A decade of driving in F1 had given Sebastian Vettel enough experience to enjoy racing more than ever before, and an ability to tune out the critics.
After losing out the driver’s championship to Lewis Hamilton last season, the four-time world champion had an excellent start this year. He won the first two races of the season and claimed three pole positions so far and led the driver’s standing until the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The German is not worried about the loss at Baku or Shanghai race because he is certain Ferrari has the better car this time.
Vettel said: “The result doesn’t change anything, we still have a very good car,”
The German driver seems to have found a zen-like calmness this season about racing in general and his critics in particular.
“I think when you grow up, you change your view on some things, you get hopefully a bit wiser, so your horizon changes and also your motivation is different,” he explained.
“Maybe you are looking at things a bit differently.
“I think the most important is that you know who you are and you’re true to yourself, then I think you can afford to listen less to what’s going on around and not be distracted and simply enjoy your racing,” added Vettel.
Hamilton and Vettel are locked in a fight to equal Fangio’s record of winning five world titles. But that is a long and a tedious path. The Ferrari drives emphasised the importance of staying mistake-free in racing this season.
“If you want to fight at the front, you cannot afford to do many mistakes,” he said.
“And for whoever is at the top and was at the top in the past for many years usually has a high level, and there’s a lot of effort going into it, not just putting everything together at the track but also away from the track.”