It’s no secret, Sebastien Vettel is hungry for another world championship. His four Formula One titles are tied with Lewis Hamilton for third all-time. But, after scoring all four in consecutive years from 2010 through 2013, he’s been shut out over the last four seasons. Will that change in 2018?
Its been 11 years since Ferrari last won a drivers championship. That came in 2007 with Kimi Raikkonen. That’s their only one over the last 13 years. With some changes made in the offseason, maybe that drought ends this season. Maybe it’s Vettel earning his fifth career F1 title and first with Ferrari.
“Obviously, I’ve had more time to think about it than Lewis had,” Vettel said on Thursday about the prospects of joining Juan Manuel Fangio with five championships. “More than one winter. But… yeah… I don’t know. I’m not setting these things out and planning or looking forward to what could possibly happen. Certainly, if it will happen it would mean a lot – and then I think you start to realise – but now I don’t see the point of thinking ‘what if’. I have a lot on my plate now and I’m happy also to look forward to what’s right in front of me, not what could be at some point in the future. Ideally, it’s less than 12 months away – but it’s a long way. I think we all know how many things need to come together to be able to fight for the championship towards the end of the season. And then to win it. Yeah. Also, I think nowadays the times are different. I think it’s very different times to when Fangio achieved it, compared to today. So, every era has its own challenges, certainly they were a bit different back then. So yeah, it’s not in my mind now, let’s say.”
First things first though, Vettel would like to score his 100th career podium.
Currently, he has 99 to his name. What’s impressive is that it’s only taken him 198 starts to do that in. It’s imminent, that 100th podium will happen. He’s scored at least 10 podium finishes in six of his last eight years. In 2017, he had 13 of them. In fact, he’s averaging 11 a season since he came to Ferrari in 2015.
Will that podium come in this weekend’s season opening Rolex Australian Grand Prix (1 a.m. ET/ESPN2)?
Vettel, is the defending race winner in Australia and has three straight podiums in the annual season opening race “down under” including six of the last seven years.
I would look for the German driver to start out of the gates hot on Sunday and start his trek for a fifth world championship strong.