After his first victory for Ferrari in the Malaysian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel paid tribute to his childhood hero, Michael Schumacher.
Vetter was in front by eight seconds when he made his first pit stop on lap 17. He re-emerged behind Louis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton’s second stop – after making the first one under the safety car – caused him to lag 24 seconds behind Ferrari. Although Hamilton was faster than Ferrari, Vettel held him by about 10 seconds.
“I shouldn’t say it, but I don’t know,” Vettel said. “I was s***ting myself in the last few laps because here and there the thought was coming into my head, I was looking at the top of the chassis, and thinking ‘this is a red car, you’re about to win!.’ And then I thought ‘stop thinking about it otherwise you’ll miss the next apex or something.’ Real relief to cross the line in the end!”
After six years with Red Bull, Vettel joined Ferrari at the beginning of the year. The transfer followed Lonso’s departure, who moved to McLaren after the Ferrari team saw its worst performance in 21 years.
Among other changes, Ferrari also included remodeling its engineering department.
Vettel’s admission into Ferrari sees him sharing the team with his hero, Michael Schumacher, who had sustained a severe head injury in a skiing accident during Christmas 2013, for which he is currently undergoing rehabilitation.
Schumacher holds five consecutive titles (2000-2004) to his name.
“It’s been my dream,” Vettel said. “Michael was my hero. All the kids at the go-kart track looked up to him.
“When he turned up to shake hands every year it made our lives. I don’t understand yet how special it is.”
The most recent win marked Vettel’s achievement of being the most successful driver in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
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