Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has high demands on his team but insists that he is not imposing “a Vettel regime” on Red Bull.
The German told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview that an all-out effort is needed to ensure success in which he and the Austrian team have won three straight world titles.
“There is no Vettel regime here, everyone has his freedom, but I expect everyone to take this as serious as I do,” Vettel said.
“Of course I am involved in matters concerning development of the car. And I also expect to be asked whom I could imagine as second driver — but it is not my decision.
“I don’t sit down with someone and say: ‘sign here.’ That is none of my business. My job description is racing driver. And as racing driver you firstly compete in races.”
Vettel said that while “I am not team principal I am here now in my fifth year”, which brings with it responsibilities beyond fast driving.
“I have an influence on the team’s motivation, on the atmosphere in the paddock ... Everyone knows what I want. And they have no problem with it. Of course I am demanding, I want everyone to be disciplined and do their job as good as they can,” he said.
Vettel said he wants to motivate through a position of being a role model although he can be firm if necessary.
He named the mental side of his job extremely draining but dismissed the psycho-games some rivals have been playing, such as Fernando Alonso towards the end of the 2012 season “Of course I notice these things. But I do not want to let myself be influenced by them. It is not decisive for the world championship whether somebody says something that I like, or don’t like,” Vettel said.
“Maybe they believe they gain an advantage. But these games are not for me, I don’t get a kick out of shooting back. I prefer to answer on the track.
“It is important for me that I remain true to myself and handle things in the way that I deem to be the right way. If you put on a different face, it will not hold for very long. I am no actor,” Vettel said.