In case you hadn’t heard, F1 racing has come to Japan this weekend, and people are excited! Couple the race with a three-day weekend, and you can believe that a ton of people are heading out to Mie Prefecture to catch the big event. Though not quite as popular as soccer or baseball, it’s impossible to deny the draw the motorsport has in the country.

It also means all of the non-Japanese drivers are checking out some of the local culture. Like Red Bull Racing team driver Sebastian Vettel, who made a stop in Tokyo that has become a big hit online thanks to a video showing the German checking out a Japanese game arcade and trying his hand(s) at arcade Mario Kart!

Now, the million dollar question is: Do his real-world driving skills translate to a big win in the game world??

In the following YouTube video, which already has over 50,000 views, Sebastian appears wearing a team shirt and looking slightly out-of-place as he, along with an interpreter and a camera crew, meander into a Tokyo game arcade. It’s unclear whether this was a scheduled stop or if someone simply decided to pull over when they saw the building covered with anime-eyed drawings.


After meeting some young fans, Sebastian is guided to a drumming game Taiko no Tatsujin by the interpreter and plays surprisingly well! His rhythm is certainly waaaaaaay better than mine, anyway! I wonder if there’s some connection between pounding out the beats and being the youngest F1 driver to win a race.

▼The interpreter explaining how to play the game.


▼Sebastian getting ready to rock.


▼Is there nothing this man can’t do??


Okay, taiko drumming was fun, but now it’s time for the main event: Mario Kart! While we’re sure that being good at something in real life might give you an advantage in-game as well, Mario Kart isn’t much like F1 racing, right? We’re expecting a fairly even showdown between the professional driver and his kind interpreter!

▼What “being in the zone” looks like.


▼”Damnit! There aren’t any turtle shells in a real race!”


▼Hunh. Never pegged him for a Yoshi guy…


As you probably guessed, yes, Sebastian won. But we have to wonder…did he really win? How do we know that the interpreter didn’t throw the race to make sure the pro driver didn’t have his cage rattled too much before the “real” race this weekend? I think we might need a do-over. Just to be sure! Maybe they’ll let me join in too.

After the win, Sebastian had this to say: “It’s much better to do the real thing, […] so I’m happy that I can play with the real car.” Oh, sure, rub it in, jerk.

Japanese commenters were happy to see Sebastian showing up at the game arcade.

Hunh, I never knew before, but he’s pretty handsome.

Seeing a superstar in a game arcade is just too surreal.

He was using Yoshi! Well, I’m using Yoshi from now on, too!

I’m glad to see him enjoying Japan!

The way he places his hands on the wheels is just like a pro.

“Just like a pro,” you say? Gee, I wonder why…

Be sure to check out the full video below to see Sebastian in action! Maybe we can learn how to be F1 drivers if we just watch it over and over and over…

Finally, we want to wish Sebastian the best of luck in Japan and for the rest of the season!

Source: Hamachi Kikou, Wikipedia
Images: YouTube, Hamachi Kikou