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F1’s latest fan clubs launched at Albert Park

There are two new driver fan clubs in Formula 1 – and each has a membership of just one.

But those single members are pretty big names: Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

A questioner in Thursday’s opening official FIA press conference wanted to know what two of the drivers present, Messrs Alonso and Vettel, thought of each other – both as drivers and as human beings.

Alonso was brave enough to go first: “As a driver there’s really not much to say,” he said. “Three times World Champion, beating all the records in terms of wins, fastest laps, pole positions et cetera.

“2011 was nearly a record Championship and this is not only about the car, about the package – you need to perform even when you have the car that is available.

“Seb has been doing everything perfect in the last few years and for that he is World Champion and a tough rival and contender for the next couple of years.

“As a person? Obviously we don’t spend much time together – we are a different generation, we didn’t race together in go-karts or anything like that. He’s a normal guy who looks like a normal guy!”

Vettel’s turn: “As a driver I don’t have to introduce Fernando, I think he’s one of the most respected and most accepted drivers in the world. I think in all circumstances he has the ability to be on the limit; he is a very intelligent driver and that’s the reason why he was always fighting for the Championship until the end in many years of his career.

“Fortunately we had the upper hand the last couple of years but surely he is trying his best to give everyone a hard time this year.

“And as a person, as he said, we don’t spend much time together, hardly with any of the drivers. I think it’s probably what people think or expect from the outside but there’s obviously not a lot of time during the weekend in private.

“I don’t drink coffee, so I’m not inviting you for a coffee,” he grinned at Alonso, “but I can invite you for a Red Bull if you want to talk!”

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