F1 team bosses have kind words for the outgoing Sebastian Vettel especially the ones who worked with him in all these years.
After his peers said their good words for Vettel who is to leave F1 at the end of the 2022 season, where he will be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin, it was time for some of his former bosses to speak up for the German and how he has been all these years.
While he worked the longest with Christian Horner at Red Bull, but he good time with the likes of Laurent Mekies at Ferrari and also Franz Tost at AlphaTauri (Toro Rosso). Besides that, even Mike Krack and Andreas Seidl have worked with him in the past.
Here’s what the F1 bosses stated about Vettel:
Krack: “Obviously I was fortunate to be around when he started his career, when he was very young. And now also, probably when he finishes his career. So yeah, there’s that racing driver, where I think, if I’m fair, I think the biggest successes he had in other teams, so I know him only at the beginning. And now, as a man, obviously, this is a bit different. First, there was the youth, at the time, the excitement of being in Formula 1 and being there, and now with this very reflective personality, with a lot of a lot of thoughts that are not so common in our sport.”
Horner: “Sebastian, in his time with us, was incredible. He came as a junior, he wrote a letter to Red Bull to see if they would support him, you know, locally, and, out of that came support from the local market, and then from the group, and then through the junior programmes, through Toro Rosso, and then into Red Bull Racing. I think the thing that stood out about Seb, was from the very beginning, you could see he was a very focused young man, and his work ethic was totally Germanic. He worked hard, he worked late, and he had a great sense of humour, so fitting into a British team, he embraced the culture immediately. He endeared himself across all areas of the business, whether he was turning up with chocolates for secretaries or learning the lingo in the garage – in a slightly different way to Yuki – but his commandment of cockney slang became legendary. His ability to just relate to people and get the best out of people. And he was formidable in the cars that we produced in that period of time. They were, again, halcyon days in Formula 1: massive competitors, big teams that we were up against, and some outstanding successes.
“He, at that stage, was very focused on achieving, not just success, but achieving and going for records. They meant a lot to him. And the fans as well, a huge amount, just seeing him collect every bit of memorabilia and every gift in Japan that he would then insist on taking home. And some of the objects were slightly weird, but he kept everything, he kept absolutely everything. He was a pleasure for us to have in our team. We achieved some great things together. And I think having just watched him grow from a boy into a young man, and I think he’s a very principled guy. He has very strong beliefs. We’ve seen that in the latter stages of his career, as he’s very much standing up for things that he feels passionate about, and rightly so. His family is important to him. He’s a very private man. So pleased to see he’s become an Instagramer recently. And whilst his Formula 1 career comes to an end, he’s got a lot that I’m sure he wants to do in his life. And I’m sure he’s going to go on and do some great things. But it’ll be sad not to see him around. But I think the timing is right for him. It’s not nice to see him running around in the middle of the field, he doesn’t deserve to be there. And I think the time is right for him to say, ‘now’s the time for me to call time on Formula 1’.
“He just got better and better. I mean, 2009, we were a young team, as well as him. And we made a few mistakes. ’10, he was, he was the standout driver that year, had a lot of unreliability and against the odds won the Championship at the end of the year. ’11, he built on that, ’12, was a super tough year. He’d only won one race before we left Europe. And then won, I think, four on the bounce to go head-to-head with Fernando in that final race in Brazil, but by the time we got to ’13, he just absolutely dominated and then nine victories in succession that he achieved, that was that for me was his pinnacle year: he brought everything together and was just truly outstanding that year.”
Seidl: “Yeah, so I remember those days, together with Mike, when we tried to get him going for his first test. And then also did the first Formula 1 race together with him in Indianapolis. But I guess straight away, it was clear to see some of the attributes that Christian was describing: obviously at that time it wasn’t foreseeable that he kicks off like that, and then he’s winning four championships in a row, but in terms of personality, character, yeah, he was always very special from the beginning, and obviously he was a great driver. I guess the sport will miss him. We will miss him. But at the same time, I think the most important thing is that he made a good decision for himself and for his family. And all you can do is wish him all the best and hope you still see him around from time to time.”
Tost: “Yes, because I observed him already in Formula BMW and he won so many races. And then afterwards, we met a couple of times and he was very focused. The questions he asked were really good for a young driver and his big advantages were, first of all, he was 100% committed to Formula 1, or to motor sports in general in those days, because it was not only in BMW, it was also in Formula 3, and in other categories. And in Formula 1, when he came then to us, he brought in fresh blood, new ideas, he was very demanding and asking many questions. He went into details, which is very important, and he was always in a good mood, although we had at the beginning some problems with the car, but he pushed the team forward, and as a result, he won, together with Scuderia Toro Rosso in those days, the race in Monza. It was his first race [win] it was the first race win for Scuderia Toro Rosso. And, you know, his way of working, it was clear for me that he would become a real big driver. That he won then four world championships. This you don’t know.
“But I was convinced that he can become World Champion in Formula 1, if he is in the correct time, with the correct team. And this was the case with Red Bull Racing. And then later with Ferrari he was very successful, he won many races also for Scuderia Ferrari. And now he decided to stop Formula 1. We will miss him. I personally, of course, because we met a couple of times and he is a fantastic character, always open, and he was simply very, very successful. And we will always keep him in mind because with four world champion titles, he is in the list, on the top, behind Michael and Hamilton. Fangio has five and then it’s him and Prost, and therefore he has a place in history. And at Scuderia AlphaTauri, there is one staircase, the Vettel, named to him. And therefore we will always remember him with fantastic pictures, with his overall, and to the victory of Monza. And I wish him and his family all the best for the future.”
Mekies: “I think it’s difficult to speak after Franz, when he speaks about Sebastian. It is actually the first time I hear Franz saying that somebody is 100% committed to Formula 1. So I think that’s the right definition for Seb, really. I think perhaps I’d like to separate here the driver and the man. The driver, Franz has said everything, incredible attention to detail, as has been said, from the very beginning you know there is something special there. And he’s only developed that all the way through. I think, going back to your question, in the second stint at Ferrari, you could see how we had developed these talent, this understanding in trying to bring a team all together, in the bad moments, in the good moments, I think he was just a second to none of that. And together with what you all know, the talents and dedication, and as Franz said, the unlimited attention to detail, it produced what it produced. But I think the other part we are all going to remember, is a man with an incredible respect for all his colleagues, all of us in this room, you will read the respect in his eyes when he talks to you. And I think it’s something he has certainly driven us to improve and to acquire and we are, I think, very privileged to have crossed his path.”
Permane: “We’ve come across him on the track and he’s fierce, of course. And I think if we just look back one year from here, we spent 70 laps, or I spent 70 laps, on the edge of my seat with him behind Esteban, knowing that if Esteban put a wheel out or a foot wrong, Seb would have been there to pounce. So we have ultimate respect for him. I thought you might ask about Seb and I had a little think back and I remember, this is going back a little bit, so please forgive me, in 2013, end of the season, we had a really nice car, it was regularly on the podium, in the Lotus guise, and we even gave Red Bull a race a couple of times. We managed to get in front of Mark, we managed to get a second place, I think in Suzuka and I think in Austin, but we couldn’t get anywhere near Sebastian, at all. And I think he was at the top of his game then, of course, and of course so were they so yeah. So yeah, ultimate respect and as both these guys have said, out of the car he’s a pure gentleman.”
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