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
Things move even further from Formula One with the next big Infiniti road-car project, the Q30 front-drive diesel hatch. "It's still early days, but we did some testing after Monaco. I'm happy if I can help a bit." Timescales aren't F1-like, either. "A road car takes a long time to develop. In Formula One, if I ask for a change, it happens straightaway, or you finish second. And [on road cars] the engineers don't do everything I want. One thing for sure is cost. Otherwise, it would explode the budget. And I'd love to have a race seat in every car, but that would make getting in and out a nightmare, so there's all sorts of reasons. You need to meet the average, not just my taste - you want everybody to be happy."
Even so, it must be an impossible leap for a man of Vettel's one-in-a-million-million talent to climb inside the minds and skills of normal drivers. Even if most F1 racers don't even like driving on the road, he says he does: "I prefer driving over a train or plane. If it's a nice car, I enjoy it. Hand on heart, I don't obey all speed limits all the time, but I'm fairly relaxed. You don't go flat out all the time. So I tell the Infiniti guys I'm a normal customer, a normal 26-year-old. People assume an F1 driver has a Porsche or Ferrari. Well, I've got a high-performance machine on the weekend. Everything else you can buy, honestly, is... s**t."
Even the mighty Top Gear Suzuki Liana? "Yes, but I need to come back because Lewis went quicker, Mark went quicker." Good grief, is there no limit to these guys' competitiveness? "Of course, I'm competitive. We're just kids with bigger toys."