Sebastian Vettel is relieved Monza looks to be back on track with a new three-year F1 race deal.
“I could never imagine F1 without Monza,” he told Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper. “It would be a nightmare.
“I can’t wait to be back on track with all those fans, the passion, the banners, the children and adults who queue for an autograph or selfie. It’s magic,” said the Ferrari driver.
He might be happy with Monza, but 2016 has been less than perfect for the German.
But Vettel denies he is plagued by bad luck.
“I don’t think of that,” he said. “Sometimes it goes well, at other times not. In formula one, everything is on edge and behind every trouble is an explanation.”
Some, however, have equated 2016 with Vettel’s poor season at Red Bull in 2014.
The 29-year-old denies it.
“No, in 2014 I could hardly drive early in the season with huge technical problems, coming after four consecutive world titles. When I realised I was not able to defend them, the feeling was really horrible,” said Vettel.
Indeed, he has since switched to Ferrari, where his mentor Michael Schumacher only won his first title for the Maranello marque in the fifth year.
Asked if he is just as patient, Vettel answered: “Um, it’s a very difficult question.
“If I had a chance to win only half of what he did (at Ferrari) it would be worth the wait,” he said. “But formula one is not a sport of patience.
“We have worked hard to recover the gap, but it’s useless to hide it — we are not competitive enough to win a race yet,” said Vettel.
He therefore does not want to answer if Ferrari will be his last team in F1.
“Why, do you think of me as old?” Vettel laughed. “I haven’t thought about it because it’s too far away. My biggest challenge is to win with Ferrari, and it takes all of my heart and energy.”
Finally, Vettel denied that after no less than two first-lap clashes with his teammate Kimi Raikkonen in 2016, their relationship is currently strained.
“No, not at all,” he said.
“We like and respect each other and that is very good for the team. We both want to win and we know that we are not yet able to do it, so we are trying to help with the car as much as possible.
“Kimi and I are very different types: for sure I speak more, but with the engineers he gives a lot of feedback about how the car is,” added Vettel.