Video: Vettel talks New Jersey, DRS and more on Letterman

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    Sebastian Vettel interviewed on the Late Show with David Letterman in the US yesterday.

    Letterman pushes him on DRS (“Is it a bit too much, honestly?”) but Vettel holds his own pretty well. He also talks about driving the New Jersey track.


    It seems to me that Letterman does not know a thing about F1, it is like somebody put the KERS and DRS questions in his mouth. Apart from that, and the constant marketing of Indianapolis, it was a good video. Actually, if Vettel and Alonso would be more like that on the track, I would like them both. Off track they are nice guys, and very likeable characters, but I just cant cheer for their arrogance in the races. I hate if a driver starts waving and yelling, because someone else made a mistake, or a backmaker is late to pull away.


    Did Letterman really not know that his “idea” already happened in ’52?

    Prisoner Monkeys

    @necrodethmortem – He almost certainly knew it. But the “you and I will be millionaires” is something of a running gag on the show. It started when Michael Keaton suggested that they become travelling troubadours, because they would make millions, and now Letterman regularly suggests something to his guests with the promise of becoming millionaires from it.


    Reb Bull KERS is apparently 60 HP :)
    But I love Letterman – he’s a nice guy with a sense of humor and lovely humorous laugh ;)


    Ah, figured as much. He did seem to be stubbornly ignorant about F1 though. Don’t know whether that was for “comical value”, or plain pigheadedness. Or maybe his pigheadedness is the comical value of his show, dunno, never watched it before.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    @necrodethmortem – David Letterman is a revhead. He is the Letterman in Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan Racing.

    It is unlikely, however, that his audience is as dedicated a follower of motorsport as he is. His regular viewers may be aware of his motorsport pursuits – he regularly interviews the Indy 500 winner – but even then, they may only have a rudimentary knowledge of open-wheeled racing. It’s entirely conceivable that half the audience had no idea who Sebastian Vettel was until Letterman introduced him.

    So while Letterman, with his knowledge of the sport, could have given a very interesting interview about the finer points of Formula 1, there would also be a considerable risk of alienating 90% of his audience.


    I know he’s an Indycar team owner, but it could be that he thinks American racing is far superior and willingly doesn’t want to know anything about “Euro racing”. He clearly wasn’t too impressed with (the need for) DRS and took several stabs at it, which I can’t blame him for. At all. But if he didn’t want to alienate his audience, then why keep bringing up those technical subjects? Seb didn’t want to talk about it either, because he knew nobody gave a damn. He could’ve asked him about his finger, or his relationship with Webber or something more lighthearted instead.


    I really like Letterman as the host. I usually find Vettel’s jokes rather annoying but here Letterman manages to make a good show out of them.


    Either way he took the interview, he was bound to alienate parts of his audience no matter what. A lot of people could care less about ANY kind of motorsport, much less Formula One.

    @necrodethmortem Why should he ask him about his finger or Webber? I know why you would think that, but most Americans (whether through ignorance or arrogance) don’t watch “Euro racing” so they wouldn’t know about the personal aspects of Seb. What I believe he did is ask about the technical aspects to maybe get people interested in the sport. While he did sound somewhat ignorant about it, it’s kind of his style to dumb it down and make things sound a little foolish.

    Overall, I enjoyed the interview. I didn’t know it was happening until 5 minutes before it happened, so I’m glad a caught it. I never realized the was the Letterman in Rahal-Letterman, so that’s cool.


    I know he’s an Indycar team owner, but it could be that he thinks American racing is far superior and willingly doesn’t want to know anything about “Euro racing”.

    Actually at the 500 this year, they showed an interview with Letterman on the video boards and had a lengthy part about drivers he would have liked to have seen in Indy Car. The top of his list was Senna, quickly followed by Prost. He had high praise for their skill and made it seem as though he were pretty familiar with their driving (even spoke about meeting Senna in person at a Grand Prix). It seemed to me he doesn’t look down on European racing whatsoever.


    @necrodethmortem @joey-poey I can’t stand chat shows as a genre and Letterman’s is no exception, but he does know his stuff about racing.

    Wasn’t Franchitti on the show recently? Must have been a good one given his collision with Sato, who of course was driving for Letterman’s team, on the final lap…


    Yeah, Letterman always has the Indy 500 winner on just after the race.

    It was an interesting interview. Vettel is amazingly natural and funny in his 2nd language, I’m not sure how many other drivers could maintain such a healthy banter with Letterman like Vettel could.

    Fer no.65

    I watched the first half of the interview until Letterman started talking about KERS.

    SV is an amaizing character, incredibly funny and all when he wants it. But Letterman kept interrupting him and that was pretty annoying.


    @keithcollantine He traditionally has the 500 winner on, and it looks like you’re right: http://youtu.be/aK-LNKveZzU Watching it, he’s actually pretty understanding about Dario’s actions. Which doesn’t surprise me too much.

    If it helps people understand, Letterman has been involved in Indy since the 70’s. In the same video I mentioned above, he talked about his first year there as a reporter being trackside and talking to Mario Andretti after he crashed out (they even had some cool historical footage of the interview. So the guy’s not exactly a newbie to the whole open wheels scene.

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