BMW’s teenaged ‘Friday’ driver Sebastian Vettel has rejected any comparison of his meteoric rise through the motor racing ranks to formula one to that of his newly retired countryman Michael Schumacher.
Wearing a traditional Swiss costume at the German squad’s end of year party in the Alps, the 19-year-old driver asked German reporters to scrap his media nickname ‘Mini-Schumi’.
“I find the comparison simply incorrect,” he told the newspaper Kolner Express in Flims Laax, although admitting that, like Schumacher, he will soon be a resident of Switzerland.
Amid Jacques Villeneuve’s departure from the BMW-Sauber team in mid-2006, Vettel moved into the Friday test seat to replace Robert Kubica. Despite the axing of third cars next year, he has retained the role for 2007.
Having narrowly missed the F3 Euroseries title this season, Vettel continued: “(Schumacher) represents the absolute maximum you can achieve in this sport, so I find comparisons with him a little presumptuous.
“I do not consider myself as a baby-Schumi or whatever, nor do I see myself as his successor. I am simply Sebastian and my goal is to win races and become the world champion.”
Alongside his F1 role in 2007, Vettel will also race in the World Series by Renault. And if Kubica or Nick Heidfeld are unable to race at any point next year, Vettel will make his grand prix debut.
But he insisted: “Of course, you never wish for something bad to happen to anyone.”