As the F1 world reflects on another long year, Sebastian Vettel is “sad” the 2013 F1 season is over – Sebastian Vettel.
The German has rewritten many records en route to his fourth straight world title however while he may be unhappy another dominant year is over, most are looking forward to the clean slate in 2014.
Indeed at the usually bustling Interlagos circuit photos of empty seats as Vettel and Red Bull celebrate on the podium prove their stranglehold at the top is having an adverse affect on the sport.
One country you would expect F1 to be booming is back in Vettel’s native Germany however official viewing figures over the year suggest an average of just 5.28 million people tuning in compared to 5.58 million in 2012.
As F1 prepares to embark on a new era of V6 turbo power as well as a raft of aerodynamic changes, former world champion Jody Scheckter has warned Vettel and Red Bull may still dominate into 2014 and beyond.
“I think it’s hard to believe that he won’t beat Michael’s record,” he told CNN, referring to Schumacher’s seven titles.
“I thought nobody would ever beat that record,” added Scheckter.
Going into the new era Red Bull’s already flat out race for development will be taken into a new gear with advisor Helmut Marko confirming Sebastien Buemi and Antonio Felix da Costa will be in the role of simulator drivers for next year.
“Next year, the simulator will be running virtually around the clock,” said the Austrian. “Vettel can’t do it alone.”
The 26-year-old admitted after ending the season with nine straight wins he won’t be doing anything for a little while.
“First of all I hope that I will not get sick when all the stress goes away, which can easily happen,” he is quoted by DPA.
“And I will not be eating much bacon, because the weight next year could be critical.”
While Red Bull and Adrian Newey look for any innovation they can in the design of the RB10, the team’s engine supplier Renault also face the hard task of producing a V6 worthy of rivalling Mercedes and Ferrari.
“It is impossible to know how it’s going to be until we are in Melbourne,” team boss Christian Horner is quoted by Austria’s Der Standard.
“Everything else would just be speculation.”
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