Sebastian Vettel and his second job
It's been a rocky start to 2014 for the F1 champ. Luckily he's got another job to fall back on. Paul Horrell reports
Posted: 23 Feb 2014
OK, so what needed changing?
"I wasn't happy with the brake pedal or the steering feel. A couple of things." Surely, as a demonstrably extraordinary driver, he wants different things from a car than I do? "When I talk about brakes or steering, I work with them in Formula One, and they're things that make me feel safe. Those two things give you direct feedback, and I thought the way they responded didn't make you feel safe, and that's the most important thing. If you feel confident, you can go quick - without going bananas - you feel in control, which feels safer." So maybe he is looking for what we civilians want. Maybe the car is better than it was.
But the Vettel definition of "going bananas" is probably different from yours or mine. Certainly feels that way as he hammers the Q50 around, his conversation as relaxed as if we were in the pub. But he talks a realistic game. "This is not a Porsche 911 or Nissan GT-R. Not an ultimate driving machine. It's a normal car. But if you want to have some fun, you can change the settings and that actually does something. It's a decent car; it behaves nicely."
Within the limits of the genre: "I'm not trying to make it an F1 car. I don't want this car set up in the way that I'd prefer. It would be way too nervous. Maybe quicker round the track, but of course you have to keep some understeer - like you see here." The tyres beneath us howl in the torture of it all. "It's hard for me to make this car oversteer. The diff doesn't lock properly, and it's set up for understeer."