Infotainment Factory: Ferrari buzz over Schumacher-Vettel links

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Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Ferrari buzz over Schumacher-Vettel links


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As the world marks Michael Schumacher's 50th birthday, an Italian commentator has uncovered notable coincidences between the trademark season of the F1 legend and the upcoming campaign of Sebastian Vettel.

Schumacher, the seven-time F1 world champion, had his birthday on Thursday, January 3 - with his family releasing a rare statement. The Ferrari hero has been hidden away from the world since a skiing accident in December 2013.

Schumacher won the first of five consecutive world championships for Ferrari in 2000. As Sky in Italy F1 commentator Carlo Vanzini has pointed out, Vettel may have some ethereal reasons for optimism when looking at his 2019 title bid.

In 2000, Schumacher was in his fifth season for the Prancing Horse, as Vettel will be this year. Schumacher also had a new teammate for 2000, Rubens Barrichello, while Vettel welcomes Charles Leclerc as his stablemate for this season.

Schumacher broke a desperate 21-year title drought for Ferrari by winning in 2000. Vettel will also need to break a long winless streak: 11 years, stretching back to Kimi Raikkonen's lone title in 2007. Both drivers took on the Ferrari task as multiple world champions: Schumacher with Benetton in 1994-95, and Vettel with Red Bull in 2010-13.

Schumacher entered the 2000 season aged 31, as fellow German Vettel is now.

Vettel looked as though he could challenge Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton for the title last year, only for the Briton to streak away with a consistently faster car. It is hoped that Vettel might provide a more sustained challenge this season, with Ferrari fans growing restless.

"Sebastian has to win the championship to be a hero for the Tifosi, but it was the same with Michael Schumacher," Vanzini told Sky Sports.

"In 1997, after the crash with Jacques Villeneuve at Jerez, a lot of Italian fans wanted to have another driver. But then you saw Michael won five championships in a row from 2000.

"Interestingly, Schumi won his first championship for Ferrari in his fifth season. He won with a new teammate, Rubens Barrichello. Now it's the fifth season for Sebastian with a new teammate in Leclerc - although we don't know if he will win the championship!

"At the moment, he [Vettel] is not loved like a big hero but there is respect for him. Italians know he has won four championships in a row at Red Bull, two of which were against Ferrari and Fernando [Alonso] at the last race of the season, so he has to be a champion."

Vanzini said Ferrari had been right to change the driver line-up by replacing Raikkonen with Leclerc and predicted that the young Frenchman could cause problems for Vettel, as Daniel Ricciardo did in the Australian's maiden season with Red Bull.

As the world marks Michael Schumacher's 50th birthday, an Italian commentator has uncovered notable coincidences between the trademark season of the F1 legend and the upcoming campaign of Sebastian Vettel.

Schumacher, the seven-time F1 world champion, had his birthday on Thursday, January 3 - with his family releasing a rare statement. The Ferrari hero has been hidden away from the world since a skiing accident in December 2013.

Schumacher won the first of five consecutive world championships for Ferrari in 2000. As Sky in Italy F1 commentator Carlo Vanzini has pointed out, Vettel may have some ethereal reasons for optimism when looking at his 2019 title bid.

In 2000, Schumacher was in his fifth season for the Prancing Horse, as Vettel will be this year. Schumacher also had a new teammate for 2000, Rubens Barrichello, while Vettel welcomes Charles Leclerc as his stablemate for this season.

Schumacher broke a desperate 21-year title drought for Ferrari by winning in 2000. Vettel will also need to break a long winless streak: 11 years, stretching back to Kimi Raikkonen's lone title in 2007. Both drivers took on the Ferrari task as multiple world champions: Schumacher with Benetton in 1994-95, and Vettel with Red Bull in 2010-13.

Schumacher entered the 2000 season aged 31, as fellow German Vettel is now.

Vettel looked as though he could challenge Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton for the title last year, only for the Briton to streak away with a consistently faster car. It is hoped that Vettel might provide a more sustained challenge this season, with Ferrari fans growing restless.

"Sebastian has to win the championship to be a hero for the Tifosi, but it was the same with Michael Schumacher," Vanzini told Sky Sports.

"In 1997, after the crash with Jacques Villeneuve at Jerez, a lot of Italian fans wanted to have another driver. But then you saw Michael won five championships in a row from 2000.

"Interestingly, Schumi won his first championship for Ferrari in his fifth season. He won with a new teammate, Rubens Barrichello. Now it's the fifth season for Sebastian with a new teammate in Leclerc - although we don't know if he will win the championship!

"At the moment, he [Vettel] is not loved like a big hero but there is respect for him. Italians know he has won four championships in a row at Red Bull, two of which were against Ferrari and Fernando [Alonso] at the last race of the season, so he has to be a champion."

Vanzini said Ferrari had been right to change the driver line-up by replacing Raikkonen with Leclerc and predicted that the young Frenchman could cause problems for Vettel, as Daniel Ricciardo did in the Australian's maiden season with Red Bull.

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