VET­TEL AND FER­RARI’S FU­TURE

Why the leg­end is in his hands

F1 Racing - - FRONT PAGE - WORDS PINO AL­LIEVI PHOTOS ADRIAN MY­ERS

Piero Fer­rari met him a long time be­fore he joined the team. They had a pri­vate chat, which was enough to leave Piero in­trigued. “There’s some­thing about him,” he said. “It’s not of­ten you meet a driver who is so con­sid­er­ate and rea­soned in his thought pro­cesses. I liked him. You never know, one day he just might end up driv­ing for us…”

And now, Se­bas­tian Vet­tel is a key pro­tag­o­nist in the latest chap­ter of Fer­rari, which has the aim of recre­at­ing the dom­i­nant glory days of the Michael Schu­macher era. One Ger­man takes the ba­ton from another. Of course, if we widen the net, there was a high­prole Ger­man-speak­ing Fer­rari cham­pion be­fore Schu­macher: Aus­trian Niki Lauda, who sparked the team’s rst golden era in the 1970s. The sec­ond one be­gan when Schu­macher ar­rived in 1996. The third is yet to hap­pen.

I’ve watched nearly all of Vet­tel’s vic­to­ries in For­mula 1. I’ve of­ten been caught up in the emo­tion, and even more of­ten ad­mired him. But I was cu­ri­ous when I found out that af­ter join­ing Fer­rari, in the nal few months of 2014, he stayed overnight at a spe­cial house on the ineld of Fio­rano. It was a place I knew well, even though the last time I was there was Fe­bru­ary 1988, just over ve months be­fore the Com­menda­tore died. We were edit­ing the four vol­umes of Fer­rari Tales, which chron­i­cled the most im­por­tant episodes of the Old Man’s life.

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