Nuremberg/Germany, 2nd July 2017
One of the rookies in this year's Audi Sport TT Cup is Fabian Vettel, younger brother of four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel. Unlike many of his fellow drivers, who have spent the majority of their youth on the karting circuit, the 18-year-old has very limited motorsport experience. "I have tried many things, from football to karting, but only every as a hobby," explains Fabian Vettel.
When he heard of the Audi Sport TT Cup one year ago, he decided to try his luck on the motor #racing scene. At the wheel of a rusty Polo GTI, he practiced on a make-shift circuit around dustbins in a car park at the Hockenheimring, before applying for a place in the junior series. Fabian Vettel: "I was invited to the trial, and found it far tougher at first than I thought it would be. However, the more I drove, the better it got. I was also given great support from Audi, and ultimately made it into the starting field for this season."
After a few teething problems, the young driver has recorded multiple top-ten finishes and is improving all the time. "I am getting along superbly with the #hankook race tyre. However, I must admit that I don't have much to compare it with," said the 18-year-old, who is getting faster with every race.
Fabian Vettel does not wish to put himself under too much pressure, but is instead focussing on learning as much as possible in his rookie year in the Audi Sport TT Cup. "A lot has been new to me – not just in and on the car, but also when it came to dealing with media and sponsors. I had to get used to all that. I obviously want to be challenging at the front of the field, and winning, but it is not the end of the world if that is not the case," he says.
His famous brother Sebastian offers him the odd piece of valuable advice: "You cannot ask for more experience to call upon." However, Fabian is keen to forge his own path and to avoid living his life in the shadow of his brother. "Sebastian is doing his thing, I am taking care of my business. It would be nice to become a professional #racing driver like him. However, there are a lot of young people who want to become professional footballers, but only a handful who actually make it. That is why I am also doing my school exams, to ensure I have a plan B should it not work out in motor #racing," says Vettel.
Like many 18-year-olds, he has his dreams. "If I were actually able to make it in motorsport, my dream would be a seat in the DTM."