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'I cried under my helmet' admits F1 champion Vettel

The retiring Michael Schumacher would surely scoff at such an admission from his compatriot.

Michael Schumacher (right) congratulates Sebastian Vettel on his achievement.
Michael Schumacher (right) congratulates Sebastian Vettel on his achievement.
Image: AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan

KIDS THESE DAYS.

As Michael Schumacher hung up his Formula One overalls for the last time, the man that is on track to surpass his world championship achievements was overcome by title number three.

“Yes, I cried under my helmet,” F1 champion Sebastian Vettel admitted to German daily Bild, two days after winning the world title for the third season in a row in Brazil.

“And fortunately the radio was broken so you didn’t have to hear me cry like in 2010,” he said, referring to the oft repeated moment, on German TV, from two years ago when he cried openly into the microphone after his first world title.

At 25, Vettel is the youngest driver in history to achieve the hat-trick of world crowns, having finished sixth at the Brazilian Grand Prix, and said he felt a flood of emotions when he entered the final kilometre in Sao Paulo.

“It was crazy, really special,” he said, having won the world drivers’ championships by 281 points with Fernando Alonso second with 278. Vettel added:

I had pictures in my head from a long time ago, from the first time I sat in a kart as a child. Then I thought of all the people in my career who have helped me along the way.

“It was so similar to how it was in Abu Dhabi in 2010, but at the same time, you are completely in the race.

“You could have tapped me on the shoulder and I wouldn’t have noticed.”

But while Sao Paulo marked the final race for seven-time world champion Schumacher, Vettel said he still hade a long way to go before he could be legitimately compared to his compatriot.

Somewhere in the world Schumacher is nodding in Teutonic agreement to that statement.

*Additional reporting courtesy of AFP, 2012

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Patrick McCarry

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