Toyko, Japan - Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel swapped his racing car for a taste of New York's next generation taxi on Wednesday October 9, 2013 ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka later this week.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg chose the taxi, Nissan's NV200, to replace the city's current ageing fleet of yellow cabs and aims to roll out the vehicle from the end of October.
But his plan to phase out other designs over the next decade foundered on Tuesday October 8, 2013 after a New York Supreme Court justice struck down the ruling, saying New York's taxi authority did not have the power to enforce drivers to buy the vehicle.
In Tokyo ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday (October 13), Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel said he hoped the revamped cab would liven up the New York's taxi experience.
"Well I think everybody who's been to New York has experienced the taxi in a way, not really a special memory. Yeah, usually it's quite busy in the taxi because the driver usually is always on the phone," Vettel told reporters in Tokyo.
The German driver could claim the world championship if he wins at the Suzuka circuit and arch-rival Fernando Alonso finishes ninth or lower. "I think we obviously had a very good run after the summer break, the last four races we attend we won. So I hope to make it five this week. But I love the track, love to go back, Japanese people are very very passionate about Formula One in Suzuka so I'm looking forward to the atmosphere," he said.
Vettel won last year's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka and is currently in good form, finishing first in his last four races.