“To have someone of his stature, he came in four-times world champion," she recalled on the Beyond the Grid Podcast.
"Very strong persona, very well respected in the paddock and has often in the past been so critical of strategy so this was a ‘oh how is this going to go’ moment.
“But for him to embrace what we did and get behind it, and be on board with it, and have that kind of relationship – it felt really special, and it was nice to be respected to that level.”
What did Vettel do so well?
Collins was even singled out by Vettel in her last race for the team, as he radioed to make sure to say thank you to her for all her tireless work. That reportedly made her go "bright red" according to Vettel’s race engineer.
“It was very daunting," she said.
"Knowing he had been so critical of strategy in the past and even in the meetings, he would ask a lot of questions, he was very on top of what was going on, he really wanted to understand the plans... You wanted to get off on the right foot.
“He was definitely a lot kinder in person than I expected, the relationship was really great.”
It wasn’t just Vettel’s driving that was impressive though – it was the care and attention that went into what he did behind the scenes and the amount of time he spent after each session analysing the data.
“A lot of the really great drivers want to build a picture of what’s going on around them and what’s going on with strategy so he could imagine the lines we have on the paper, what’s happening in real life," said Collins.
“I would say Sebastian is the best driver I’ve worked with.”
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