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
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.