The Straits Times
Published on Nov 23, 2012

F1: Vettel pays tribute to boyhood hero Schumacher


SAO PAULO (REUTERS) - Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel hailed Michael Schumacher as his hero and inspiration on Thursday as the German great prepared for a final farewell to the sport at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Sitting alongside the seven times champion at a news conference, Vettel suggested the 43-year-old might like to cover his ears before singing the praises of a man he first met as a schoolboy karter.

"He was a true inspiration back then, for me and for many other kids," said the 25-year-old, who could become the youngest triple world champion on Sunday.

"He was our hero." Vettel recalled how Schumacher, then at the peak of his fame and success with Ferrari, had handed out the trophies in the German karting championship at the champion's family-owned circuit in Kerpen.