie says:

        That’s a very big assumption there, that he would get beat by Hamilton in a Mercedes I doubt that very much if he couldn’t beat him in a faster Mclaren.

      16. KRB says:

        No point having a fast car if it doesn’t finish. Hamilton had the measure of Vettel in Singapore and Abu Dhabi (WEB was P2 and VET P3 in quali, before his penalty; BUT was P6 six-tenths back), and would’ve won both if not for mech failures.

        Vettel had the best car in 2012, as he has had since 2010. Even 2009 was a good car that he could’ve done more with (like Hamilton in 2010 versus the dominant RB6′s – though really the Brawns were only dominant for the first half of the year in ’09).

        The only way they’ll get together is if Merc have the clearly best car, but Hamilton only scrapes it out. The first part is a toss-up, but if it transpires, then I doubt the second part would.

        Hamilton has never had the clearly best car. His best car was his first, but the Ferrari was just as good that year, plus Hamilton was 1) a rookie, and 2) paired with the reigning 2xDWC.

        In Euro F3, in the best team with the best car (remembering that it’s a spec series), he won 15 out of 20 races (DQed from a 16th win). That was with Sutil as his teammate, and against future F1 drivers as Vettel, Di Resta, Di Grassi, and Van der Garde.

      17. Doug says:

        2 Words…

        Top Gear :-)

      18. Lindsay says:

        I think he’ll be right.

      19. Justin Bieber says:

        You mean being beaten by Rosberg ;-)

      20. AuraF1 says:

        He seemed to accept it from n Rosberg who seems to be the faster Mercedes driver currently ;)

      21. F1Ray says:

        @Elie. Beaten by Hamilton,Mercedes ?. Surely you meant Rosberg. lol.

      22. Elie says:

        I know what I mean and next year maybe both Nico and Lewis can do it

      23. Tealeaf says:

        Just face it you know in your heart Vettel would beat both of them in the same car.

      24. Elie says:

        Why don’t we all just wait and let Hamilton come up to speed with his new team he’s only had 6 races with Merc not 60 odd that his team mate has had. It’s not easy after 14 years with Mclaren. And only a few tenths off even when he’s not happy with the balance and Nico is at his best. Sometimes he has been quicker already.

        As for Vettel , Lewis matched him for qualis last year and probably would have won the championship were it not for cock ups by Mclaren- at least challenging for the title and even in 2011 when the Red Bulls were untouchable – he was the only one to come anywhere near them on 1 lap pace-. Im not discounting Seb – but sadly too many people are Hamilton haters- Im no fan of him personally but as a driver there is no question of his speed.

      25. Aj says:

        Yeah but let’s just agree that he’s not as fast as Vettel

      26. KRB says:

        Hamilton won the most poles last year (even with Spain thrown out), the only driver to make each Q3, the most front rows – VET and WEB were 2 & 3 – by a score of 11-8, the only driver this year to always qualify in the first two rows.

        You rightly point out that Lewis was the only driver to prevent a RBR season lockout for pole in 2011.

        I wonder if Hamilton wins the quali battle 11-8 this year, whether that would be looked on as not a big enough gap? But wasn’t it 11-9 for Vettel last year, against a 36 yo?

        Hamilton is a speed demon, there’s no doubt about it. Makes the fewest mistakes on flying laps, makes the most apexes of any driver, while at the same time finding the limits of adhesion.

      27. Tim says:

        And only a few tenths off even when he’s not happy with the balance….
        Apparently the problem LH has is to do with braking. His speed relies heavily on aggressive braking and the brakes fitted to the Mercedes (Brembo) have a different feel to those used at McLaren (Carbone Industrie). Mercedes have been trying various settings, different master cylinders etc to try and replicate the ‘feel’ he is used too. They can’t just fit the Carbone Industrie brakes due to contractual agreements. Who’d have thought it, brakes are brakes aren’t they? Apparently not!

      28. Steve says:

        The McLaren was the fastest car on the grid in 2012, so arguably it was a poor showing for Hamilton to get “only” eight poles with it. Heck, Jenson Button – who makes Alonso seems like a qualifying expert – was able to put that car on the front row half a dozen times. I don’t think Hamilton is as good over a lap as he’s made out to be.

    2. Sebastian says:

      I think James Wilson has it in a nutshell. It’s inevitable that Vettel will join Ferrari. He loves to get a record, be it a lap record or race wins. Surely he’s not in anyway shape or form satisfied with 3 or 4 titles with an “energy drinks” company when the Scuderia are obviously itching to secure his handy work. I’m sure Vettel is strong minded enough not to fold under the constant mumblings of the press saying he’s only winning because of the car being the class of the field, but I wonder is, how long before he begins to question his own skills. No man is unbreakable….

    3. Aido says:

      Of course he won’t bow out of F1 after driving for a “fizzy drinks” the whole time; he’s saying the exact opposite. He’ll drive for Ferrari first. That’s inevitable.

    4. Sebee says:

      Fizzy drinks company who’s handing Ferrari their tails.

      Have you considered that Vettel may have 8 stars on his helmet in 5 years?

      I think Kimi is the only one who’s put value of Ferrari in proper light. Alonso has gone to Ferrari and what? Actually…nothing, his hopes have fizzed. :-)

      1. gudien says:

        *Sebee*; you’re correct when you mention Kimi properly valuing what a career at Ferrari really means. The scuderia Ferrari does have plenty of tradition;
        1. Beaten year after year by those Ford Cosworth V-8s.
        2. Underacheiving for several years now with Dominicalli, Alonso and Massa.
        3. ‘Team Orders’ used ruthlessly against their #2 drivers Irvine, Barrichello, and Massa.

        And let’s not forget the best Ferrari ‘tradition’ of Team Principal Jean Todt escorting driver Michael Schumacher to a hearing for attempting to crash opponents, Hill and Villenueve, on the race track.

        Yes, all in all, a great tradition!

      2. Val from montreal says:

        Lol … Jean Todt saw the future with Schumi and always stood up for his number 1 driver through the good times and especially tnrough the bad times !!

        Michael always said he had few true friends in Formula-one and Jean Todt was one of them …

        The Canadian GP is coming up and it’s in my backward , so to speak … On Toutube you can find alot of videos of that particular GP .. Theres one on 1998 that’s hilarious !

        When MSC comes out from the pits , he keeps his racing line but Frentzen is right behind him … Schumacher hust went a couple of inches on the right and you see HHF spinning out in the grass …Hilarious !

        Then Patrick Head , dressed in his Winfield orange outfit goes and sees Jean Todt at the Ferrari pit-wall , steaming and pointing his little finger at Jean Todt yelling in in his ear , with the TV cameras : ” He will not get away with this ! We will do everything that we can do that he gets thrown out of the race ! ” ….

        Jean Todt , looks at Head without saying a word and puts his head-phones back on , as if ” don’t bother me , too bad so sad ” ….

        Classic !

      3. Calmo says:

        it’s too easy for anyone to come up with some – any of the dirt that has accumulated over the decades for every long running F1 team. Wanna talk heritage? Look at all the dirt on mclaren (most recent spygate) or Williams. Hell look at lotus and their revolutionary designed to break down more often than not and kill cars during Chapmans days.

        As for the ruthless team orders at Ferrari. How can you even be serious Barichello wouldn’t have won a single championship unless his teamate was the mediocre at best Eddie Irvine. At best barichello would have denied Ferrari a drivers championship by taking a few points away from Schumacher here and there. Same goes for massa, he was slightly slower than a already in decline MS. Irvine isnt even worth mentioning

      4. Tim says:

        @ Sebee
        Have you considered that Vettel may have 8 stars on his helmet in 5 years?….

        Mathematically that is possible, but statistically it’s unlikely.

    5. Fan says:

      I really don’t get the whole heritage thing… Is it better to lose in a Ferrari, than win in a Red Bull? Personally I’d rather win, or if I have to lose pay me boatloads of money to do so. As a driver I would take the seat where either my long term earning potential is maximized and/or I have the best shot at winning. Sorry to be cynical, but that what I think it boils down to for most top drivers. Mid and lower tier driver go where opportunities open up. Top drivers (which Vettle is) must be wooed. Salary issues aside there is not a team on the grid who would not want the services of a driver his calibre.

      As for the hidden reason this message is put out there, simple – Red Bull, don’t assume you have me locked up. Come with your wallets come contract renewal time.

      1. Angelina says:

        +1

    6. Kimi4WDC says:

      As this season pans out, it might be an early exit for Alonso.

    7. Luke Clements says:

      Wouldn’t surprise me if he did leave due to motivation and the way F1 is being managed, similar to Casey Stoner in Moto GP.

      F1 is currently a joke due largely to tyres and will completely de-motivate anyone who truly wishes to push the limits in motor racing.

      James, at any other time in the history of F1, has so little effort gone into making the cars go faster? The top aero guys in all teams must be low on motivation too, they are becoming pointless in this tyre dominating environment.

      1. James Allen says:

        Hardly! There’s more effort than ever, it’s just that with the rules having been relatively stable for a while the gains are smaller.

        There are huge gains to be had from learning how to manage the tyres, look at Red Bull in second half of 2012 compared to first half, for example

  2. C Lin says:

    Perhaps giving his future some thoughts with the persistent rumour that a Finn might be his teammate next year.

    1. mjsib says:

      Couldn’t agree more. If Kimi is at Red Bull I can see him beating Vettel consistently as Kimi definitely isn’t a number 2 driver

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Kimi beating Vettel often? Thats almost as bad as the Hamilton fans saying Hamilton would beat Vettel. Kimi drove 4 Newey cars and couldn’t win a thing, also he was ‘often’ beaten by Massa over 3 years at Ferrari which led to him losing his Ferrari seat and having to build his career from scratch, Kimi would be a perfect partner for Seb because Seb would comprehensively beat a high profile and a driver with a great reputation, there’s no doubt about it Vettel would/will beat Raikkonen.

      2. Kimi4WDC says:

        I think Kimi at RB will prolong Vettel’s desire to stay at RB. Though I would be hesitant to say that it’s going to be a smack down dominance by one of whose two. I think Red Bull will achieve a status where both of their drivers will have to be at their 100%, similar to the situation of Mercedes now.

        I believe Mercedes have the most ruthless pairing now, I think both Nico and Lewis out-driving the car. Though Webber is fast, he is just not clinical enough.

      3. Johnston says:

        Kimi would have at least 1 WDC with McLaren if not for a dog of an unreliable car.

      4. mjsib says:

        Are we talking about the great Newey cars that were so poor they needed B spec cars? Kimi was the only driver capable of challenging Schumacher at his peak and would have won the WDC had it not been for Adrian Newey’s “reliable as a soggy biscuit” McLarens

      5. Andre says:

        You clearly have a false view on Raikkonen’s achievements in F1. His average finishing position in all the races he finished in his career is 4,2. Not many drivers have this average.

        In his McLaren years he had a DNF average of 35%.
        And still his average finishing position was 3,5 in the races he did finish.

        Him having to leave Ferrari has more to do with the concept of Ferrari not wanting two ‘first’ drivers (Alonso/Raikkonen) then Massa beating him.
        Raikkonen became Ferrari’s last WDC in those seasons ;)

        Vettel and Raikkonen are both incredible drivers and differences are small. So it would be nice to see them as teammates. They are also ‘friends’ so they wouldn’t mind either I can imagine.

    2. F1Ray says:

      @C Lin. He’s talking about 5 years time, not the next year or two. Of the two, I doubt Raikkonen will still be in F1 in 5 years time.

    3. Bullish says:

      The only thing for certain if Kimi joins Red Bull next year is that his friendship with Seb is doomed.

  3. Dave says:

    He won’t stop until he has beaten Michael Schumachers record, or until he feels he isn’t in a position to do so.

    At the moment, you wouldn’t be surprised if he won this years WDC, which puts him at 4. So another 4 more world titles after that? It depends how RBR shape up after the 2014 rule changes, but personally I don’t see them being as strong as they are now.

    1. +1 on Vettel

      -1 on RedBull

      :)

    2. Raymond Yu says:

      I fail to see how you think RBR will fall back, considering that rule changes in the past have pretty much always lead to Newey dominance

      1. Lee says:

        Because this formula is all about aero, and nobdoy does aero better than Newey. Engines haven’t been a differentiating factor in f1 for 5 or 6 years now. The last turbo era was all about power, and many people think that the same will be said for this one. Lets not forget that it’s also a hybrid formula and there will be many ways to exploit this, or miss the boat technically.

        In 2014 f1 will be more about mechanical engineering and less about aero.

      2. Dave says:

        My point was purely that while I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vettel win the WDC this year, 2014 is a bit of an unknown and could potentially ‘reset the pack’. If he wants 8 WDC’s, to take the record, RBR’s performance post rule change will be critical.

        My personal opinion is not that they’ll ‘fall back’ – merely that I expect other teams (notably Mercedes and Ferrari) to take big steps forward.

        A team being “not as strong” is very different to “not strong”.

    3. Sebee says:

      I have this unusual feeling that tells me that Renault are flying under the radar here. I think they are going to surprise.

      Agreed on your points about this Vettel guy. I can’t believe people under rate him so much – still!

    4. KARTRACE says:

      Winning 8x WCD title isn’t exactly a walk through the park. The more you collect the tougher it gets. It is a very narrow place over there on top of the pyramid.

  4. Spyros says:

    Well, in another 5 years he will have 8 championships, so he will have beat Michael’s record, so why keep going?

    1. Dave C says:

      Yes indeed if he does have 8 titles by the age of 30 why not just retire and look back and laugh at the current bunch of pretenders like Alonso, Webber, Button, Rosberg and Hamilton. Maybe another challenge would be to win over 100 races and 10 titles, these stats would be the ultimate and if achieved hard for anyone to argue just maybe Seb could the best of all time.

      1. JL says:

        sure, why not 150 wins and 15 titles?

      2. KRB says:

        Reminds me of that line in Something About Mary, where Stiller’s character asks the “Five Minute Abs” guy what he’ll do if someone comes out with “Four Minute Abs”?

        It’s silly to talk of 8 or 10 titles … the whole pride goes before a fall thing. The chance for Vettel to do that relies 99.9% on Renault, RBR and Newey getting the 2014 reg’s right.

        If they don’t get it right (they can’t be as bad as 2007-08, can they?), then Vettel or Webber won’t be winning anything. In F1 it’s usually feast or famine. RBR have been feasting since 2009, with the new reg’s and the increased Renault engine power. There’s no guarantee that it will continue.

        Vettel doesn’t seem to me to be someone who would like to see his stat percentages (very nice ones at that) decline by the race.

      3. Dave C says:

        2007 and 2008 really? If I remember correctly Vettel in 2007 was impressive, if he was a bit more mature he should have won at Fuji if he didn’t fall for Hamilton’s trick to brake test Webber, also in 2008 he won in the Torro Rosso did he not? and was also faster than Hamilton at Brazil hence why it took Glock to win Hamilton’s title for him, nice. You’re right there’s no guarantees about engines and chassis competitiveness but then he doen’t have to stay at Redbull, the 4th title is on its way this year and a career at Ferrari beckons, who’s going to stop him on the current grid? Alonso, Kimi or even Rosberg? yeah thats right none of them.

      4. KRB says:

        Dave C, I was talking about RBR actually.

        Hamilton tricked Vettel into running into the back of the sister car?! Let me know how it was Button’s fault that Vettel T-boned him (starting from behind!) at Spa while you’re at it.

        Support Vettel b/c you’re pro-Seb, rather than as an anti-LH reaction. Sebee has it right, respects all drivers, just thinks Seb’s the best of the lot. I fully respect that. Likewise I believe Seb is a very good driver; I just happen to think Lewis is better. Just my opinion.

    2. Stuart Harrison says:

      Well noticed :)

    3. Tim says:

      Brave words. There is often many a slip between cup and lip!

    4. Sebee says:

      You said it! :-)

  5. Aleks Slovenia says:

    I dont buy it, people race, especially the ones success is fond of, till the wheels fall off!

    1. David says:

      Jackie Steward, James Hunt, Niki Lauda and a Michael S. to name a few.

      1. JCA says:

        First three drove at a time when death was a real possibility at every race, which would probably require more determination and resolve, Schumi’s first retirement was not entirely of his own choosing, he certainty wasn’t satisfied enough to stay away.

      2. KRB says:

        I think you can say that Hunt’s career tailed off … he didn’t go out on top, that’s for sure. Lauda could’ve went out on top after 1984 … 1985 was a bad year for him. Schumi’s 2nd F1 stint was thoroughly uneventful.

        Only Jackie Stewart left on top, though he too knew that Cevert was starting to match him. Being the first to come upon him after Cevert’s fatal accident no doubt cemented the decision for JYS.

    2. Veteran says:

      Which is what is happening now with the Pirelli you mean…
      Maybe drivers don’t really like racing any more with the current direction F1 is going?
      I remember a recent MotoGP departure (Stoner) who quit the sport because he felt it wasn’t MotoGP as he knew it.

      1. Anne says:

        I don´t think so. That kind of thinking belongs to the antiestablishment sportmen, actors or musicians.I don´t think Vettel is Joe Strummer

  6. James Allen says:

    I read the whole thing too. Not sure what you mean

    1. Archie says:

      Hello James,

      what I mean:
      After reading your collection or let’s say condensation of (correctly!) quoted sentences, I had another expression as before while reading the whole article.
      Maybe just a different interpretion of the same things and of course, you have to make your selection.

      The interview worked out a lot of different aspects. For me the most gripping discussion was about winning, losing and controlling expectations.

  7. Sven says:

    He’s not saying that he’s considering quitting F1 in 5 years. He’s simply saying that it’s useless to speculate on the future: that in a few years he might be in another team or not in F1 at all. He’s basically saying “Never say never.”

    More interesting is the fact that he doesn’t say that he wants to stay at Red Bull. The fact that he started speaking about challenges is interesting as well.

    Ferrari?

    1. Raymond Yu says:

      Huh?

      Did you read:
      Vettel adds that he is happy at Red Bull and that he can “not imagine sometime somewhere else to go.”

    2. Yak says:

      He never really said he’s not happy at Red Bull or anything. As you said yourself, he was simply saying that to guess where he’ll be a in a few years time would be pointless. For now he’s happy at Red Bull, but in a few years who knows what he’ll be doing?

      That said, I don’t really see him leaving F1 in a hurry, unless he has other high level achievements he wants to go for outside of F1. He’s spent basically his whole life working up to F1, made it, and now he’s at the top of F1. Then again, maybe that’s part of the problem. He came into the sport and in a very short time proved himself and moved into a top team, where he’s taken three WDC titles and helped take three WCC titles. Maybe that kind of near-instant and huge success (not that it would have come easy) kinda spoils the longer term enjoyment a bit.

  8. Matt G says:

    This sounds a lot like hamilton. Which everyone had criticized for wanting to take on a new challenge. Lewis was with Mclaren for 10+ years as it appears Seb will be as well (give or take).

    1. James says:

      2013 is Vettel’s 16th season sponsored by Red Bull.

    2. Sebee says:

      Grass isn’t always greener on the other side just becaue you can bring your dog to work. Vettel isn’t yielding just because press and non-fans want him to.

      I don’t care what the points say at Mercedes so far. Nico has a win on merrit. That makes him a better performer on that team. I’ll take a Monaco win over 3 podiums any day as a team principal.

      1. Sebee says:

        BTW, wonder if the FIA fine Lewis $50,000K for violating Poop and Scoop in paddock.

  9. goferet says:

    Uh, Vettel remind me of child stars in Hollywood for they achieve so much fame & money whilst young and by the time they’re adults, they have either run out of talent or haven’t got the desire no more.

    Now compare and contrast this with the likes of Schumi, Fangio, Prost and Senna >>> all who clinched their third titles in their 30s so the desire was still there to achieve something.

    Also, I suspect Vettel sees the writing on the wall for he doesn’t expect Red Bull to remain the dominant force in five years time (especially after the signs in 2013)

    There’s another element to this story in that perhaps Vettel has heard some rumours within Red Bull that Newey is calling it a day in 2018.

    Anyway, I would be surprised if Vettel retired in 2018, I think he will move over to Ferrari — only if they’re competitive — for I think he said he wanted to end his career at the Red team.

    P.s.

    I think it was 2007, when Vettel said he respects Schumi because on the outside, winning a championship let alone 7 may seem like nothing but only whilst one is on the inside that you can appreciate how hard it is to win.

    Hence morale of the story, one has to be a machine to stick around to win 7 big ones.

    1. Aido says:

      Are you kidding me? You are reading way too much into it. Vettel must be the hungriest driver I’ve ever seen, even hungrier than Senna was. He’s not going to stop in 5 years and he’s not going to lose the desire to win more. It’s shocking, but even after 3 WDCs, Vettel is as hungry for wins as he was when he was a rookie. It’s very obvious.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Aido

        For sure, when one’s winning, life is sweet and it’s very easy to be hungry.

        The litmus test is what will happen when you’re no longer winning often >>> will the hunger still be there???

        I guess we will have to wait and see.

    2. Sebee says:

      So you’re saying Vettel is less because he’s a WDC winning machine early on in his life?

      Vettel is a machine. You will see Schumi’s record challanged by him. He’s more mature than people give him credit for. Sure, the youth in him comes out when he wins…it’s hard to handle so much success gracefully without looking like a bad winner in his age. But when you realize who’s behind you on the grid and in WDC standings, how can you not jump in joy at bettering them?

      None of those greats have won 3WDCs in a row – that is a Vettel first by the way. What does that say about him vs. Schumi, Fangio, Prost? And please…stop it with the better car comments. Every WDC had a “better car”.

      1. Val from montreal says:

        MSC won 5 in a row … Maybe im not understanding you correctly …

      2. Sebee says:

        You are not.

        Vettel has won his first 3 straight.
        Schumi 2, then 5. He got to 3 with a pause, big one too.

        Easy on the 5 expectations. ..give the guy a chance. :-)
        He’s working on 4 right now for you. If he does it…that also has never been done…1st to 4th all in a row.

      3. David C says:

        Schumacher won 5 in a row, Fangio 4 in a row. but take nothing away from SB, hes a great driver. I hope he continues for a long time but i can seeing him moving teams at some stage …….. and winning titles wherever he goes.

      4. Sebee says:

        Indeed David. I didn’t write it correctly.

        I mean that Vettel has gone from 1st to 3rd WDC straight in a row. No one has done that. Every great has taken a pause after the 1st or the 2nd. None except for Vettel have gone, 1, 2, 3 in a row 3 consecutive seasons. And if he goes to 4th, that’s another record as well.

      5. KRB says:

        Sebee, I for one actually think the championships won not consecutively actually mean more. It means that there was good competition around. Prost I suppose was only a half-point in ’84 from winning his first 3 in a row. But his title in ’86 was benefitting from Williams’ misfortune.

        3 in a row for Seb for me puts even more emphasis on the cars he’s had. Just my opinion. Very good driver, great cars.

      6. goferet says:

        @ Sebee

        Actually no.

        Not every champion has had a dominant car for instance.

        Schumi’s 94 car was believed to be slower than the Williams especially in the second half of the season.

        Likewise, Senna’s 91 title was won in a slower car than the Williams of that season.

        Also Lewis’ 2008 title was won in a car slower than the Ferrari >>> It’s just that Kimi didn’t show up.

        So yeah, not everybody has done it in a dominant car from flag to flag.

      7. Equin0x says:

        Na the 1991 Mclaren was a bit more powerful and more consistent than the Williams and also had reliability and other lucks involved, also the 2008 Mclaren was overall the fastest car on the grid, even Kovalainen was able to qualify it on the front row and pole a few times in the underdeveloped car, I grant you the Ferrari F2008 was faster on some tracks and conditions but overall the Mclaren was just plain faster, it wasn’t that Kimi didn’t turn up he just found the car difficult to drive and in the wet undrivable. Schumi in 1994 also didn’t have the fastest car but Senna was past his best and was driving a car hard to handle and ultimately it cost him his life fighting against a younger faster driver, now the whole point is Seb is the BEST driver on the grid and the gap between him and rest of the field is widening as other top drivers i.e. Alonso, Kimi, Button are all ageing and he’s coming into his prime, but the fact is he hasn’t always had the fastest car and definitely not the most reliable cars, last years Mclareb was the fastest car and right now this year Redbull are also not he fastest again but guess who won the title last year and who’s likely to win this year too…

      8. Me says:

        “Schumi’s 94 car was believed to be slower than the Williams especially in the second half of the season.”

        I don’t think so…

        None of those examples are true.

      9. David C says:

        @gofrot the 1991 mclaren was faster but it was close. Fair enough about 1994

        @Me the 1994 Williams was faster than the Benetton, lots faster same in 1995,

      10. Tealeaf says:

        The thing is Mclaren had the fastest car last year and Seb put so much pressure on them and Hamilton that they cracked, the only driver that can fight Seb right now is Alonso and he’s ageing and fading slightly, the only few things that can stop Vettel is poor cars and a new talent emerging and so far there’s no evidence of either, plus as most people noticed he’s still hungry as ever, a true champion and a true legend in the making.

    3. JCA says:

      I really didn’t think people would be questioning his hunger for success and glory mere mounths after his ‘naked ambition’ was laid bare in Malaysia.

      1. Rockie says:

        Good observation.

  10. Gadfly says:

    I think James is right. Vettel is a shrewd cookie and has put this out there for a reason. I can imagine he would definitely want to drive for Ferrari at some point in his career and is sending out a message that he might be willing and able sooner than most expect, i.e: 2015. Subtly puts some pressure on Alonso… There’s also the possibility of course that he’s applying pressure on his own team here. Maybe Vettel isn’t happy with the direction of the car’s development?

    1. Dave C says:

      Would you be happy with Redbull after everything you achieved with the team and then be told to stay behind a 2nd rate driver at Malaysia?? Webber might be tough, Webber might be shrewd but he certainly does not deserve to be given team orders to protect a race lead, watch Seb destroy Webber for the remainder of the season and retires Mark,then bring on Kimi the same thing will happen to him as well, face it Seb is too good the only thing that will halt him is his motivation.

      1. Angelina says:

        + 1

  11. Elie says:

    He’s just saying.. Don’t take it as gospel!..it’s like Kimi saying I might leave- but the. Again I have many options

  12. Elie says:

    As a German driver surely the temptation must be there to race in a Silver Arrow. If he signed to Red Bull till end of 2014 & if Mercedes are strong – surely they would consider beyond 2015.. But there’s alot of ifs in there

    1. Martin says:

      From the other side of the planet, I’m not sure what the attraction for Vettel would be. Mercedes might like it from a marketing perspective, but it already has Schumacher, Rosberg and Hamilton. More relevant to Vettel is Mercedes’ desire to win. The most German bit of the current Mercedes is the KERS system as Stuttgart contributed to what Brixworth did. The rest is an assembly from Mercedes Benz money.

      Is Mercedes really seen as the German national team? Ferrari came to become the Italian national team after Lancia, Maserati and Alfa Romeo fell out of the sport. Williams was regarded as a more blue-blooded English team than McLaren. 2010 brought a bit of change to this as there were two British drivers to go up against the “all-German” Mercedes team.

      To me there is Ferrari and then there are all the other teams. This is reflected in the money Ferrari gets from FOM.

      1. Elie says:

        Well perception is a big thing in a media dominated sport. As for not knowing what the attraction would be. I might suggest that there are not many triple german world drivers champions going around at the moment ( quite possibly 4 by year end). Mercedes have thrown in the budget, people and even bending the rules with tyres for next year- so we can all see what their ambitions are and we know for drivers it’s all about being at the right place at the right time.

        Whilst Ferrari are definitely more national than any other -look at who their top technical people have been on late.

      2. Rockie says:

        What a load of BS how is Mercedes not German its like saying Redbull is not Austrian because they all have their base in UK for logistical reasons.

      3. Martin says:

        You’ve rather missed my point – I said “the German national team”, not ‘a German team’. There’s a fundamental difference. Ferrari in a way represents Italy even if many key personnel are not Italian.

        To take a tennis analogy, Andy Murray being runner-up at Wimbledon is equivalent to Hamilton or Button being in contention at Silverstone. Hamilton or Button winning Monaco is like Murray winning the US Open. Murray winning the Olympic gold is like winning for Ferrari.

        To me the Mercedes team is a German registered team. A lot would need to change to make it the German national team. At best Vettel might help create that for later on. Only four years ago the most German team in backing was BMW Sauber. The most German team in terms of infrastructure was Toyota. In the short term it doesn’t look like VAG or BMW will compete in F1, but both could easily step up if they wanted to.

  13. Rowan says:

    I remember Alonso saying something similar circa 2005/2006. I wouldn’t put too much stock into it: it’s easy to say this when things are going your way, give him a season or two in an awful car and then we’ll talk.

    1. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

      Correct…..
      The universal history… all the same.

    2. Justin Bieber says:

      Those guys are addicted to the F1 adrenaline rush.. you cant just quite like that. Shumacher came back because of this.. he needed his fix.

  14. MarkedOne8 says:

    In the recent years (2012-), Vettel’s interviews were increasingly Kimi-like. He just loves Kimi’s style and impersonates him without actual counciousness about that. It’s usual for Kimi that he might quit F1.He can say that in every moment. But Vettel can’t just like that say that he’ll be quiting F1 next year. He wants to be like Kimi, but he can’t just yet. So, this Vettel’s interview absolutely means nothing to me!

    1. tom in adelaide says:

      You nailed it.

    2. Kimi4WDC says:

      Only issue he looks like a total fake when he does that. I hope he finds his style soon.

  15. Miha Bevc says:

    I would need to read the whole interview to see the context of this answer. But I don’t think he will stop in 5 years.

    Or maybe I just hope so, because I think we are blessed right now with drivers like Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Raikonnen and soon possibly Rosberg fighting for championships…

    1. Robert N says:

      He gave the answer in reply to the question “You began your F1 career with RedBull. Are you going to leave RBR one day?”

      So his answer about maybe not even being in F1 anymore in five years time looks more like trying to get away from the more controversial question of whether he is going to leave RBR anytime soon.

      The whole interview (in German) can be found here:
      http://www.welt.de/sport/formel1/article116723942/Vettel-Ich-bin-ein-miserabler-Verlierer.html

  16. LordJim says:

    I’m sure Porsche would love to have him in the World Endurance Championship. It might force the F1 press paddock to acknowledge that other racing championships exist and packed with driving talent more than the equal of F1.

    1. Mark in Australia says:

      … So he is going to follow Mark Webber, I’m sure Mark will have something to say about that!!!

      I wonder if there is a “No Seb” clause in Mark’s 2014 Porsche contract (hehehe)

    2. Elie says:

      This is an especially good point because so often we forget where our true greats come from..Kimi spent less time in an open wheeler than any other F1 driver before him yet he was arguably more instantly successful than most before him.Yet many GP2 drivers we are seeing can’t handle the step up or are trained in bad habits desparate drivers take to be noticed in F1 as it seems to be a forgone conclusion these categories are what gets you there.

      I truly hope that F1 cast its net outside their usual scouting grounds look at the style of a driver rather than just the success of the team or category he’s in. That said people like Raikkonen are one in million.

      1. Equin0x says:

        Kimi is the most naturally gifted driver in F1 he can adapt faster than anyone else but Vettel is the best allrounder now even better than Alonso.

      2. Elie says:

        The best all rounder does not run into people even on the limits. I still think Seb has a habit of doing that from time to time. Last few laps of Monaco showed who is complete!

    3. Andrew M says:

      F1 is the World Endurance Championship at the moment.

    4. Jim:) says:

      Yeah WEC has a big future I think, especially with next year quite open engine rules, give it a few years and hopefully some mainstream tv coverage in highlights form, and the ingredients are there.

    5. hero_was_senna says:

      If you ever read a history of motorsport, you’ll see there was a time that F1 was not the dominant format.

      F1 only really came to prominence in the mid 70′s, possibly because of the accident that nearly took Lauda’s life and TV playing a bigger part in a world dominated by sponsorship money.
      Prior to this, the most important motor-racing was in sports cars.
      Le Mans, Targa Florio the Mille Miglia and countless championships across the world.
      Ferrari, in fact, focused on Endurance racing until about June and the 24 hours of Le Mans, only then placing their attention and funds on F1.
      It may be significant that Ferrari last competed in the Sportscar World Championships in 1973, from 1974 onwards they started winning more races and titles.

      Porsche, Ferrari, Bentley, Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar are all multiple winners of the 24hrs, all companies that have benefited from their association with long distance racing.
      The same cannot be said for Renault, BMW, Honda and Mercedes in F1.

      Possibly the best comparison though is Ford. They produced an engine in 1967 that revolutionized F1 and took 155 wins. The DFV.
      But the Ford GT40 has a greater legacy even though they only competed from 1966 to 1969

      1. David says:

        I tend to agree with you but the DFV was designed and built by Cosworth and only branded by Ford. The GT40 first competed at Le Mans in 1964.

      2. Sebee says:

        hero,

        Did you see this comment of mine?

        >
        If Senna was your hero, who is your hero now?
        Time for a new handle perhaps? hero_is_vettel?
        :-)

  17. carl craven says:

    5 years, hmmm 5 + 3 = 8

    So when he has 8 titles he’s going to retire.

  18. Warren says:

    I think you are right, James: Vettel is putting this message out there for a reason.

    Possible reasons:
    -he’s sending a subtle message to other teams(mostly Ferrari) that he’s willing to consider other options
    - he already has a contract or pre-agreement with Ferrari and wants to make it clear now that he’s leaving Red Bull for a challenge rather than money.

  19. Irish con says:

    Lets be honest here everyone. Pretty much every driver wants to be a Ferrari driver at some stage in there career. I think Lewis would really love the way Ferrari idolise Fernando and the way the fans love Fernando. Can see him or vettel replacing Fernando when he does leave Ferrari hopefully with a couple more titles which is the least the man deserves.

    1. Fan says:

      I wonder if the Ferrari fans would accept Vettel…

      1. JCA says:

        If he wins at Ferrari, the Ferrari fans will embrace him. If he joins Mclaren and win there, Mclaren fans will embrace him. Winning tends to mend a lot of fences.

        People forget thar Alonso was hated by many after 2007, time and other ‘villains’ heal wounds and rebuild reputations.

      2. Kimi4WDC says:

        Lack of Championships might be a bigger factor, rather than personal preference. See where aesthetics got Ferrari now, biggest driver budget, zero Championships.

      3. Sven says:

        Why wouldn’t they? Don’t you remember that Ferrari fans hated both Schumi and Alonso before they joined them?

        I used to be a Ferrari fan when Michael and Kimi were there. If/when Vettel goes there, I might start supporting them again.

      4. Schumi says:

        +1

        I stopped cheering for Ferrari the day Alonso went there. I used to be their staunch supporter throughout Msc and Kimi era. I want Vettel to go there so i could here german + italian anthem together at podium ceremony once again. I don’t think Vettel or Ferrari would wait for Alonso to retire. If Vettel wins 4th title this year. Its game over for Alonso at Ferrari !

    2. Equin0x says:

      As Luca Di Montezemelo has already commented a few times, they are not interested in Hamilton and would rather have Vettel, the bottom line he’s trying to say is Hamilton is not Ferrari material but the question is: is Ferrari Vettel material?

  20. tom in adelaide says:

    Seems like it was just a throwaway comment really…as though he’s trying to sound cool and enigmatic. Leave that to Kimi Seb…..

  21. Tim says:

    Pretty impressive thinking coming from a 25 year old. He realizes that 5 years is an eon in F1 time. Ferrari might go into dormancy again. McLaren could get their mojo back. Mercedes might finally put it all together. Add to this, rule changes and the rise and fall of garagista teams. There are just way too many variables to make those kind of long range plans.

    Does anyone know if he is still his own manager? That’s what impresses me the most about him.

    1. Kartik says:

      Yes, Vettel still Manages his contracts.

  22. Jeroen says:

    I think he simple understands now that Red Bull will leave the sport soon. So he is paving the way for another team to come and lure him.

  23. olivier says:

    James, are you sure he wasn’t joking around?

    Or could this be a subtle hint to Red Bull to sign Kimi? Kimi would be much more of a challenge for Vettel than Webber.

  24. D.S says:

    Odd. His words made my realize how utterly weird and dull F1 would be without him.

    1. Lewis says:

      As great as Vettel is, it’s not quite Rossi leaving Moto GP, he’s not particularly charismatic or outgoing out of the car. F1 would miss him but to say it would be dull without him is a stretch. Applicable to Kimi or maybe Lewis but not Seb.

      1. KRB says:

        It says a lot that this is an article about Seb, but still most (even the Vettel supporters) just want to comment about Hamilton and Kimi.

      2. Sven says:

        We must be reading different comments, then.

  25. Ryan Eckford says:

    I doubt that he will retire in 5 years time, unless he gets tired of the politics in the sport, like Casey Stoner did in MotoGP last year.

  26. Jeff says:

    He can do whatever he wants, write books, set up a race driving school, have orgies… being triple world champion at such a young age has allowed him in effect to lead 2 or 3 lives

  27. anarack says:

    Stop now…..

  28. Tealeaf says:

    So you’re another 1 thats realised drivers like Alonso and Hamilton are vastly overrated, like hell are those two clowns anywhere near the best drivers in the world, I bet even plenty of sim racers out there are technically faster than those 2, and in the real racing world Seb and Rosberg are just plain better than them 2 too.

  29. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Vettel’s motivation of course is to beat all the drivers records, starting for getting more championships than Senna, then more than Prost, then more than Fangio, then more than Schumacher, then having more winnings than Schumacher.
    I think it’s clear. And maybe people don’t think he is one of the greater, but he is changing his character -necessary to be a legend- and I am sure that after many championships he has win, people will think “yeah, Vettel is one of the greatest in F1, and they won’t remember Alonso, Kimi, nor Hamilton (nor Button, nor Hakkinen).

    1. Equin0x says:

      The greatest of all time title is there for Vettel to take, he’ll probably have to win the championship in 2 or more teams, beat Schumi’s 7 titles, win over 100 races and beat a few other world champions like Kimi and Alonso.

  30. James says:

    Alonso turns 32 in a few weeks and so likely has another 4/5 years as a top driver.

    Vettel whilst on the record is very happy at Red Bull, is widely rumoured to want to replicate Schumacher at Ferrari.

    An off the cuff comment that he may not be around in 5 years time and a rival with perhaps 5 years left in a seat he’s rumoured to be interested in…perhaps it’s just me turning 2 & 2 into 5.

  31. Irish con says:

    Completely off topic here so I apologise but after watching the moto gp all weekend f1 should really be racing there instead of some of the rubbish tracks we do go to. And also I miss imola from the calendar also. Tracks with history and passionate fans about Motorsport rather than Abu Dhabi and Korea with no motor sport history at all.

  32. Zombie says:

    Reminds me of Casey Stoner – the 2 time Motogp champ who retired at the ripe old age of 27. Although i dont believe Seb will stop until he has beaten Schumi’s record of 7 world titles, it is probable that he wont match Schumacher’s appetite for racing until he well into his 40s.

    Those who achieve a lot in their formative years do tend to lose motivation later on.

    1. Equin0x says:

      Really? Schumi’s first title was when he was 25 years old, hardly old and his desire was strong as ever.

  33. Chris says:

    He can drive. There can be no doubt about that. But he IS overrated. 2011 was a joke. He had a one second advantage over the next best team. Anyone could have won the WDC that year. There is a reason he still isn’t regarded in the same light as ALO or HAM. It sounds ridiculous but reality often is- he has not proven himself, period.

    1. JL says:

      3 WDCs and he has not proven himself… wake up

      1. Chris says:

        Look I hear what you’re saying. I’m just referring to the “magic carpet ride” that DC mentioned. There is something to that, at least I think so. Maybe this season will be more interesting from Canada forward. Hope so. And calm down people. It’s just my opinion for crying out loud! But we do need someone different winning this year. Maybe I wouldn’t mind so much if wasn’t for that finger, I don’t know.

    2. James says:

      And yet Mark Webber in an identical car was beaten by Jenson Button in 2011.

      Strange how these things called facts always tend to ruin a good opinion.

    3. Steve says:

      You’re right about one thing – that does sound ridiculous.

      The RB7 did not have a “one second advantage” over the rest. It was about as dominant a car as the R26.

      The most overrated driver if F1 is Alonso. Year after year he loses out due to his own errors, and year after year he gets rewarded for finishing second by being praised to the skies.

    4. Rockie says:

      And how have Alonso n Hamilton proven themselves? they are yet to beat a competitive team mate and have not won the title in an inferior car so please enlighten me, how they have proven themselves?

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Hamilton beat Alonso in 2007 in his rookie year, and he beat Massa in Ferrari for the Championship in 2008, so he has proven himself. After that he was winning races and being better than the 2009 Champion Button in sessions 2010 and 2012, although from 2009 on he has not been in the history books.

        Alonso has 2 World Championships and later he won races for McLaren and Ferrari, so it’s OK.

      2. Rockie says:

        Its hilarious reading your reply, after his rookie and championship year he has not been a factor in the title fight if am not wrong I remember in 08 a lot of pundits were saying they wonder what Vettel would achieve in a top-tier car? Low and behold he has done that now its the car also since Vettel hashad a top-tier car he’s been a force in F1.
        If not for Vettel,Alonso would ve won the last 3 championships ignore him at your peril.

      3. KRB says:

        Huh, Hamilton as a rookie with Alonso as 2xDWC, wasn’t a competitive teammate?!? He beat him on countback.

        Hamilton won in 2008 against the better Ferrari’s. He’s the only driver on the grid to win the DWC without his team winning the WCC, and with his teammate 7th that year in the DWC standings. You have to go back to Prost in the mid-80′s to find the last to do that.

      4. Rockie says:

        That shows badly on Alonso Hamilton matching him, so in your own opinion you believe there is a rookie out there who can match Vettel right now?
        Kovalainen was poor at best and thats your yardstick really please the highest Webber has finished in the so called dominant redbull is 3rd in their 5 years together.

    5. Steve says:

      Just crunched the numbers, and Vettels average qualifying margin from pole to the first non Red Bull car in 2011 was 0.32 seconds.

    6. Wilma the Great says:

      Anyone? Where was Webber in ’11 – question mark.

      1. KRB says:

        It’s been well documented that Webber never got to grips with the new Pirelli rubber, and couldn’t overcome his natural driving instincts, to get the best out of the EBD, both of which Vettel was able to do. Vettel and the RB7 were a perfect combo, car as extension of driver.

        That was the reason why Webber was nowhere in 2011, yet was leading Vettel in the DWC at the mid-point of 2012. Of course once Newey recouped the rear-end downforce with their DDRS, the RB8 was rampant again (from Japan-India), and Vettel again reaped relatively more benefit out of the car than Webber.

        I think Webber is also past it, and has been since the end of 2010. I don’t think it’s any psychological baggage coming out of how 2010 ended either, but just Father Time catching up with him. He’s 36, soon to be 37!

        He would have a great post-F1 career in movie Westerns, if that was still a prolific genre. :-)

      2. James says:

        The reason Vettel wasn’t leading the 2012 WDC at the halfway stage was being taken out in Malaysia and having an alternator failure when cruising in Valencia, costing him 37 points.

      3. JCA says:

        Webber was leading Vettel at the midpoint of last year because Vettel lost 25 points at Valencia, Webber beat him 5 times all year, arguably only at China, Silverstone and Monaco on pure speed.

      4. KRB says:

        Mechanical failures happen. Vettel was lucky in that he only had 2 all year! Maybe if he had 5 DNF’s thru the year, you could point to Valencia.

        Vettel’s tangle with Narain didn’t have to be an issue, if he’d given the proper room.

      5. JCA says:

        I also find it interesting that a bad patch by Vettel is used as the reason he is overrated and no better than 4th best current driver (some are now including Rosberg as better than him) but Hamilton’s bad end of 2011 and Alonso’s bad start of 2010 (new team, but he made driver mistakes) and Kimi’s indefrent 2008 are dismissed as having no influence on their legacy.

      6. KRB says:

        JCA I think there’s a clear top 3 group of drivers, ALO, HAM, VET (in alphabetic order so as not to offend some sensitive types). They each may have periods of poor form, but you know what they say: form is temporary, class is permanent.

        I don’t recall people heaping scorn on Vettel when his form was indifferent last year. There was nothing like the silliness we’re seeing now with comments about Lewis. Don’t ask me to explain it … I think there’s enough there for a dissertation by a Sociology PhD. It’s long since spilled over from weird to just plain pathetic.

      7. Brad says:

        KRB, I think there’s a clear top 4 group of driver’s… Vettel, Kimi, Alonso and Hamilton, IN THIS PARTICULAR ORDER. Please convince me otherwise as there seem to be a clear bias from you part. Vettel is a 3-times consecutive world champion, and as his achievements suggest, the best of the current crop.

      8. KRB says:

        Well ok Brad, just b/c you sound so open-minded and convincable … ;-)

        Of the 69 Grand Prix where the four drivers you listed went head-to-head-to-head-to-head, this is how it pans out, in terms of wins:

        HAM 14
        VET 12
        ALO/RAI 8

        Of the 27 races not won by one of the four above, but which each contested, we get:

        BUT 9
        MAS 7
        WEB 4
        ROS/BAR 2
        KUB/KOV/MAL 1

        Those were the races where each of the top 4 drivers you listed participated, and could have an effect on the final result.

        Gonna complain about being overly selective about the races? Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? If all we had to go by was the 2009 season, many would think that Jenson Button was the greatest driver of all time, and point to the results as proof. Some others might say we need to see more, b/c we could see he had a monster car for at least the first half of that season.

        It’s clear that Vettel is a special driver, but it’s also clear that he’s had the best car for the last three seasons, and the 2nd best one the year before that (and maybe Vettel circa 2013 could’ve won in that 2009 car, as the Brawn faded badly).

  34. Alexx says:

    Anything to do with Mark Weber contract negotiation time?

  35. Honkhonk says:

    Yea Seb…we are tired too…..

  36. Scuderia McLaren says:

    All young sports stars say this in many sports. They just do not comprehend how FAST the time flys.

    Don’t worry, he’ll be at 200gp’s before he knows it and will say, “fittest I have ever been! Motivated for title no.7″. As schuey’s stats get closer and less arbitrary, he’ll become hungrier. Leopards don’t change their spots, even if they want to.

    Sorry Seb, might sound nice to retire at 30 but the drive that got you here won’t switch off until the flesh begins to fail ala Mickey Schu. You’re no Kimi.

    1. Angelina says:

      +100

  37. Richard says:

    Good Joke Seb!

  38. Val from montreal says:

    Schumacher always said he would retire if somebody else came along who proved to be faster than him .. That day never came …. Being at the top of F1 for more than a decade had its tole on the great German … He had nothing left to prove after 2000 , all the extra years was only a bonus for his legacy …

    Vettel can retire this year and he’d be seen as the greatest of his generation even at 25 years old …

    Go Vettel !

    1. Angelina says:

      +1000

  39. Tyler says:

    Close the door on your way out

    1. JCA says:

      Not bitter ar all

    2. Bring Back Murray says:

      Come on he’s spiced up F1. Always goes for the fastest lap even when he’s miles in the lead. Doesn’t just turn off with 30% of the race to go like Shumacher always used to!

    3. Jake says:

      No need, Weber is holding it open for him.

  40. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

    I think he will stop sooner than that (maybe 2015) if Kimi joins RBR next year… (assuming Kimi is allowed to race).

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Kimi will stay where is next year. Then he will have a mclaren swansong in 2015 and 2016.

    2. JCA says:

      But if he beats Kimi his detractors will say its because he knows the team better, or they favour him, or Kimi will suddenly be over the hill. There will always be an excuse. I think he is a better qualifier than Kimi, so he may have a good chance.

      1. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        Believe me. He WILL NOT beat Kimi (or ALO or ROS or HAM).

      2. JCA says:

        Ok, if you say so, I’ll wait for the actual races to take place, thanks.

      3. Rockie says:

        Hahahaha its hilarious now Rosberg is brought into the mix as hes got the measure of Hamilton now he has beaten all the above constantly since he’s been in a good car so what are we saying here no one talks about Alonso’s development skills again now because reality has set in or he forgot his 6/10th at Mclaren people say Alonso is deserving of the title like he’s driving a Marussia or Caterham forgetting he has the might of Ferrari behind him.
        I tell you if Vettel goes to Ferrari next season he would wipe the floor with him believe that Alonso is a poor qualifier and Vettel is just as good in the race.

  41. AuraF1 says:

    I think it’s more likely red bull leave before vettel does. I imagine pouring billions of pounds in when Newey retires will seem like a waste.

    Vettel will have seen that Michael didn’t fare well by taking a break and so I think he’ll stay until he’s beaten schimachers records. Although we all know the last couple of WDC’s will be in a Ferrari don’t we?

    1. Steve says:

      I’ve never understood the way some seem to regard Newey as a near deity. He spent ten years designing cars from 2000 to 2009, and they were not very good cars. He’s part of a great team at present. He’s not bestowing wins on RBR which they could never get otherwise.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Well to be honest how you regard Newey isn’t the point. Red Bull pay him more than any driver, Ferrari have offered him more money than Alonso and Hamilton combined – he gets a near unlimited budget and every other engineer out there describes him as a genius. The team at RBR was put together by Newey, that’s the point. That team would not exist and the working method would not exist without Newey.

        If anyone claims it is ALL Newey alone, they’re wrong – but dismissing him as if RBR would even be close to winning 4 championships on the run is simply going against what every expert in the paddock suggests.

        It’s not so much the fans who ‘deify’ Newey, but his rivals.

        He does seem to have ‘cycles’ though (like drivers) where he designs a run of great cars and then he either gets bored or runs out of talent for a while. But his main complaint before has been teams refusing to let him set up his workforce in the way he sees fit without interference.

        RBR would not be winning without Newey.

      2. KRB says:

        It’s ridiculous that someone even tries to argue otherwise. Even Horner said he would plump for Newey over Schumacher (said in 2005 when they poached him) every time!

  42. Steve says:

    He could retire today while still just 25 and have had one of the most distinguished careers in the history of F1. The lengths the FIA is going to to try to stop him from winning is a tribute to his skill and resolve.

  43. Fazly says:

    It is better to burnout than to fade away….

  44. TMAX says:

    Well history says otherwise. People are not able to quit F1. Just look at Schumi he found it hard to stop racing after 7 championships. Kimi got back to F1 after a while.

    I think these are just opinions and thoughts. As @Miha put it we need to read the whole interview or atleast the exact question that was asked to get the full context.

    It remains a fact that Vettel has achieved a lot at a younger age compared to others. Imagining him racing for another 15 more years will be quite a stretch. But another 10 years does not look that difficult.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      I agree. 10 years seems about right. Unlike many of his heroes he’s not come into F1 in his later 20s and won championships in his 30s. So there’s definitely less chance of him trying to continue in his 40s like Schumacher – but in terms of experience, he’ll likely be one of the ‘old guard’ by 35 even if he’s not really the oldest of the drivers.

  45. John M says:

    I don’t think we should read too much into this interview. It sounds very realistic to acknowledge the reality that he may not be motivated to continue, or that he may change teams at some point. It happens. All drivers move on, even when they’re on a winning team.

    I think at some point Vettel will have to face some adversity in his career. It is inevitable. How will he react? No driver ever has the perfect situation for an entire career. Schumi switched teams to what, at the time, was an uncompetitive Ferrari. He later broke a leg and lost half a season. That’s but one driver example.

    Vettel, up until now, has enjoyed a very charmed life. Quick rise in to a top team (deserved), consistently good car from RBR, no major accidents. Perhaps his luck will continue…more likely not. How will he react in the event of a setback (I’m not wishing anything bad happens to him, just to clarify)? It will be interesting to see.

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      If something bad happens to him, he’ll get just more fans…

    2. Ronnie says:

      He will do the same as he did after being hit to face the wrong direction, with the car damage worsening, after the wrong pit stop followed by waiting at the pit stop due to broken radio at the 2012 Brazil GP – never stops believing and keeps on pushing

    3. Steve says:

      He’s actually been rather unlucky, so I have no idea where the “charmed life” stuff comes from. Vettel has suffered multiple mechanical DNF’s in his short career, much more so than Hamilton or Alonso. He fought through considerable adversity to take the title in both 2010 and 2012.

      1. John M says:

        Are you kidding?

        I’m not talking about the run-of-the-mill stuff that all drivers have to deal with.

        He’s been in the Constructor’s Championship winning car the last three years. Wow, that’s some real adversity…

      2. KRB says:

        I don’t think he’s kidding. Another overly-tribal my-driver-right-or-wrong type.

        Vettel’s had 4 mechanical DNF’s from 2010-12. Hamilton’s had 6. It’s just a product of exaggerating your favoured driver’s travails, while discounting those of other drivers. Fan myopia.

      3. Steve says:

        “He’s been in the Constructor’s Championship winning car the last three years.”

        What has MADE it “the Constructor’s Championship winning car” has been Vettel’s performances in it. You make it sound as if the car won those Constructors titles all on its own and SV was taken along with it.

        By the same token, the Renault won the constructors titles in 2005 and 2006. But that cannot be separated from FA’s performances those years. You can’t simply claim that a driver was “lucky” to be in a WCC (or WDC) winning car. In that sense every champion in the history of F1 has been “lucky”.

        KBR – I clearly said “career”, not “since 2010″. In his career SV has suffered eleven mechanical DNF’s and LH just six. Even in 2012 while LH was being “unlucky” and SV was supposedly being “lucky”, LH had 3 mechanical DNF’s and SV had 2.

        These are just cold hard facts. I’ll leave the “fan myopia” to others.

      4. KRB says:

        Steve, if you have a mech failure when you’re running 13th having started 14th, I’m sorry but it doesn’t exactly arouse feelings of hard luck, b/c a good points-scoring opportunity has been lost. When you’re in a midfield team, you will have more mech failures, but they hardly ever result in a top 5 finish being squandered.

        Care to list all his mech failures, starting grid position, and position retired from?

        Fact is that Vettel had 18 finishes in 2012, 90% of the races. He didn’t get tagged by Grosjean all year … not many other drivers on last year’s grid can say that. He also did not have many finished-but-with-race-compromising-issues (FBWRCI’s, new stat), especially ones in which he bore zero fault. I would put his damage in BRA partly down to his bad start, and brain fade thinking he could turn in so sharp during the first-lap close racing.

        Bottom line he can’t really claim to be in a credit position with Lady Luck.

  46. Stephen W says:

    Vettel i’m sure won’t retire from F1 in 5 years time.

  47. nusratolla says:

    Don’t read to much into to it… Its only a Rant by Vettel.

    None would hang up their helmets from F1 when they touch thirty…. especially when we all know just how crazy Vettel is about records…. both breaking them and keeping them.

    1. JB says:

      Agree. He did start off the sentence with “Perhaps… bla bla bla…”

      There is no doubt about his intellect and how he uses it to win championships. With the exception of 2011, all his other WDC hard fought.

      I rate him to have the same level (or at least potentially) as Sebastian Loeb, Juan Manuel Fangio, Stéphane Peterhansel, Vladimir Chagin. All of these great drivers simply dominated their field.

      1. Rockie says:

        You left out Micheal Schumacher

      2. nusratolla says:

        Interesting you mentioning Sebastian Loeb…. while the F1 drivers bask in all the media glory, sometimes undeservedly so…. Sebastian Loeb has been the most supreme force in terms of talent in the world of Motorsport…. simply unbeatable and unequaled…. An Astonishing Achievement and one which commands more respect and honor than its been given.

  48. Bring Back Murray says:

    You know what I didn’t think anybody would be getting after Schumacher’s record for quite some time. If ever. But unless the other teams / drivers step up and really do something about it he’s going to be there before you know it.

  49. forzaminardi says:

    Alonso said the same thing circa 2005, didn’t he?

  50. Honkhonk says:

    Sorry Seb, the real concern is whether Newey is getting tired.

  51. Matthew Cheshire says:

    It’s not that complicated. 3 championships plus 5 more beats Schumacher. Vettel will get 8 and then think about retiring.

    Drivers are simple people.

  52. Nico says:

    The two best examples are Loeb in wrc and Stoner in MotoGP. Loeb struggled to maintain motivation after dominating for so long, and Stoner got sick of the politics and media BS.

  53. Johnston says:

    I reckon Vettel is just squeezing RBR for bigger $$$ contract, he knows the team needs him.

    1. KRB says:

      Need him, or like to keep him? Newey is the former, I don’t think Vettel is. RBR are at their strongest position to renegotiate now. If they fall back next year, they won’t be.

  54. Jake says:

    The key to the Vettel move is:-
    How long will Vettel give Red Bull if the engine package is not competitive?
    How long will Ferrari give Alonso when he fails to deliver the championship again?

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      Alonso’s seat is set in stone, isn’t it?

      1. Sven says:

        Nothing is set in stone in F1. :)

    2. Rockie says:

      the former would more than likely determine it than the latter

  55. Paul D says:

    The reality is no one really knows how good Vettel is until he goes up against another benchmark. So far he’s seen off Bourdais and Webber.

    We know Hamilton and Alonso are about equal based on 2007.

    Alonso has seen off Massa, and Massa generally had the upper hand on Kimi at Ferrari.

    Rosberg is now showing Hamilton the way, so based on the above indicates he is therefore better than Alonso, Hamilton, Kimi, Schumacher and Massa.

    If Kimi was to beat Vettel at Red Bull next year it means Rosberg is therefore the best driver in the world.

    Kimi > Vettel (?)
    Massa > Kimi
    Alonso > Massa
    Alonso = Hamilton
    Rosberg > Hamilton

    Do you follow (?) Or are these ‘who’s better’ debates a total waste of time… ;-)

    1. Steve says:

      You do realize that Webber beat Rosberg when they drove the same car? So Webber > Rosberg > Hamilton > Alonso > Massa ….

      Yeah, it’s a silly game. The fact is that Hamilton and Button drove the same car for three years – and people still can’t agree on what THAT proved. It certainly appeared to show that Hamilton = Button though.

    2. Sven says:

      You are forgetting that Webber>Rosberg and Vettel>Webber, so it means that:
      Vettel>Webber>Rosberg=Hamilton=Alonso>Massa>Kimi :)

      See? He already has a benchmark to compare to.

      Such comparisons are beyond silly anyway.

    3. Jake says:

      But, Vettel and Hamilton have driven against each other in the same car (top gear) and Hamilton won so does that mean Rosberg is the greatest. :-)

      1. Paul D says:

        Non Compute…. How can this be?

        Vettel > Webber > Rosberg > Hamilton ??

        Haha :-)

  56. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    James – I believe Schumacher changed the way champions are viewed. It wasn’t by the number of championships he won, but it was the fact that he was able to go to a struggling team (and in conjunction with others) build it into a dominant force.

    If you’re a good F1 driver and care about your legacy, its not enough to win one WDC. That can be put down to being in the right car in the right time – eg Button in the Brawn. Even people like Senna switched teams to be in the right team during periods of his career. That was the established methodology.

    Several of the current generation have the combination of the talent to win a WDC (given the right car) and an eye on history. Look at Alonso’s career. He arguably beat Schumacher at his peak on equal terms(twice). By moving to Ferrari, he wasn’t trying to necessarily beat his total WDC wins, but to prove that it wasn’t the car, it was him. Remarks like “I bring 2 seconds a lap” when joinging McLaren highlight this mentality.

    I think Hamilton also has this vision. Having been frustrated by McLaren’s underperformance, I think he saw Mercedes as the opportunity to prove to the world that he was capable of turning around a team. You could argue that the team was already undergoing that process (thanks to all the Chiefs/Indians in the engineering tent) though.

    I think Vettel knows that his wins could always be judged as being unbeatable Newey masterpieces. That the public think that its the car not him. So by moving to another team at some stage in his career, he is able to show the part he played. After you have won one WDC as a driver, you probably start judging yourself against other WDCs and in particular the way Schumacher won his, not the total.

  57. Dragster says:

    Is it just me or is it that F1 has not been that good this year? Are the drivers losing their love for the sport or are the tyres killing F1 alive?

    I’m young and I only started following in 2010. However 2010 was a magnificent season. Alonso, Webber in pole position for the WC (pardon the pun) and suddnely Vettel steals it in Abu Dhabi.

    Look at 2012, 7 different winners from seven races. I can say two things.

    Firstly, a massive reason for the dwonfall this year is one word ‘Pirelli.’ Secondly, I don’t know what will happen to me when the current crop (Alonso, Webber, Kimi, Button, Vettel, Hamilton)will retire?

    1. Alonso is the best driver at this time he would take vettel if had the same car i am sure and he will win this year fi title bet on it,

  58. Alonso will win montreal he cannot afford to have vettel he must WIN to get closer to Vettel the track was good for Michel it will be good for Alonso

  59. f1fan says:

    I can’t believe everyone is saying that Massa is better than Kimi. Massa of 2008 was better than everybody, that was his year. But overall Kimi has shown he always drives his best. I wish we could see Massa of 2008 because almost no one could challenge him. Alonso would not be able to handle the old Massa… so stop acting like Alonso is so great. He’s good but this is due in addition because Massa lost his edge.

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