MR 50%

Like your favourite pizza-de­liv­ery man, Seb Vet­tel has a knack for de­liv­er­ing just what you need. And for Fer­rari, that’s a podium hit rate of one-in-two. Edd Straw ex­plores the se­crets of Seb’s suc­cess

F1 Racing - - SEASON PREVIEW 2016 -

Se­bas­tian Vet­tel is F1’s Mr 50 per cent. Why? Be­cause he has nished on the podium in ex­actly half of his 158 starts – a bet­ter record than any of his ri­vals bar Lewis Hamil­ton, and a strike rate al­most iden­ti­cal to that of his hero, Michael Schu­macher. Yet there are some – ad­mit­tedly an ever-di­min­ish­ing group of naysay­ing hold-outs with the zeal and in­tran­si­gence of hard­ened con­spir­acy the­o­rists – who still ques­tion the four-time world cham­pion’s qual­ity.

Vet­tel’s rst sea­son at Fer­rari in 2015 should re­ally have dis­abused any re­main­ing doubters of

IL­LUS­TRA­TION their more fan­ci­ful no­tions, de­spite it fol­low­ing on from his dis­ap­point­ing nal year with Red Bull, when he couldn’t adapt his style to the de­mands of a car re­quir­ing more pro­gres­sive use of the rear end on turn-in.

Fer­rari re­cruited Vet­tel be­cause of his proven track record and his de­ter­mi­na­tion to win a fth driv­ers’ cham­pi­onship. But if any­one at Maranello bought in to the idea that he was a at-track bully able to op­er­ate only in the nar­row per­for­mance win­dow of a per­fect car, it wouldn’t have taken long for him to change their minds. Vet­tel was an in­stant hit with the race team – just as he was with the ti­fosi.

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