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Vettel: Senna my first F1 hero

Vettel: Senna my first F1 hero

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Vettel: Senna my first F1 hero

Vettel: Senna my first F1 hero

Sebastian Vettel is often credited with looking to follow in Michael Schumacher' footsteps in Formula 1, but the Ferrari star has revealed that Ayrton Senna played just as important a role in sparking his love of motorsports.

Vettel and Schumacher have taken 11 of the 12 world championships won under the German flag, with Nico Rosberg's 2016 triumph the other, but Vettel has routinely mentioned in recent years his determination to match Schumacher by winning the world title with Ferrari.

Although Schumacher's excellence in the 1990s and 2000s left a lasting impression on Vettel, he says Senna's storied career also played a huge part.

He said: "It's very hard to pick your first memory, but the first images I saw that were linked to Formula 1 was when he raced [in Brazil] and he won. Even though he lost a lot of gears, he was exhausted and he nearly couldn't lift the trophy.

"The images of that car, the Marlboro car, was very iconic. My father was a huge fan of Ayrton Senna so those are the reasons why, like you intend to follow what your parents follow at that age so he was watching Formula 1 and I followed.

"So for me, he was the first person I linked to Formula 1. I think his legacy is probably the biggest or greatest that one could leave to the sport.

"I think he passed away way too early. There was a lot more that we probably could have enjoyed from him, racing but probably also outside of the car.

"I think not having the chance to share any moment with him but having the chance to share memories of people that were close to him and worked with him over the years.

"Certainly he was a very special character. Not just the fact that he was very quick or very successful, but a very special person as well."

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