Vettel regrets lack of F1 camaraderie

F1i 12/08/2015
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Sebastian Vettel labelled the current state of friendships in F1 "sad".

Sebastian Vettel regrets that the intense rivalry amongst modern day Formula 1 drivers prevents strong friendships to develop within the sport.

The four-time World Champion compared past generations of drivers with his own present lineage, underlining how great friendships and humanity were an important part of the sport decades ago despite fierce rivalry.

The German believes a lack of time and prevailing self-interest are a deterrent to developing any meaningful relationships amongst his peers, calling the situation “sad”.

“There is not much time for the drivers to hang out, everyone puts their own interest before everything else. It is sad,” Vettel said.

“It is different times today than it was 30 or 40 years ago, when you had a lot of things happening which naturally puts the group together. Now everyone has their own life much more, looking at how busy we are at the track.”

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In an era dominated by the politically correct, and agendas set by sponsors, drivers are not awarded much free movement over a Grand Prix weekend. Several drivers appear to enjoy a strong camaraderie however, with Vettel himself often spending time with team mate Kimi Raikkonen away from the race track.

Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber were also close when the Australian was active in F1, while Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were childhood friends who grew up karting together, although their present day relationship is obviously strained on the backdrop of their intense competition at Mercedes.

“In the end we share a common passion, even if it is normal some of the guys you don’t like,” Vettel concluded. “It is like a school class – there are some guys you like and some you don’t like, but it doesn’t mean you can’t hang out.”

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Scott 11/08/2015
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Bernie Ecclestone picks Fernando Alonso in F1 dream team

F1i 11/08/2015
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Alonso and Rindt boast three F1 world championships between them.

Bernie Ecclestone has picked Fernando Alonso as one of the two drivers he would have in his all-time F1 dream team.

In a feature running on the official Formula One website, Ecclestone was one of a number of senior F1 figures asked to pick two drivers, a team principal and a car from the sport's history to make up their dream team. Picking Alonso as one of the drivers, Ecclestone also opted for 1970 world champion Jochen Rindt; a driver he used to manage and the only one to win the world title posthumously.

Between them, Alonso and Rindt boast three world championships, 38 victories and 110 podium finishes. Rindt was killed in September 1970 when he crashed during practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

In terms of his team principal, Ecclestone chose former Benetton and Renault boss Flavio Briatore to head up the team. Briatore was banned from F1 for his role in the 2008 'Crashgate' scandal, though the ban was subsequently overturned on appeal. Briatore was also Alonso's team principal at Renault when the Spaniard won his two world titles.

Ecclestone also picks the Brabham BT49 which took Nelson Piquet to his first drivers' championship in 1981. Ecclestone was the Brabham team owner at the time of Gordon Murray's design, which went on to take seven victories.

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