Sebastian Vettel: A new approach to Formula 1?

He has dominated the world of Formula 1 for the past four years and has been accused of making F1 boring, “It’s Schumacher all over again.” These thoughts were echoed by many last

He has dominated the world of Formula 1 for the past four years and has been accused of making F1 boring, “It’s Schumacher all over again.” These thoughts were echoed by many last season and who could blame them? He won the Championship in India and won all of the last nine races by some margin.

However the cunning German, who is actually a nice guy, seemed to arrive in Jerez for the first test with a new mentality, almost accepting that his year will be a world apart from the past four seasons. With all this success whilst being the top dog at Red Bull, this isn’t the same Sebastian.

Whilst it was common knowledge up and down the paddock that the Mercedes power unit was far superior it would always be difficult to turn this season around—he spent more time walking back to the garage as his stricken Red Bull RB10 was recovered after more reliability gremlins in the both Jerez and Bahrain.

In tune with the team

Vettel seems to have done an awful lot of growing up over the winter both on and off the track, however this doesn’t mean that we haven’t seen the last of the old Sebastian, refusing to move over for Daniel Ricciardo in China, and his comments on the radio at Silverstone were just like old times.

Unlike the majority of the drivers the recently turned 27 year old keeps his private life in fact well private. He won’t be seen posting every moment of his life on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram sharing pictures of his day to day life unlike Alonso and Hamilton who seem to live on social media, yet we do know that he did become a father over the winter and perhaps this goes a long way in terms of the growing up process.

Whilst off the track his home life is in place but on track it is a different matter. With an unreliable and mostly uncompetitive car Vettel knows where his team are with the car. Red Bull and Vettel know that their only real chance of a win this season is when Mercedes hit trouble, case and point Canada with Daniel Ricciardo passing Nico Rosberg in the closing stages.

A character

With expectations low this season anything other than the odd podium must be a bonus yet surprisingly he has only made the top three on two occasions this season. The German lies in sixth place in the championship whilst Ricciardo shows him the way in third place and has a win to his name. What a difference a year makes!

If he was to be achieving these results this time two or three years ago, or maybe even last season if he was having these results, the toys would have been thrown out of the pram so to speak, but not this time.

After a shocking weekend in Austria at Red Bull’s own circuit Vettel managed to line up on the front row of the grid at Silverstone. He went on to finish fifth after an epic battle with Fernando Alonso in which we saw glimpses of his ruthless side.

Much like their previous encounters at Monza back in 2012 and 2011they fought tooth and nail, much to the delight of the Silverstone faithful however it inevitably involved some whinging over team radio—shock horror.

With six championships between them neither was going to give an inch and, whilst the racing was hard but fair, Vettel wasted no time in letting his feelings be heard. With both drivers being warned about track limits it was eventually Sebastian Vettel that came out on top—he complained after the race that the Ferrari driver did not give him enough room on a number of occasions. 

Whilst Sebastian Vettel is as ruthless as ever on track he does seem to be showing more of his softer side. Is that due to him becoming a father over the winter perhaps? Or is it due to him knowing that he just doesn’t have the car to clinch title number five? Only he knows but surely it is only a matter of time before Vettel is back on the top step of the podium. 

Whilst he does have his strops and at times his emotions get the better of him there is no doubt this season will be considered as ‘character building.’ Whilst he genuinely looked elated for Ricciardo in Montreal I don’t believe hugging Australians is something he enjoys too much.

What do you think of Vettel’s performance so far this season? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: Morio / Wikimedia Commons