Kung Fu Vettel gets his kicks before Chinese GP
Backmarkers beware: Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel has been limbering up for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix with some Kung Fu fighting.
After calling Indian tail-ender Narain Karthikeyan a 'Cucumber' following a clash at the last race in Malaysia, the Red Bull driver got down to work on Wednesday with palms outstretched and legs braced.
The 24-year-old was making a martial arts short film, "Kung Fu Vettel: Drive of the Dragon", in a promotion for team partner and car manufacturer Infiniti alongside Chinese actress and model Celina Jade.
Jade, who starred recently alongside Russell Crowe in "Man with the Iron Fists', taught the German some basic moves at the Shanghai film lot while the double champion gave her the benefit of his driving expertise at the nearby Tianma circuit.
Vettel showed some enthusiasm for his part, sending a roughly dressed local sprawling to the cobbles with a deft twist of the wrist.
One of the scenes in the film, to be released in May, involves the champion tying up one of the villains with a seat belt while reminding him of the importance of safety.
"I don't do Kung Fu to work out but it's something that I have always liked, the Bruce Lee movies," he told Reuters afterwards. "I could imagine in future to do a course or some classes.
"It's quite difficult to pick it up and there's a lot of things you have to remember. A lot of body control. There's a lot of similarities, making the right calls in the right moments and remembering a lot of things and doing what is important even under stress."
Asked whether he might do a demonstration for HRT driver Karthikeyan, who called him a 'cry baby' and unprofessional after Sepang, Vettel grinned.
"No, no, no. We've calmed down," he said after signing autographs for local fans including a bunch of excited girls wearing Afro wigs in the red, black and yellow colours of the German flag.
Jade said she had talked to Vettel mostly about balance and control, as well as some blocking.
"Some punching, a little bit of kicking," she smiled. "He's really fast at picking it up.
"It's funny, because one of the moves that we went through today is a deflecting move where you kind of go underneath somebody and you twist them like a steering wheel. So that's applicable."
Vettel won 11 races last year with a record 15 poles but failed to win either of the two races so far or qualify on a front row dominated by McLaren. He is sixth overall.