Vettel: I’m Mick Schumacher’s friend, not his mentor

Sebastian Vettel has praised his "well-mannered" friend Mick Schumacher, but insists that he is not a mentor to the Haas F1 driver.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel says he does not see himself as a mentor to Haas’ Mick Schumacher, but more of a friend of the 22-year-old.

Vettel struck a great relationship with Schumacher’s father, Michael, as a youngster, and they shared the grid for three years between 2010 and 2012 when the seven-time champion came of out retirement to drive for Mercedes.

Vettel’s successes in his junior career, coupled with his four world titles with Red Bull, earned him the mantra “baby Schumacher”, and the 34-year-old would often lean on the former Ferrari driver for advice and mentorship.

Mick Schumacher contested his debut season in Formula 1 this year, and Vettel has played a similar role for him as his father did for the four-time champion, but he does not view their relationship as one of a mentor/understudy.

READ: Vettel would love Schumacher to join Ferrari

Asked if he feels as though he has a significant role to play in Schumacher’s development, Vettel replied: “Not really. Of course, the bond is there through Michael.”

Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel inspect the 2022 F1 car.v1

Continuing, Vettel said he does not believe that Schumacher needs a lot of mentorship, comparing his endeavour and attitude to that of his dad.

“But Mick comes from a very good family. He’s a very sensible, well-mannered young man who is now ready to go his own way. He’s doing that very well.

“His work ethic reminds me of his father. I sincerely wish him a car with which he can make more of a mark next year.”

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The German affirmed that while he is always happy to advise, he is not responsible for Schumacher, and he views himself as more of a friend to his compatriot than anything else.

“But I am more a friend than someone who feels responsibility. You are always there for friends. That’s why I have zero competitive thoughts towards him and I am happy to pass on my experience.”

In the same way that Vettel wants to help his friend as best as he can, he puts an emphasis on making sure that he does not conceal anything from his team-mates.

READ: 2022 engine power drop reportedly overcome by Ferrari

“I’m not the type who weighs everything up in a paranoid way anyway, in order to have my own advantages and play games. It also doesn’t make sense to me to withhold certain things from team-mates. I [would] rather see the big picture, that we want to progress as a team. Today we are able to see everything transparently through data anyway.”

Vettel indicated that he would love for Schumacher to one day emulate his father by joining Ferrari, and that Vettel’s painful memories with the Scuderia would not affect this.

“I still had some good years and the brand will always be something special. In any case, I wouldn’t advise him against it because of the few things that didn’t work out so well for me.”

However, he insists that Championships are not all that racing is about, and he has no regrets over his time with the Maranello outfit.

“People tend to always see the glass half empty in memories. I prefer to see it half full and the positive outweighs the negative.”

Sebastian Vettel admits he considered retiring from F1.v1

Vettel and Schumacher will pair up at the Race of Champions event in Sweden in February. The 34-year-old has won the event six times with Michael.

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