Vettel: F1 doesn’t define who I am

Although he concedes Formula 1 is important in his life, Sebastian Vettel is adamant it does not “define me as a person.”

The four-time World Champion is one of the very few drivers in the paddock in the paddock without a social media presence.

He chooses to keep his private life just that, private, and his wife and two children rarely attend races.

This has led to complaints of the German being boring with former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone even going as far to say it is why Lewis Hamilton makes for a better World Champion than his fellow four-time champion.

The Brit added: “Sebastian is also not doing much for F1. People hardly recognise him on the street.”

Vettel, though, has no intention of changing.

Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “Obviously F1 is a big part of my life but it is not the most important thing. They are linked, but it is important there is a lot of time where it doesn’t define who I am.

“I don’t feel special because of what I do for a job. I am a lot of other things as well. It doesn’t define me as a person. It is not who I am, it is what I do.

“I am happy to do things that people think are boring but for me they are not. Being at home, mowing the lawn. I cook – not so good, but from time to time.

“I do the school run, I go shopping, I take the metro and the bus. I think it’s just normal to be normal.

“I am sportsman, I am not celebrity. So when I go somewhere and somebody recognises me I think they are interested in sport and not in how I do my hair, or which shoes I am wearing or that bollocks.”

The German also weighed in on his rivalry with Hamilton, which sees both drivers fighting for their fifth World title this season.

Vettel leads the race by eight points.

“It is something you want, you want to be in close rivalry,” he says. “You want to be in a position so you can fight for victory, that is the ultimate satisfaction, of course it is more intense when it is closer.”

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Livid Arrivabene: 'Allison should be ashamed!'

Mercedes’ allegations of foul play by Ferrari expressed in the heat of the moment after Sunday’s British Grand Prix didn’t go down well with Scuderia boss Maurizio Arrivabene.

Kimi Raikkonen’s collision with Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone, two races after Sebastian Vettel punted Valtteri Bottas out of the French Grand Prix, led Mercedes technical director James Allison to say that the red cars’ actions must either be deliberate or the result of incompetence.

Vettel labeled the claims as “silly”, insisting incidents happen when the racing is so close. But Arrivabene was outright shocked by Allisons’s words, as conveyed by Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

“Who is incompetent? Kimi? Who is he to judge what the drivers are doing in the car?” the Scuderia boss told Sky Italia.

“If he really said something like that, he should be ashamed!

“Allison worked at Maranello for many years, but now we are here in England teaching him to be a gentleman.

“I accept it from [Sky Italia pundit] Jacques Villeneuve because he was a driver. But this guy?”

Red Bull’s Christian Horner says the rhetoric is a clear indication that tensions between the Mercedes and Ferrari are reaching a boiling point amid the teams’ fierce world championship battle.

“When you have that growing tension, speculation is unavoidable when these incidents occur,” he said.

“But I believe it’s nothing more than a racing incident. I would be surprised if there was anything else or if Kimi is that kind of driver.”

In the German camp, Valtteri Bottas who enjoyed a momentous scrap with Vettel in the closing stages of the race, also played down the incident and the accusations.

“We are always racing closely with Ferrari and there can always be contact,” he said.

However, Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda commented: “The accident was just unfair. It was the second time a Ferrari has hit us in the first corner. That’s not funny.”

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

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