Sebastian Vettel is looking forward to returning to Monza – the site of his first grand prix victory – next weekend for the final round of the European season at the Italian Grand Prix.
Vettel claimed his maiden win at the historic circuit back in 2008 when driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso. His win was part of an incredible season for the Faenza-based team that saw them outperform ‘parent’ team Red Bull in the constructors’ championship. In 2009, Vettel moved to Red Bull and with them has claimed three consecutive titles since 2010.
“This track brings back great memories for me, mainly from my first win there in 2008 with Toro Rosso,” Vettel said. “I can’t describe the feeling of standing on the top of the podium for the first time, and Monza was one of the best places to experience it because of the thousands of passionate fans that stand beneath, it gives you goose bumps.”
The importance of Monza to Vettel was evident at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final round of the season. The German driver went into the race in third place, but still with a chance of taking the title. His engineer had instructed him to write “MONZA” on his balaclava as a reminder of his debut win, with the outsider eventually claiming the first of his championships come the checkered flag.
However, Monza has traditionally been a ‘bogey track’ for Red Bull, claiming just one win at the circuit in 2011. Vettel will be hoping to add to this figure next weekend, but his bumper championship lead will certainly make failing to do so less of a disappointment should he miss out on a third win at the circuit.