PARIS, June 30, 2011 (AFP) - World champion and this season's runaway leader Sebastian Vettel says he loves his chosen sport so much he would pay to compete in Formula One.
The Red Bull driver told F1.com that he considered himself "hugely privileged" at having found a career that gives him so much satisfaction. "Based on that view I probably would even pay to drive a Formula One car,"
the German ace said.
Vettel, reflecting on his triumphant 2010 season, said winning the championship in Abu Dhabi last year had left him feeling "empty and lost".
He explained: "I hadn't really realised what had just happened. "It was a dream come true to test a Formula One car, then the dream got bigger when I was driving one and making it onto the podium and winning a
race, so when the title was mine it was almost a bit too much for me.
"But instinctively I knew that it was very addictive - I want more of the same!"
Vettel said that despite the historic links of Ferrari and McLaren with F1 he was happy at Red Bull, with whom he is under contract until 2014.
"Of course Ferrari and Mercedes do come with a huge legend, but I am not into myth right now. "What's important for me is that when I come from the track and look in the mirror in my hotel room I want to be able to say, yes, that's me and I am satisfied with what I see'.
"After Abu Dhabi it feels good to know that I don't have anything to prove to myself any more."
Vettel leads the 2011 drivers' title race with a gaping 77 point advantage after an unparalleled run of six wins and two second places in the opening eight races.