Sebastian Vettel is one of the four peloton riders who not only went to the start in the Turkish Grand Prix, but also won the Istanbul circuit. Before the start of the racing weekend, the Ferrari driver not only talked about the features of the circuit, but also commented on the latest news.
Q: Sebastian, in 2006 in Turkey you spent your debut weekend in Formula 1, sitting behind the wheel in Friday training. What do you remember from that day besides being fined for speeding in the pit lane?
Sebastian Vettel: The fine was a great achievement of that day! Otherwise, I don’t remember much. If I am not mistaken, I showed the best time, but still the speeding in the pit lane was the most striking event! (laughs)
Q: You are one of the few riders who have competed on the Turkish track. What can you say about her?
Sebastian Vettel: The last time we came to Turkey was many years ago, so I don’t remember much. The track is interesting, I liked it and I am sure I will like it again. Now there is new asphalt, but the elevation difference and the eighth turn have not gone anywhere. I am sure that the eighth turn will be very interesting while driving a modern car. There are straight, fast and slow turns, the technical sections are a great track for piloting.
Question: The calendar for the next season consists of a record 23 stages. Do you have any fear that due to such a number of races, the importance of each of them individually will decrease?
Sebastian Vettel: I would answer this question in the affirmative if we had 23 races on the same track. We have a world championship, and the races are held in different parts of the planet. However, I am speaking from the point of view of a person who goes to all Grand Prix, and does not watch them on TV. Perhaps to some of the fans, this number of races may seem too large, but not for me to worry about it.
It seems to me more important to ask, are the teams able to host 23 races? We’re not talking about 90-minute rides on Sundays – there’s a lot more work going on behind the scenes. Let’s see how the beginning of the next season will turn out, how the situation with the pandemic will develop – I think it can affect the calendar of the next season, at least at the beginning of the championship.
We hope that we will be able to return to our usual life, the spectators will be allowed into the stands, and we will be able to focus on the races again.
Q: Has Charles Leclair made a bigger impression on you this season than last?
Sebastian Vettel: It is difficult to make comparisons, because this year I am in the role of catch-up in relation to him. I cannot say that I am satisfied with my own results, but Charles is doing an excellent job this year and regularly squeezes the maximum out of the car. He added in several areas, but Charles made a strong impression in his first season at Sauber. Over the years, he has matured and pilots better.
Question Bernie Ecclestone said that he helped to sign your contract with Aston Martin. This is true? And if so, did he charge you a commission for his services? And are Gerhard Berger’s words true that you are interested in the possibility of combining Formula 1 and DTM performances?
Sebastian VettelA: The truth is, I’ve interacted with both of them, as well as with other people. Some I consider my friends, some I asked for advice. As for the commission, Bernie did not ask me for it. I suppose he would not like taking money from me.
If we talk about performances outside of Formula 1, then in the past this was possible, but not today. Of course, I would be interested to get behind the wheel of another racing technique, but when the calendar consists of 23 stages, it is not so easy to find time for another championship. It seems to me that this is an unrealistic goal.
Question: Let’s remember the situation in Imola. When, at the moment of being on the track of the safety car, you returned to the circle with the leaders, you saw the marshals on the track and described the situation as dangerous. Are you going to talk about what happened at the next pilot briefing? Who is to blame for the fact that the marshals were on the track when some of the riders were allowed to attack?
Sebastian Vettel: I think it is worth paying more attention to finding a solution so that this does not happen again. As far as I understand, we physically have to overtake the peloton to return to the circle, simply because the software does not allow us to score an extra circle. Because of this, we have to drive a circle – it sounds ridiculous, but I think that is the point.
If I look for solutions, then I would make an effort to modify the software so that the cars lagging behind in the circle do not have to physically overtake the peloton. You can also make it so that on the computer add a circle to us and place it in the position where we should be. I think this is our decision. I believe it will be possible to implement this in 2020.