Time and tide wait for none, perhaps more so in sports like Formula 1!
For a sport so eternally focused on the youth and determined by reflexes, it can be a bit hard growing old behind the seat of a Formula 1 car.
F1, after all, vibrant that it is, is defined by the alacrity of its youth. When you age, you find your options depleting and the questions about whether you can perform or still belong at this level, increase with each race conclusion.
Which is why there were questions raised when Raikkonen continued for as long as he did and even when Alonso came back. While Lewis Hamilton, 37, pretty much spent over past half a decade winning races and with it, world titles, thus eschewing questions about the motive of being in the sport for such a long time, Sebastian Vettel, perhaps finds himself in this not so friendly space.
No longer a Ferrari driver and, thus not anymore committed to a long term future with any of the top marquees in Formula 1, at present, Sebastian Vettel has slipped to the midfield on the current grid.
Now, while he is hanging in there, there are some who can’t be doubted upon asking just what is a multiple world champion driver doing in a less-than-extraordinary car?
And that is where we need to understand the character that maketh the man; Vettel, it ought to be remembered, is never satisfied with himself and has been known to push himself relentlessly toward his goal. The goal of going out there and attempting to do the best he can when he is seat-buckled and visors down.
After all, this is Sebastian Vettel that we are talking about. He’s anything but an ordinary talent and is someone who has performed with every single outfit he’s been with. He picked 38 race wins along with 4 world titles with Red Bull, the team that truly brought out his potential on the world stage. Next up, even as he came close- but failed- to lift a title with Ferrari, he clinched 14 race wins with the Maranello-based team.
Forget not that he was also, at one stage, in that scenario where in the aftermath of the red door being shut on him, had no place to go. Along came the change in career graph in the wake of the call by Aston Martin.
And even then, in his maiden season with the brand associated with James Bond, a car that on the Formula 1 grid wasn’t a fast pacer, Vettel managed seven top-10 results.
The highest point, perhaps it ought to be reminded, was his podium for Aston Martin, a first for the team in its F1 journey.
And while 2022 may not have started ideally, a run-in with COVID seeing the famous German sitting out of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, he showed promise at Imola courtesy a hard-fought P8.
While it may seem a low-key result in that it isn’t a top-5 finish on the grid, forget not that it took the four-time world champion just one race and one alone to fetch the best result for Aston Martin this year.
This year, mind you, has only just begun with only four races done so far. An entire season lies ahead of us. Hence, several opportunities for Vettel, provided he is aligned with a racier machine, to up the ante of attack for Aston Martin in the midfield.
This is where he will be tested to rise to the fore. But why the soon-to-be 35 isn’t done yet, can be understood with a bit more clarity here given he’s assigned himself some challenges:
Time will tell! At the minute, I think the focus is on now and on the mountain ahead of us that we try to climb – and we won’t climb it in a day, we won’t climb it in a month.”
When asked about what certain path might he take in deciding his Formula 1 racing career, the following is what the celebrated German driver highlighted:
“But we will choose the path we climb which will determine the next three to four years, so that’s why I feel it’s really important to focus on that and it takes all the attention. Those will be the key things I will be looking at to see how promising it is looking in the future and how soon, because obviously I’m not really old – I think I would have physically a lot of years left, it’s not a problem at all.
That being told, it’s easy to understand what keeps Sebastian Vettel going, this being 2022, even as he’s completed no fewer than fifteen years competing at the pinnacle of MotorSports
“That’s ultimately the goal – to win and fight for podiums and victories, which currently we are far away [from]!”