It’s an interesting story of fulfillment when Sebastian Vettel drove the 2012 Ferrari last week at Fiorano—the dream of one day racing in the red car. Watching his boyhood idol, Michael Schumacher, be a part of creating the dominance of Ferrari in the early 2,000’s was a prime mover for his desire to switch from Red Bull.
Now the German champion teams with Kimi Raikkonen in 2015 to try and help the Scuderia return to their winning ways. Vettel ran a few laps in the 2012 car to get acclimated to the team and said that it is a fairytale come true:
“There are a lot of fairytales about Ferrari and how it feels to drive a red car,” said Vettel, who ran with a white helmet.
“In the end I can only confirm these fairytales.
“It’s not just a story; it’s a true legend that exists.
“And it feels really, really special to become part of that and to be inside the car, to see the people coming, running to the track and trying to climb the walls to see the car.
“There is definitely something very magical and something that happened today which I will never forget.”
While F1 has its allure, there is also an allure to driving for Ferrari—the most storied team in F1 history. Some have the bug and some don’t. Lewis Hamilton recently kicked sand in Vettel’s eyes as he said he never had any dream of driving a Ferrari so that doesn’t hold much appeal for him. Fair enough, but Lewis did have an idol in Ayrton Senna and has often times recalled the late Brazilian’s accomplishments as motivation for his career so he’s familiar with the notion of fulfilling a dream as he speeds around the track in his Senna-like yellow helmet.
Another person who has always idolized Senna is fellow Brazilian Felipe Massa and he said last year that leaving Ferrari was tough but he had always wanted to drive for Williams—just as Senna did. Then there are the men who dreamed of driving for Ferrari and that list is rather long.
Whether Vettel has timed his career move perfectly or not will take time to determine. The team currently are in the throws of political upheaval with executive management changes, firings and flotation talks under the new Fiat banner. Many believe the team are missing the types of key elements that brought the team much success in the 2,000’s—namely Ross Brawn.
Regardless, Vettel believes it was time for a change and dressed in red, he will feel very much like Schumacher must have when he first sat in a obstinate car and tried to methodically progress forward to winning titles again.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT