A former four-time World Champion and a 53 time Grand Prix winner, Sebastian Vettel has one of the most impressive resumes for a driver in Formula One and has undoubtedly left his mark on the sport.
After having a season to forget at Ferrari in 2020, Vettel joined the newly rebranded Aston Martin team in the hopes of revitalising his career. He has also found a new role in the paddock in the form of a mentor for fellow German driver Mick Schumacher.
Vettel, who was and still is a big fan of Mick’s dad, Michael Schumacher, had confessed that Michael did mentor the 33-year old German when he initially joined the sport. It seems now that the time has come for him to return the favour.
Michael Schumacher, a former seven-time World Champion(five-time champion with Ferrari), has not appeared in public ever since he suffered head injuries in a skiing accident in December 2013.
His son Mick, who is 22-years old, graduated to Formula One this year with Haas after winning the FIA F2 championship last season.
Vettel, nicknamed “Baby Schumacher” in his early years in Formula One, has been offering advice whenever asked and is now seen as a guiding angle for Mick in the Formula One paddock.
While speaking to a few reporters during the weekend of the Austrian Grand Prix, Vettel was talking about his relationship with both Michael and Mick Schumacher, “I am obviously friends with his father, and his father is my hero”.
“We get along really well, and I’m happy to help with stuff that maybe I can help with. In the driving sense, it’s always difficult, every car is different, and every environment is different.”
During the French Grand Prix in June, Vettel was seen helping the young Haas driver figure out a centring issue with his seat that had been bugging him from the beginning of the season.
“He’s a huge help for me in all ways, anything on and off the track,” said Schumacher when asked how he feels about Vettel being there in the paddock and helping him.
“I’m happy that I can go back to somebody that has so much experience but also that is so likeable. Very happy he’s around.”
He further went on to explain what kind of advice Vettel gave him. “There [is loads of] advice he has given me. Most of them are secret because they are from a competition sport,” the German said, quoted by GPFans.
“But I have huge respect for him, and I think we can call that a friendship, which is very nice for me. He has got so much experience, and [there is] so much I can learn from him.
“The biggest advice is really to never forget why I am here, because we love the sport, and I guess once you lose that, you are in the wrong place.
“I am enjoying my life, I am doing the best thing in the world, so I think it is great to have someone like him to give me advice.”
Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner had his thoughts about the relationship between Vettel and Schumacher, who, let’s not forget, are two drivers from rivals teams.
“I think it’s a great thing,” said the Haas team boss.
“I don’t know how long they go back, I didn’t ask Mick that one but it seems they get on well – but even if they don’t go back a long time and they get on well, why not?
“For sure, for Mick, it’s an advantage. I think Vettel is in the sport a long time and he feels attached to Mick and just tries to help him as much as he can to make him the next champion.
“I think it’s a great thing and I don’t see any issue with it.”