Ecclestone: Vettel’s success “more noteworthy” than Schumacher’s

2011 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Bernie Ecclestone, Sebastian Vettel, Barcelona, 2011

Bernie Ecclestone believes Sebastian Vettel’s success in F1 is even more impressive than Michael Schumacher’s was a decade ago.

Ecclestone believes Vettel faces tougher opposition today than Schumacher did.

In an interview on the official Formula 1 website Ecclestone said: “The competition Sebastian is facing is much bigger than that confronted by Michael. That makes Seb’s wins even more noteworthy.

“I don’t see a reason why there shouldn’t be a Red Bull era just as Ferrari had theirs with Michael.”

He denied Vettel’s dominance has made the season boring, saying: “Sebastian is in a similar position as Michael.

“Sebastian is the best right now and that’s why he is dominating, and that’s what makes it so interesting for the fans, because every race weekend starts with a big question mark – who will be able to beat Vettel? That’s why fans tune in.”

2011 F1 season

Browse all 2011 F1 season articles

Image © Red Bull/Getty images

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

275 comments on “Ecclestone: Vettel’s success “more noteworthy” than Schumacher’s”

  1. Well, I would stay away from comparing Vettel and Schumacher, before they both retire.

    Although that last sentence is absolutely true. We have seen that Alonso, Hamilton and Button can keep up with Vettel if they have a good weekend. For me as a Vettel fan, I still find every race exciting to watch hoping and praying no one will beat him!

    And I suspect everybody else is hoping and praying the opposite :D

    1. They keep up with him while in slower cars.

      1. true. fernando or lewis would easily be as competitive in the red bull.

        1. Until I hear of SV having an illegal car, a contracted non-competing teammate, or he tries to whack somebody for a WDC, I can already honour SV’s one WDC as well as the one he will likely earn this year, far more than any of MS’s.

          1. Far from all of Schumacher’s titles were affected by any of those, plus his teammates were not contracted not to be able to compete with him. You’re exaggerating Schumacher’s dark side.

          2. Because Vettel is a saint. Webber isn’t a number two. And Red Bull doesn’t have a legal grey area of a front wing.

            … Just to make sure…. This IS sarcasm.

          3. A PR thing of Ecclestone. It’s a money thing and to prevent this season become boring for the fans. Let’s wait until Vettel retires to see if he’s better than MSC.

      2. I don’t like the “if game” but I suspect that if Red Bull’s second car was in hands of either Hamilton or Alonso (in lieu of Webber) Vettel would be having a tougher championship.

      3. Hewis Lamilton
        30th June 2011, 16:14

        Just out of curiousity, would you consider the Toro Rosso Vettel won at Monza in 2008 in a slower car than the rest of the field?

        Who’s the youngest pole winner in F1?
        Who’s the youngest race winner?
        Who’s the youngest Champion?

        1. That Red Bull car took 3 of the top 4 spots after qualifying. Even Bourdais qualified 4th with it.

          So yeah, it would seem even that car was the fastest in those conditions.

    2. The Sri Lankan
      29th June 2011, 21:29

      “Ecclestone believes Vettel faces tougher opposition today than Schumacher did” yeah none of that opposition is on level playing fields

      1. Nor was Schumacher winning on a level playing field. There wasn’t a single WDC out of his 7 WDCS where he didn’t have the best car on the grid.

        1. He didn’t really have such a car advantage in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

        2. Lee Harrison
          30th June 2011, 18:06

          Had the second-best car second half of 1994, all of 1995, 2000, parts of 2001 and 2003.

      2. You want everyone on a level playing field, watch GP2 or NASCAR. Complaining about level playing fields in F1 is absurd – or at least it ought to be.

    3. Correct if I am wrong, but MS won (2000-04) against Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Montoya, Alonso, Button. They were all already there. It is the package driver-car that makes the difference. What can alonso, ms, button, hamilton do against a dominant package? They all look harmless now.
      If Vettel has 2 consecutive years of dominance, some will say the same thing: there was no competition, etc..

      1. To be fair, during that phase, only McLaren were ever a threat to Ferrari if there was one and only Mika could bring the fight to Michael.

        I loved Montoya, but Williams were not able to give a car consistently able to match the Ferrari’s over the course of a race. Kimi was always dogged by poor luck and inconsistency while Alonso and Button were just coming up.

        So essentially, after Mika quit, Michael was pretty much on his own..the fact of the matter is, between 00 and 04, after Mika quite in 01, there was only Jacques Villenueve in the form of a former WDC on grid. Now we have 5 WDC on grid..go figure the difference! If Kimi was in, we would have 6!

        I totally agree with Bernie, this is definitely a more competitive era in F1. Excluding the 5 WDCs, the likes of Nico, Webber, Kubica are capable of winning races and are potential future champions given the right machinery.

        1. I wouldn’t necessary say more competitive drivers. At the moment F1 has changed alot. With all the new rule changes the cars are just more evenly matched and cars don’t brake down anymore. If it was the same in MSC time there would also be more people able to challenge for titles

        2. It is not important whether they were or not already champions. Do you think Mansell was better in 93 than in 87, for instance? The 2004 Alonso was better than the 2005?
          The important here, as it has always been in F1, is to have a car to fight. In 2003, both Montoya and Kimi went till the end and I believe MS made the difference. The same against Mika in 2000.
          Say that there was no competition is a silly mistake. You would have to say the same about Fangio, Pele, Jordan, Woods and many others. You would be just taking out the merit of these guys. :)

      2. “Marketing” words from Ecclestone , but Vettel IS a very good driver (Monza , 2009 in the rain , I think it was) . But let’s wait for him to win again this year , then lose next year if RBR are no longer the fastest , then join a losing team , and bring them back to a winning force to take 6 WDC’s in a row , after that we can say he is better.

    4. The Red Bull RB7 allows Vettel to appear far better than he is. It would make a monkey look good (and in Webber’s case it does). Put Vettel in a Mercedes and he wouldn’t make Q3 or score a point.

      1. Put Vettel in a Mercedes and he wouldn’t make Q3 or score a point

        Best piece of nonsense I’ve heard all day. You’ve measured Vettel’s ability compared to Nico/Michael how exactly?
        I’ve also found that hypothetical circumstances in F1 are completely useless. Reality is that he won’t be in a Merc F1 car anytime soon.

        1. Dis-agree with you. Green Flag is right.

          1. How exactly? Have you seen Vettel in a Merc to come to that conclusion? Or did you watch in 2007-9 and somehow not see him ever make Q3?

      2. Green Flag gets a Black Flag.

      3. I have to disagree with you. Remember the first win of Vettel?

        1. Wasn’t that rain? Awesome win for sure, but in rain… eh… Hulkenburg put the Williams on poll. Just saying.

          1. Exactly. In the rain, when the good drivers in not-the-best machinery can shine.

          2. And the worst drivers in not-the-best machinery can shine.

            We have seen often enough that rain brings about interesting results to know that both extreme amounts of skill and/or luck can show through.

          3. Hewis Lamilton
            30th June 2011, 16:43

            Vettel put his Toro Rosso on pole and won that race at Monza in the rain. i wish he could get a hold of the Merc… it would be nice to see it on the podium.

        2. To be honest, that year the Ferrari engine was definitely a big advantage after mid season. And the RB chassis already started to show Neweys hand as well.

          Don’t forget Bourdais also qualified high, only he did not get far that day. And the races before and after that they also made the RBR team look stupid.

      4. Totally agree with you Green Flag… With such a car as the RB7 any pilot even a not that good would succeed….

        I prefer Lewis & Jenson fighting with the MP4-26 which not that good & also finally not that bad


      1. MSC is far better than Vettel

        1. To be honest, Bernie wasn’t saying Vettel is better than Schumacher. He was saying that Vettels wins are more impressive because there are more drivers able to win races at the moment.

          I am not agreeing with him, but I thought that needed clarrifying.

          1. there are more drivers able to win races at the moment.

            Who? Lewis?

            Lets be realistic, Button had luck, Webber doesn’t have the pace, and Alonso just doesn’t have the car, as good as he is.

            I’d say the chances so someone other than Vettel winning are even less than when Schumacher was dominant. Partly because F1 is so reliable nowadays.

  2. who will be able to beat Vettel? That’s why fans tune in

    Well, I think they’d rather tune in to watch a close championship battle.

    1. Not necessarily. Although the WDC battles in 2007 through 2010 were close, the races weren’t as exciting as this season. The 2011 title is almost certainly Vettel’s, but the races themselves are fabulous (apart from Valencia, that is). That’s why I tune in.

    2. Well, not necessarily.

      Although the WDC battles in 2007 through 2010 were close, the races weren’t as exciting as this season. The 2011 title is almost certainly Vettel’s, but the races themselves are fabulous (apart from Valencia, that is).

      That’s why I tune in, at least.

    3. I’d rather watch someone else win than watch Vettel lose. The two are quite different…

    4. I agree with you totally.

      The races are exciting but the whole season is boring because Vettel is dominating too much. I mean, who would tune in to watch who comes in second in the championship?

  3. GreeenWolf (@)
    29th June 2011, 13:02

    That’s why fans tune in

    Speak for yourself Bernie, that’s why I’m tuning out of qualifying.

    1. You’re only interested in P1 then?

    2. I’m tuning in because I don’t want to miss seeing the bloody git lose

  4. More impressive than ten years ago? Sure.

    More impressive than Schumacher’s first two championships? I’m not sure. Let’s see how this one pans out first.

    1. Very interesting point there. How would Vettel-Red Bull fare against Schumacher-Benetton or even Alonso-Renault? All three pairings saw a young driver win its first ever titles for their respective teams. Off the bat, though, it’s hard to rate them in terms of greatness.

    2. That’s exactly what I thought, although it’s fair to say Hamilton, Alonso et al are better drivers than Hill. Schumacher’s cars in the 00s were so much better than anything else I dont think it would be fair to Vettel to compare them.

      1. Schumacher laid the path of the modern formula one driver with out him there would be no vettel. Not just in terms of inspiration but in terms of the blue print schumacher made for formula one drivers, he was the stephen hendry of forumla one the game changer.

        Also hill challenged schumacher very closely and was never/still isn’t given enough respect in terms of his racing prowess. Even more so given that he was a bike racer who if memory serves didn’t even do karting as a lad. To give you an idea of how impressive that is, think of an athlete say a footballer since we all know what that is. Going to the shaolin temple at 20 and becoming *the best* martial artist within 6 years, against monks who have been training their art since 3 years old. That is what hill did in formula one. In his second title year *no one* is challenging vettel which suggests a more dominant car than schumacher had in 94-95 considering how close hill came and given the fact that you all think he drives like a granny.

        1. Are we not talking about the illegal Benetton of 94? And some of you honour that and compare that to SV today? In 94 they got caught with illegal fuel refillers, got caught running their car too low thus wearing out their skid plate too much, and let’s not even go there with the whack on DH. Then there’s the suspected traction control that they still were suspected of using after it had been made illegal…the system having been found on the car only for them to say to the FIA ‘sure it is there, prove we used it’. There is absolutely nothing to honour in MS’s first ill-earned WDC.

          1. Hill drove straight into the side of M.S. There was just no room for his nose where he put it.

          2. The tracton control was proven te be on the car. It was hidden in the menu.

            The stewards couldn’t prove that it was used during a race.

        2. TheBrav3…the only blueprint MS laid was to make it a one way street on his teams so that by contract his teammates were not to compete against him, thus by a decision in the boardroom not on the track we the viewing audience was robbed of true racing in the pinnacle of racing. When MS was in a dominant Ferrari his only true challenger, that being the other driver in the same car, was not allowed to compete against him, and was there only to support him, as witnessed in Austria 02 with Reubens pulling over to hand MS a ‘win’ with metres to go before the start/finish line, after which RB said he was just obeying his contract.

          1. Except Barrichello admitted years later on Top Gear that he wasn’t contracted to be number two to Michael:


          2. @David A. He didn’t exactly get overtaken by Schumacher in Austria 2002. He was ordered to pull over by Jean Todt.

            In your video, I think the point Rubens was trying to make was that Ferrari blackmailed him to finish behind Schumacher, even though it wasn’t written on his contract.

          3. Barrichelo clearly said in a interview (in portuguese) they had the same equip, but the attentions were to MS.

        3. That’s so true. Many people underestimate ones like Hill but not many of them remember that in his best times he was able to drive a pathetically weak Arrows into points (he actually missed a race win in Hungary ’97 on a last lap with a broken gearbox). There were also Hakkinen, Coulthard, Alesi, Irvine, Frentzen, Montoya, Raikkonen et cetera, many great drivers that had deserved their own WDC’s. Saying that Vettel’s competition is harder now judging only by the statistic number od WDC holders in the pack and comparing that to Schumacher is simply not right – many of the drivers I’ve mentioned missed their WDC’s because of Schuey’s domination.

          1. Hakkinen, Coulthard, Alesi, Irvine, Frentzen, Montoya, Raikkonen

            If this is “Spot The Deliberate Mistake”, I think I’ve won ;-)

          2. lecho makes a good point here. We can’t just dismiss Schumacher’s opposition because they didn’t win as much as Vettel’s opposition today. It could well have been that Schumacher was THAT good, so good that he made anyone else seem inferior, when in fact, they would’ve fared much, much better in a Schumi-less era.

          3. I am not too sure all those drivers really deserved a WDC, but I get your point.
            If Vettel and RBR go on like this no new guy has much chance of winning more than the odd race and no realistic chance to get even close to the championship.

    3. For me Schumacher’s ’94 win will always be tainted by ‘that clash’ with Hill at Adelaide, and the ’95 one… well, Briatore and Symonds?

      And Schumacher’s 00-04 run? Well, he had the best car, didn’t he… just like Vettel. ;)

      1. In 2000 and 2003, Schumacher didn’t have a dominant car, and it’s arguable that he didn’t even have the best car. You’re also going nowhere with your attempt to discredit his 1995 title, which was one of the best title wins F1 has ever seen.

        1. It was amazing, but its often forgotten how dreadfully poor williams pit crew and strategy was…it was painful at times! at monaco damon pitted after michael, while in the lead yet did one extra stop than michael. your sitting there watching thinking ‘what are you doing!!’

          nothing away from his performances in 95 tho, he was amazing! great battles with alesi spring to mind. suzuka and european gp.

          1. I guess you’re right 85Q.

        2. In 2000 and 2003 MS had the Constructor’s winning car.

          1. Which is more likely to happen when Schumacher wins the drivers title.

      2. David A, I’m sure you can find the You Tube clip of RB admitting in the post-race interview Austria 02 that he was just obeying his contract…so he was either lying then, or was lying on Top Gear, but isn’t it interesting that he is telling JC that at first he was not going to pull over for MS (yet ultimately he did)…there was a conversation going on about it during the last 8 laps…he mentions lawyers…so something made RB do the deed for all the world to see…they obviously said something to strong arm him into giving it up for MS…that is what I call a subservient, no matter how much we argue about what a contract said…he is obviously being inconsistent with his story (perhaps years later on Top Gear he didn’t feel the need to embarrass himself by admitting he should have known what he was getting into), but we all saw the deed and none of this erases the fact that MS was handed that ‘win’ and did not earn it. And let’s not downplay the outrage from the fans that were there, not to mention from the media. So go ahead and make everything sound all nice and good and on the up and up, but it wasn’t. Or conversely, if everything was to be equal for RB has he supposedly had been reassured, then perhaps it is Ferrari that was dishonourable and broke the contract by strongarming him into giving it up for MS. Either way, something dishonourable happened for all the world to see, no matter how you want to colour it. And MS is the one that gained, mind you only with the ‘win’, but he lost a ton of respect from a ton of fans and media that day.

        1. I’m not making everything sound nice and good”. I’m pointing out that if Barrichello’s later admission were to be believed, then you cannot claim MS contracted his teammates not to compete against him. Yes, Schumacher lost respect from fans and media on that day. But drivers have the opportunity to win back respect through reminding us of their talent. Schumacher was able to produce many top class drives before and after his misdemanours, which won back that respect. Similar to how Alonso may have lost respect after Hockenheim, but gained it back with that drive at Singapore.

          1. MS did far more damage to himself than just on that day because for the rest of the season no one was to believe that RB would be allowed to compete against MS…the team forcing RB to give up the ‘win’ in Austria solidified there was no competition within the team, which gave MS a huge advantage on top of his many other advantages. There is nothing top class about defeating a competitor in a boardroom, so any ‘top class’ drives as you call them are actually tainted due to the skewing toward him. MS had already lost many fans by showing his true colours in 94 and 97 with whacking DH and JV anyway.

          2. See, this is why you come across as a troll. He wins one race because his teammate moves over and you assume that everything is tainted. Any F1 viewer will have their opinions on Schumacher’s antics, but at least have the dignity to admit that Schumacher was capable of spectacular things too. Spain 1996 was such an accomplishment that Stirling Moss, seen as a great detractor was able to admit that “It wasn’t a race, it was a display of brilliance.”

            Instead you stick to the hard line that everything he ever did was tainted, and cannot take off the blinkers to see how you are just incorrect.

          3. Well said David A

            @Robbie still waiting for you obsessive Schumi hater book(genre Robbie own fantasy) Lol

          4. Sounds like Robbie has a bit of a vendetta against Schumacher…

            ’94…a few debatable things, a lot of people say Schumacher was picked on by the FIA because he happened to be dominating the Championship (no passing on the formation lap, never heard of that rule before..)

            ’95…how anyone can say Schumacher wasn’t amazing that year is beyond me, in the second-best car he crushed Hill. Yeah he’s done a few dodgy things but Senna did too, but people tend to forget it, frankly in my opinion, because of his death.

        2. Its an easy case. RB was held to his contract.
          Just not to a non existing part that told him to be second best, but to the part where the he drives for the team and pursues their best interests.
          Todt made it clear to him that the team now considered its best interest to be letting Schu win it.
          No contradiction at all.

    4. I think he’s talking about this because of testing restrictions and the competition is much higher than when Schuey won his first titles… In 1994 the only Champs on the field were Senna (who died) and Mansell (who raced in about 5 races), Seb has to put up with Schumacher (although uncompetitive), Alonso, Hamilton AND Button

      1. On what basis do You judge current pack higher than the starting list of 1994 season? The fact that Senna died isn’t taking away his WDC titles and he alone had three championships. There were also champions in making like Hill or Hakkinen and it’s the same situation again – on what basis do people reckon that Alonso is better than Hakkinen was and Hamilton is better than Hill? Statistics don’t confirm, particulary in the Hakkinen – Alonso case.

        1. Martin Whitmarsh who was in a team with senna prost hamilton alonso and hakkinen said that. “On his day, Hakkinen was probably the fastest man on the planet.” That’s how I judge him no one else can claim to speak from a position of such knowledge

          1. I agree, Hakkinen was something else. I think he is under appreciated by many people.

          2. “On his day” I would agree.

      2. hic! Button spoken on equal terms with Hamilton and Alonso is a sad joke. Button has got brains alright and because of that he might be ahead in a championship temporally but it doesn’t mean he is in the same class.

        1. Call me a troll all you like, I’ll wear that proudly because ultimately I stand for a more transparent, more apples to apples form of racing in the supposed pinnacle of racing than we had when the FIA and BE wanted MS away from the contentious cheating Benetton stint where he still had a year left in his contract, and set MS up at Ferrari, a team he didn’t even want to go to, in order to end the Ferrari WDC drought.
          If you folks don’t mind teams that hang one driver out to dry and force him to not compete against his teammate, knock yourselves out. But I envision an F1 grid of designated number 1’s and number 2’s by contract such that half the grid is there only to be rear gunners for the other half of the grid…not my cup of tea…MS had the luxury of contracted rear gunners, and therefore by extension cars designed specifically with him in mind, as well as tires. No fair, I say. So that makes me a troll? You like to point out isolated incidents of MS like Austria 02 and say that doesn’t make all his races tainted. But to me they do…the minute they forced RB to not compete that alleviated a ton of pressure from MS both on and off the track.
          What would it have been like in 88 Senna vs Prost if one or the other was forced not to compete because they had an agenda for only one of the drivers to be the WDC? A joke, that’s what…at least to me. Instead, we pretty much knew that year that a Mac was going to win, we just didn’t know which one. Tell me when you could say the same thing about any of MS’s years in F1? And don’t tell me that is because he was that dominant. They never put a “Prost” against him, let alone giving that driver the green flag to race each other. And the huge difference? Senna and Prost had an extreme mental game in the mix, both on and off the track, not just the physical battles on the track, and MS was completely sheltered from that. Not to mention MS had a designer car, and sure RB had the same equipment, a car designed for MS. I don’t like that, and that makes me a troll?
          Conversely, here we have SV that is dominating without all the endless testing, without the contracted subservient, and without behaving like a complete boor out on the track. I can honour that all day long verses the contentious behaviour of the FIA and BE and MS/Benetton and MS/Ferrari.
          Maybe in spite of all the favouritism MS would have had me more in his camp if he hadn’t proved his true colours with his whacks on DH and JV, but then there are so many other incidents that I don’t think it would have happened anyway.
          So as I say, call me a troll all you like because to me your definition of troll means someone who doesn’t tolerate one driver being heavily favoured not only on his team but vs. the rest of the grid, and someone who doesn’t tolerate driving into other cars as well as forcing them off the track and calling that ‘victory’, as well as someone who doesn’t tolerate drivers being handed ‘wins’ they haven’t earned due to strongarming from the team.
          And now MS is back and proving my point with every amateur looking move he has made. The only race he looked a bit like the MS of the past was Montreal where it became a crapshoot due to the conditions. Last race, back to his same new self. No advantages, and he’s nowhere. Looks good on him after the way he compiled his numbers in the past. Now the true colours have really come out.

          1. Indeed you are a troll. Senna and Prost were evenly matched on ability. Barrichello isn’t a driver of Schumacher’s caliber. It’s very common in F1 for the superior driver to be favoured, and that is what happened with MS and RB.

            I’ll illustrate what is going on here:

            EVERYONE ELSE: “It’s not black and white, Schumacher did questionable things in his career, but we can’t forget the great drivers either, verified by the praise and criticism from peers, journalists and former drivers.”

            ROBBIE: “Everything Schumacher did between 1991-2006 equated to cheating and two poor years mean he was somehow never any good.”


          2. Lee Harrison
            30th June 2011, 18:12


          3. I don’t have to like or respect the guy, and I don’t stand alone just because YOU say ‘everyone else’. I know many people that share my view. Just because they don’t post here doesn’t mean it is me against the world. Your opinion is yours, mine is mine and you are taking great licence in assuming it is me against the world. My opinion has been well stated, I have stated it here before and on other sites going back to when MS was still at Ferrari, and nobody has been able to unsell me with anything any more solid than ‘you are wrong’…eg. you post a You Tube video of RB on Top Gear, and I refer you to his post-race interview of Austria 02 and you ignore that conveniently….I didn’t invent it…RB said it…and his actions showed it…and therefore showed the way it is on the team. And if RB was simply never up to MS’s ability as you say then you admit MS didn’t have it as hard as Senna/Prost who were of more equal ability, and shame on Ferrari for not hiring two drivers worthy of that car and giving the viewing audience the show they pay for. Is it the pinnacle of racing or the pinnacle of manipulation. I will not back down from the likes of you when I feel manipulated from the MS/Ferrari era. I demand better than that from F1. Shame you don’t too…

          4. Blame Ferrari, not Michael Schumacher for a Prost-like driver not being there. At the end of the day, front-running F1 teams exist to win. Putting on a show for the paying audience is secondary to them.

            I haven’t once said I endorsed Barrichello being told to pull over for Michael, so you can’t say that you “demand better than that from F1. Shame you don’t too…”. It was a bad decision that caused damage to all parties involved. What you’ve ignored is that amongst the rough of Schumacher, there are diamonds like the European GP 1995, Spanish GP 1996, Hungarian GP 98, Malaysia 99, Japanese GP 00, French GP 2004 and Brazilian GP 2006. Those examples, amongst others are why Schumacher proved himself in the eyes of an audience member like myself to be an entertaining and worthy champion in the pinnacle of motorsport.

          5. @Robbie Sound like you stand more on childish dislike on Schumacher or more mango to mango or whatever. One thing for sure you are in the minority(Schumi hater) and your devalue comment(based on obsessive hater) won’t change the fact that Schumacher has shown his amazing drive throughout his career, how he helped to transform Ferrari into a domination team, one of the Legend in F1 history and the most important thing won’t change or convert the majority of F1 fan and his true fan into your “obsessive darkside”.

            Good Luck on your fantasy book btw :D .

  5. I look forward to Sebastian returning to F1 in 15 years time and not being able to overtake… oh wait thats now.

    1. When you’re in front, you don’t need to worry about overtaking anyone.

    2. Mitch, after his first pit stop in Spain 2011, Sebastian moved up so well overtaking Jenson and Felipe to keep Lewis & Fernando behind. Guess, he did a great job. These days, he is always leading the races and we don’t get to see his overtaking skills.

      1. The same thing happened in the 80’s when the tyres were similar to today. Literaly the worst team on the grid was able to overtake half the field in a lap because the difference between a brand new set and a set that are at the very end of their life is immense it could be a difference of 5 seconds.

        Re: vettel v button he overtook button off of the race track he should have been given a drive through like button was for doing the exact same thing earlyer in the race. The stewards however looked the other way so it was more luck and tyres than skill.

        1. They looked the other way with all overtakes outside the track in that corner, that means that he just paid attention and used the opportunities he was given.

          1. Paid attention to the fact that buemi down in 17th place or something, overtook a car off the track whilst vettel was leading the race? I’m sorry but he wouldn’t so much need eye’s in the back of his head as eye’s absolutely everywhere to spot that, he got lucky.

            The only reason the stewards didn’t penalise him was because they only realised after the race. Deciding it would be better to suddenly declare that actually that’s now part of the race track. Irrespective of what the circuit map,the circuit lines or race officials in the drivers briefing say.

            Let’s not forget also that mark webber got a drive through in singapore 2010 for overtaking alonso in EXACTLY the same manner at a mirror image corner.

            Let’s also not forget that the rules say quite clearly you must have 2 wheels inside the circuit boundrys when attempting an overtake. That was the circuit boundry, Seb crossed it. End of.

    3. That is true. Remember Silverstone last year? Yeah he made some well judged overtakes, but I also remember him clattering into the sides of people too. Take his pass on Sutil for example. And the less said about Turkey and Spa last year the better.

  6. No doubt this is Bernie pandering to the German TV audience, but let’s look at his point anyway.

    It’s true to the extent of a single season – he’s won 6 of 8, finishing 2nd in the other 2 races against a very good set of drivers. Not a lot of people has done this well at the start of the season.

    But in terms of the bigger picture, it’s barely noteworthy. Remember, Schumacher won FIVE topics in a row. Vettel’s just about to win two in a row. In addition, Schumacher did it with a team, Ferrari, who was barely winning any races when he joined. In contrast, Vettel started winning off the bat with Red Bull. While it’s true that Red Bull weren’t winning before Vettel arrived, one could also argue that Vettel had all the tools he needed to start winning (think Newey). IMO, the best way for his success to become truly noteworthy is for Vettel to move to a new team and be successful there as well (ideally without Newey).

    1. Barely nothing more to say on the subject, i agree with you completely.

      I would like to add that what made (at least to me) Schumacher’s success so noteworthy were also his noteworthy defeats. He was able to fight for the championships with inferior cars for many years before his dominance (which, don’t know why, people think it’s 2000-2004 while it’s more 2002,2004).

      Also, i don’t think at the end of the season it’ll be 2002 or 2004-like dominance. It really seems Vettel can be beaten every weekend but it does not eventually happen, and it’s to Vettel credits.
      I’ll go for a 2005 build-a-gap-and-keep-it-till-the-end style.

      1. Very good point. He had no business being anywhere in the title fight for 1997 and 1998, but he managed it somehow. That would figure in this discussion too.

        1. well how come he cant be in the title fight in the mercedes then? the myth that schumi can win in a dog of car is well and truly put to rest!

          1. the myth that schumi can win in a dog of car is well and truly put to rest!

            It’s not a myth if we saw it over and over again in the 90s. His new career doesn’t take away from what he did in his old career.

          2. The car had to be able to win races though. We know the Bennetons from 1989-1991 were race winning cars, Schumacher simply added onto that. They were always there, or thereabouts… Mercedes are MILES off the pace this season

          3. Because, quite frankly, he shouldn’t have come back. Even as a Schumacher fan, I was never keen on his comeback because he’s gotten too old and been away from the sport for far too long.

            Also, I agree with Craig. Mercedes just don’t have the pace to win right now – Canada being a prime example of that.

          4. Well the car wasn’t bad after all. It was more than capable of winning races and challenging for titles. All of his teamates bar maybe piquet and rosberg have played second fiddle to Michael, that is undoubtedly a fact. Don’t get me wrong he is a top tier driver but nothing exceptional in my opinion.

  7. I must say, i’d still rather have this than last year’s boring races (generally speaking). At least there’s overtaking.

    But, saying that, I wish someone would beat this German fella…

    I agree on the whole ‘not being too fussed about Qualy’ notion. I used to be completely on it, but now, it’s not really essential viewing, as the Red Bulls are just so, so much quicker.

  8. he’s undoubtedly the hottest driver and has the hottest car, but 2 years of contention and 1 of domination do not compare to 5 dominating years on the trot. if red bull and vettel were to match that, i would consider it a greater accomplishment,

    1. Journeyer comments above has the perfect verdict

  9. Sebastian is the best right now and that’s why he is dominating

    I think I’d change that to Sebastian and Red Bull are the best package right now and that’s why they’re dominating.

    who will be able to beat Vettel? That’s why fans tune in

    I can’t speak for anyone else but that’s not why I tune in, I tune in with the hope of seeing an excitig race and I’m not really that bothered who wins, although as a Ferrari fan I obviously want to see them do well.

    1. I think I’d change that to Sebastian and Red Bull are the best package right now and that’s why they’re dominating.

      That’s impossible to prove either way. Clearly though Seb is getting something out of the car this year that Mark isn’t. Probably the tyres. I know Mark’s been struggling with KERS though.

      1. I think I’d change that to Sebastian and Red Bull are the best package right now and that’s why they’re dominating.

        They are. Put Vettel in an HRT and he’ll struggle to score points. Just like Schumacher and Ferrari were the best package ten years ago.

        1. The Last Pope
          29th June 2011, 14:18

          He’d struggle to get off the back row too.

          1. Think Bernie was mis quoted, as he actually meant to say “Adrian Newey is the best right now and that’s why he is dominating”

        2. It’s a rather meaningless point to make, since even the likes of Fangio, Senna, and Clark would struggle to score points in an HRT.

  10. I really don’t mind who wins races and how often they win them. Perhaps Bernie is being a little premature but can anyone see how another team could really compete with Vettel?

    You won’t catch me complaining about Vettel winning. That’s a cop-out.

    You will catch me sounding off about the other teams not pulling their collective finger out.

    Wanting one driver to lose is different to wanting another to win. Wanting another driver to win is a more positive approach from the fans I think.

    1. Bernie has highly invested in Vettel. There is no doubt he would say that.

      1. I agree. It’s about money.. A PR thing

    2. You will catch me sounding off about the other teams not pulling their collective finger out.

      Same for me.

  11. I’m sorry but rubbish. I’m a big fan of Vettel’s – but I’d liken Vettel at Red Bull to Schumacher at Benetton. A battle for his first title and then more of a walk to the second because of having the best car and a team-mate unable to challenge well enough.

    What made Schumacher great was the fact that he then left the dominant Benetton to build up a new era at Ferrari. Vettel has had a Newey designed Red Bull ‘era’ given to him on a plate (as Schumacher did at Benetton.) – to take nothing away from him as he is doing a great job with the tools he has got.

    Schumacher’s dominance was the result of years of hard work on his part – building a team around him. Vettel is yet to do that. Granted, he is young, and definitely could go on to do such a thing – but, at the moment, Schumacher’s domination has so much more credibility.

    Sorry Bernie!

    1. What made Schumacher great was the fact that he then left the dominant Benetton to build up a new era at Ferrari.

      I agree, if Seb were to join Williams and then help take them back to the front of the grid where they then spent the next decade dominating then the comparison would be much more valid.

      1. LOL, he might even take Newey with him! That would be amazing.

        1. LOL.. but, I honestly think Sebastian will move to Mercedes GP when the team is ready to win in 2013. Again, thanks to Michael, Ross’s contribution.

    2. I agree with that Ben N, he is very good, but he still has a lot to do to be one of the all time greats for the history books.

      1. He will never be one of the all time greats.

        1. Actually, there’s already a good chance of him becoming an all time great, with multiple titles to his name.

          1. The number of titles is irrelevant mate; Stirling Moss is an F1 great and he never won a single championship.

          2. Maybe number of titles is irrelevant, but even if the lasting impression of Vettel is one of a phenomenally consistent driver, taking pole-win-pole-win, then that’ll be good enough for me.

        2. Considering the records that he has already achieved, it is difficult to image Vettel not getting rated highly in the decades to come.

          Yea, one could say he has been able to achieve all that because he has been in arguably the best car since 2009, but an F1 driver doesn’t get the best car by being average. It is only by a narrow margin that Vettel isn’t on the verge of claiming his third championship, rather than just his second.

    3. What made Schumacher great was the fact that he then left the dominant Benetton to build up a new era at Ferrari.

      Vettel has not had so much time yet. He’s still young, in ten years’ time we will be able to judge that.

      1. I always think thought Schumacher’s contribution to the Ferrari team was overrated. Heck.. he went to a team with the political animal – Jean Todt… and a genius designer – Rory Byrne and technical director – Ross Brawn. Schumacher just waited it out till all these elements got their act together, after which, Ferrari as a team were unstoppable.

        Vettel might have to work with a non race winning team in a few years, and then we will see how he copes… but for now he looks quicker than Schumacher ever did, and is up against competition that is tougher than Schumi ever had in his career.

    4. Vettel has had a Newey designed Red Bull ‘era’ given to him on a plate (

      as Schumacher did at Benetton


      Woah! Benetton were an average team with an average car when Schumachaer joined them.
      And in 1994 Williams had the best car with the best engine.

    5. I agree…

      I think people aren’t keeping this in perspective.

      If you ask F1 fans. Who is the greatest F1 driver of all time?

      Most will say either Senna or Schumacher. Vettel, won’t even get a look in.

      Does he really think Vettel is even close to Prost? To Stewart? Not yet at least.

      1. If you ask F1 fans. Who is the greatest F1 driver of all time?
        Most will say either Senna or Schumacher. Vettel, won’t even get a look in.

        Maybe that could be because Sebastian is only in his 4th season? as compared to Schumi .. who is participating in his 18TH SEASON.

        1. Then Vettel’s success IS NOT YET as noteworthy as Schumacher’s!

    6. MS’s domination has so much more credibility until you look at the ingredients it took for him to dominate…whacking DH for a WDC in an illegal car, subservient drivers of lesser calibre hired intentionally to not compete against him, endless resources and testing for his designer car and tires…yeah, real credible domination bourne solely from MS’s talent. Right.

      At least SV has a bonefide teammate that he has had to beat on the track not in the boardroom, no designer car nor tires, and he’s not running people off the track like he has his own rulebook either.

    7. Schumacher’s dominance was the result of years of hard work on his part – building a team around him. Vettel is yet to do that. Granted, he is young, and definitely could go on to do such a thing – but, at the moment, Schumacher’s domination has so much more credibility.

      Agreed Ben N.

  12. Honestly, I dislike this comparing between drivers and saying one of them is better for the opposition he had etc.

    I do think Vettel is really very good right now. That is why he is World Champion and leading the Championship. And the team he is with has all the cards in hand to stay good for another while so he might get pretty high in the stats in the coming seasons.

    Why the need to say things like this. Each driver is different, has different career paths and reacts differently to circumstances as well. Enjoy that!

    1. I absolutely agree! :)

  13. It is what it is. No point making comparisons from one era to another in F1.

    1. Why? It’s not as if the game’s changed much in seven years.

      1. It’s always changing.

      2. VXR has a point here. It’s changed lots in seven years. We’ve abandoned race-fuel qualifying – heck, we’ve dropped refuelling! We’re back to slicks, coming from a single tyre supplier. Oh, and there are now overtaking aids aplenty. The drivers at the top have changed too (as pointed out by plenty a comment). So if someone says they cannot be properly compared, I see their point.

        1. It’s changed lots in seven years. We’ve abandoned race-fuel qualifying – heck, we’ve dropped refuelling! We’re back to slicks, coming from a single tyre supplier. Oh, and there are now overtaking aids aplenty.

          How does that change anything really? At the end of the day you are still driving, and the good drivers adapt quicker to these changes than others. Although refuelling ban and tyre management, have added an interesting dimension to racing, at the end of the day it still is about lapping a circuit at the best possible pace.

    2. One area i like to look at for comparisons is how well drivers do in inferior cars. We’ve seen all the top drivers; Alonso, Hamilton, Schumacher, win or put in very special performances in inferior cars. Vettel however, I don’t think we’ve seen anything too impressive, with his best performance in an inferior car probably coming in China 2008 (the only season he hasn’t had the fastest car).

      People will point to Italy, but we saw throughout the 2008 season that the Torro Rosso was immense in wet conditions. Let’s not forget that Sebatian Bourdais (remember him?) qualified 4th in Monza, only to have to start from the pitlane. In that race we also saw Hamilton with the pace to win from 15th (?) in a car with which his teammate couldn’t even challenge with from 2nd.

      1. I think it’s ridiculous to write off his drive in Monza. The car may have been good in the rain but it’s not as if the McLaren and Ferrari drivers didn’t have the same chance to perform he did.

        He out-qualified and out-raced much quicker cars in dreadful conditions and became the youngest person ever to set pole position and win a race. That was an exceptional performance.

        1. oh no, don’t get me wrong, it was a great performance and i’m not writing it off. But for me it wasn’t quite up their with the best of the best, and i actually rate his performance in China that year better.

          No doubt he is a great driver, but for me, he hasn’t done enough in an inferior car compared to the drivers who are generally classed as the best of the best. Granted, he hasn’t spent long in an inferior car, but neither has Hamilton, who for me drove better in 09,10 than Vettel.

          1. And also for me Alonso and Schui have put in far better, more consistent performances in inferior cars, although this is a slightly less fair comparison as they have spent much more time in such cars.

          2. sorry, it was 2007 the chinese race i was thinking of, where Vettel finished 4th after starting 17th.

        2. The Last Pope
          29th June 2011, 14:35

          Yet that was still really just driving around at the front very fast. Very skillfull but not really racing other cars. I see Vettel as a hotlapper more than a racer. Schumacher is a racer.

        3. Keith, I think maybe you might be mistaken with

          it’s not as if the McLaren and Ferrari drivers didn’t have the same chance to perform he did

          From wiki:

          Grid 14
          Kimi Räikkönen
          Grid 15
          Lewis Hamilton

          I thiknk it would be fair to say that neither Hamilton or Raikkonen had the same chance to show their skill. The team told them when to dance and they danced then. Sure the team could ahve sent them out earlier, but then you’re not comparing apples with apples. Torro Rosso sent out Vettel at the right time to get through Q2 while the 2 biggest talents with cars (given Alonso was in a renault) were knocked out unable to actually compare skill wise.


          Both Räikkönen and Hamilton blamed a late entry into the second session for their poor qualifying times, which saw them eliminated in 14th and 15th positions, respectively

          In Q3 he beat Kovalanian by less than a tenth and 3rd starting Webber by 1.6 SECONDS. Either Vettel was unbelievably lightning fast or weather may have played a part….. just saying.

          1. The team told them when to dance and they danced then.

            Not good enough. These are professional drivers in the top flight of motorsport and if they want to be out on track in time not to miss the best of the conditions, they need to speak up.

          2. agree with Keith on this one. I personally would tell the team to put the fuel in, tires on, and just send me out to put in the laps for practically the whole session. Not only does this give you more chance to find the grip and get used to the conditions, but it almost guarantees you that you’re going to be out there at the optimal time. The weight disadvantage would not be a major problem in the rain, particularly as it was only Q2

          3. In 08 wasn’t the Toro Rosso the previous years very good Red Bull but with the more powerful Ferrari engine and was it not the most competitive Toro Rosso ever, regardless of driver.

          4. The Last Pope
            29th June 2011, 15:58

            @HoHum Torro Rosso had the same car as red bull that year only different engine.

          5. The chassis was designed around having a Renualt engine in the back, so the Red Bull would have been better in regular conditions.

            Also Raikkonen and Hamilton were to blame for not getting out on track, while Massa and Kovalainen did.

          6. These are professional drivers in the top flight of motorsport and if they want to be out on track in time not to miss the best of the conditions, they need to speak up.

            The main point in Monza/2008 was the RACE. And c’mon, Keith! Qualifying was ruined by rain and you can’t do assumptions about the capacity of teams and drivers to make a right call in that dreadful conditions.

            In the race, Hamilton would have won if the rain wouldn’t have caught him in the middle of the way.

          7. Qualifying was ruined by rain

            And who did best in the conditions? Sebastian Vettel.

        4. Exactly. Look at other races that season. 5th in Monaco, 4th in Brazil, 5th in Belgium, 5th in Singapore… With a team that was Minardi… He was placing that car in places where it shouldn’t have been… He scored 35 points to Bourdais’ 4, Buemi didn’t do much better than him during the first half of ’09… What gets me is how anybody can question his raw speed more than anything, just look at his qualifying. Pole at Monza in ’08, his pole in China ’09 was sensational, 10/19 poles last year and 7/8 poles this year so far

          1. Thing is, all but one of those races was hit by rain, which the Toro Rosso was very good in. Even Bourdais qualified 4th at Monza! And of course Singapore was the mad SC race.

            I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to downplay Vettel’s 08 achievements, but suggesting perhaps a more reasonable middle ground – good drives aided by the right circumstance, or as Martin Brundle calls it, making your own luck.

            I think it’s too often the case with Vettel discussions that almost everyone seems to take one side or the other – genius or over-rated. We can’t really have a debate with that kind of positioning.

          2. Kieth,

            Not good enough. These are professional drivers in the top flight of motorsport and if they want to be out on track in time not to miss the best of the conditions, they need to speak up.

            You forget that the drivers sit in little cubby holes in the cars with their heads in helmets focusing on how to get the best lap in. They rely 100% on the team who sit outside with rain cloud monitors and weather maps and so they should.
            Sure, they are professionals. By the whole team is a professional team. The drivers sit inthe car, focus and make sure they get the best lap they can. The guys on the wall decide when the weather is best for them and when they should could come out so as to not run into traffic problems.

            I completely disagree that the driver is expected, let alone able to decide wehn he should run instead of the umpteen knowledgeable people. IN the 2010 Malaysian GP Both Ferrari and Mclarens either were out after Q1 or finished in the gravel unable to compete in Q2. Why? Because the pit wall with the info told them to do that, I don’t hold it against Alonso, Massa, Hamilton or Button that they trusted teams with data, radars and info over what they could see from their helmets, and I’m suprised you do.


            And who did best in the conditions? Sebastian Vettel.

            Vettel did well int he conditions given the cirumstances that he was given, just as Hamilton and co did the best in the circumstances they were given. It’s just they were given different circumstances

      2. Hewis Lamilton
        30th June 2011, 17:16

        Hamilton is out of place in your comparison. He’s only won a single WDC and doesn’t qualify as a “top driver” yet, Eespecially if you are omitting Vettel from the top drivers.

        I have to wonder if it is the at-all-cost Hamilton fans not wanting to give Vettel credit.

        1. What on earth are you talking about. It isn’t the number of WDCs the driver has its about their drivers.

          You could argue that Sterling Moss is a great driver desipte not winning a single WDC. According to stats you could argue that someone like J Vilnueve is better then? I wouldn’t agree.

          Alonso beat out two drivers considered very highly, Fisichella and Trulli. He is a 2x WDC.

          Alonso and Hamilton scored 107 points in 2007. Hamilton has since dominated (andn yes I know the equip wasn’t fair) Kova and also WDC Button (equip fair). Alonso has smashed piquet who wasn’t thought of as slow until being F1 teammates with Alonso. Alonso has then beaten Massa.

          Vettel on the other hand has beaten a guy not good enough for F1, then another guy not good enough for F1 then Webber who is old wasn’t even considered the best in his prime.

          I’m not Vettel or Hamilton or Alonso fanboy. I would much prefer Webber to win, but you can’t honestly call hamilton and vettel equals given their histories SO FAR.

          I was referencing the race in 2008 which is when he won his WDC.
          I was syaing he shouldn’t be responsible for looking to see if its raining when there are people with computers doing that. And that Vettel in a torro rosso (decent Red Bull with Ferrari engine at that stage), beat a much faster McLaren driven by Hamilton and a much fsater Ferrari driven by Raikkonen and Massa.

          That is unless you believe Vettel to be so far ahead of Raikkonen and Massa (1 second + easily) per lap… ;)

  14. Disagree completely. Schumacher was able to show his driving and ability when things didn’t really go his way much more often than Vettel, who’s just having it very easy since he started racing.

    None of Vettel’s wins are one of those races when you think: “MAN! what a drive!!”. He’s doing his best, but as long as he keeps starting from pole and cruising to the checkered flag, he’ll still be lacking something.

    It’s like Schumacher’s 2004 season. We don’t remember that as his best years, because it was dull, he never got a proper challenge, unlike in the 90s.

    1. I see your point but I think that’s unfair.
      Seb took STR to their first and only win in 2008.

      Seb seems to be shooting himself in the foot. He’s doing such a good job people are becoming agitated at the fact that he’s not really being challenged.

      I think it’s unfair to criticise on that basis. Sure, we can speculate…but just how do we know if it’s the car or the driver, or both?

      Let’s not forget that the combination of getting the right driver in the right car and getting him to drive that car how it needs to be is a skill enough in itself. Plenty have struggled this year with the new tyres for example.

      1. His STR win might as well not have ever happened as far as many are concerned – and when it’s brought up, they’ll find some reason to dismiss it as irrelevant.

        It does strike me as ludicrous, the way people write Vettel off because he’s making it all look easy. If only he qualified badly in a crap car and then had to fight tooth and nail to gain positions in the race! I hear he’d get *a little* more respect if that were the case. (Although I have my doubts.)

        Luckily, F1 drivers don’t gain or lose championship points on the basis of how fans evaluate them in online forums, or I might find this all very stressful! ;-)

        1. Thank you :D Someone agrees!

      2. This sums up my exact sentiments.
        People just can’t seem to comprehend that he may just be better or at least as good as the other top guns in the sport.

    2. > who’s just having it very easy since he started racing.

      I think mean Hamilton instead of Vettel ;)

      > None of Vettel’s wins are one of those races when you think: “MAN! what a drive!!”.

      Didn’t u see Monaco 2011?

      1. Monaco 2011 is a very bad example in my book. He was very lucky to see that huge accident happen.

        Vettel cracked under pressure (or simply made a mistake) when challenged by a slower car in Canada. That’s not very good, is it?

        Vettel has proven he can put in a stunning lap and he has shown us great consistency. But: not saying he should mock up qualifying, but Schumi truly showed his brilliance when overtaking. Vettel didn’t have to overtake, really.

        Let’s see some of that and then I’ll dish out my final verdict on the guy.

        1. You make your own luck in F1. Alonso and Buton had plenty of laps to pass Vettel (who kept track position by making his tyres last for 53 laps) but they didn’t. You bring up Canada, yet in Spain, where the Mclaren had the faster race pace, and an on form Lewis Hamilton behind he wheel, Vettel held his own under the pressure.

        2. Vettel cracked under pressure (or simply made a mistake) when challenged by a slower car in Canada. That’s not very good, is it?

          Oh, yes, brilliant point! Because really *good* drivers never make a single mistake in any race ever, under pressure or otherwise.

          1. Scraping the barrel that argument, isn’t it? :)

  15. True the competition is higher. But Shumacher didnt have the best car (by a huge margin).

  16. By Bernie´s logic it is simple to solve: put Hamilton or Alonso in the same cars as Vettel´s, in the same team with the same resources.

    Then we can say if his success is or isn´t more noteworthy than Schumacher.

    1. Yeah, like Schumacher always had a teammate who could match him…

  17. Its just becoz of the car he is dominating. In every high speed corner he gains 0.3s and by the time the next one catches up, next corner comes. take away the aerodynamic effect in certain corners and his dominance evaporates.

    1. That’s nonsense.

      Vettel is doing a great job and you can’t put that just on the car. Of course the Red Bull car is really strong, but so is the McLaren and the Ferrari, especially when it comes to the race. It’s clearly Vettels driving that makes the difference. Otherwise, where is Webber?

    2. Because Mark Webber’s car doesn’t do the same thing…? The man who is 77 points behind him?
      Also: Race pace is definitely not as dominating as quali.

    3. Its just becoz of the car he is dominating

      Rejeesh, you give ME Sebastian’s Red Bull and I will be confortably lapped four times by the HRT and Virgins on each race.
      The RB7 is certainly a very fast and reliable car, but Sebastian’s drive has been spotless this season.

  18. Before you start comparing the “Shumacher era” with this one keep in mind that:

    Ten cars get points now compared to six cars up to 2002. If only 6 cars got points nowdays we would see only the redbull, mclaren-struggling to keep up, and ferrari-ocassionaly grabbing a point or two.

    There were plenty of good drivers back in the day. Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikonnen ect.

    There were more exciting and challenging tracks back then. In my opinion, valencia, abu dhabi, bahrain and some other tracks make you fall asleep during the race.

    There was no DRS (and other “improving the show” rules) back then.

    1. Exellent point

  19. Its just becoz of the car he is dominating.

    You could use that phrase for most of the seasons in F1 that you care to mention. Both McLaren and Ferrari would sell or swap all of their current drivers in return for one guaranteed second added to their current cars performance.

  20. I’m not sure I should get involved in these comments. It’s all sorts of wrong with another palette of no-way-José. Plus, I’m starting to resent having to “defend” Vettel as I’m no fan of his but it boils down to a few basic points for me here:

    1. You can’t take anything Bernie says too seriously these days, anyway. His head seems to only function perfectly when it’s time to crunch the numbers and sign on the dotted line.
    2. Schumacher had an ERA. Vettel has almost half a season. Talk about very different amounts of time to make any worthy comparisons.
    3. Red Bull definitely plays it very differently. Vettel having a car he can be dominant in this year and him pushing that car to its limits comes down to two particular things: Red Bull’s investment in F1 in order to up and consolidate their branding image (you could say they took a risk by hiring such a young guy when they were pouring quite some money into a still very, very young team, although Vettel stands for the success their young driver program), but also the fact that Vettel seems to be rather smart and working hard at making the peak of his career coincide with the peak of his physical abilities. Even though one can race into their late thirties, your body does decline. Vettel seems to want as much experience and accelerated improvement as soon and as quick possible. It took me a little while to figure that out earlier this season (especially since he was so hot-headed last year) but I do think this plays a huge part in his continuous wins.
    3. Vettel seems to be a little more than just the driver of the team. He’s got a backstage reputation that sort of consolidates this. He’s becoming quite the leader of his pack in a publicly silent way.
    4. As AndrewTanner said it the best: in a way, he’s shooting himself in the foot by doing it all so quickly and eagerly. 2010 meant he lost out on a lot of points and never even led the championship until Abu Dhabi. In 2011, it merely translates to a general dislike from the public because it all seems to easy and because people deduce from his performances that Kinky Kylie is the real reason only.

    Don’t make me defend him again!

    1. Hear hear!! Fantastic answer!

    2. Yes, well written response. And don’t shy away from commenting – that’s what we’re all doing here! ;)

      (Off topic: Watched that trailer. Is it really you? I am impressed.)

      1. Why, thank you… You are providing me with some behind-the-laptop-screen-blushing over here!

        Damon, if you watched the trailer for a short film called Skin Deep featuring images of New York City with a voice-over that begins with “Oh and then there was the day I lost my mind” (and car tyres screeching in the alley!), yes, that is me (well, my voice)… I work for the artist and was honoured with a slightly less in-the-shadow request for that project.

        1. I agree with Damon, well said.

        2. Trix, yes, that is what I watched. At what age did you learn English, may I ask? It’s just you’re remarkably fluent and the fact that you’ve nearly mastered the English accent is astounding! :)

          Now here’s my criticism; you can tell there’s a hint of a French accent in there, sorry! :P

          Also, I saw you said you were born into F1. What is it that your dad did? I’m interested. You should definitely get Twitter because this is the only way we can talk to you about off-topic stuff, and we’re not really meant to. You don’t have to give anything away at all. It’s very anonymous. Just call yourself “French F1 Fan” or something! :P

  21. I agree that Vettel have good competitor with him but don’t forget Schumacher had the likes of Haikkinen,Raikkonen,Montoya,Hill,Alonso who did gave him very hard time.May be one day Vettel may or may not achieve what Schumacher did or will do but I guess to people who have seen F1 since the it’s birth will tell the top 3 will always be Senna,Fangio & Schumacher.

    All Bernie run is behind is money if Massa starts to dominate in F1 I bet he will cry that his (Massa’s) achievement is more then Senna?

  22. Ecclestone believes Vettel faces tougher opposition today than Schumacher did.

    I somewhat agree. I think the only real opponents that Schumacher had were Hakkinen, Coulthard and Alonso.

    Nowadays Vettel faces four other world champions plus other very aggressive drivers.

    HOWEVER in my view Vettel’s wins aren’t that impressive. He has a stunning car which more than negates his talent. Let’s see him in a Sauber and see how he copes.

    1. Hakkinen, Coulthard and Alonso.

      And Raikkonen. Forgot about him for some reason.

    2. We have seen him in a Torro Rosso for one and a half years, and in his first half year there he outscored his team mate massively, even though he had less then half the races to do it in. The first full season he won a race, which still stands as the first and only win for the team, and again he scored far more points then his team mate.
      Why do people forget about his 1.5 year at Torro Rosso?
      I think we have seen him in a car that wasn’t worthy of a race win. Lets move on now.

      1. I’m not saying Vettel isn’t talented, he’s one of the best drivers on the grid if you ask me. I just think the car he’s in is so good that it’s doing the majority of the work. I know people will disagree with me on this but let’s see how things fare when Silverstone comes and the EBD will be banned.

      2. But non of these facts render Schumachers achievements less impressive, and gets Vettel ahead of him already.

      3. BasCB I agree! I am just reminding people of his 1.5 year at TR, which some people tend to forget all the time and say that he has always had the best car and we need to see him in lesser equipment.
        I am not trying to argue that what Vettel is doing is better then what Schumacher achieved i think it is a bit too early to say that.

    3. Let’s see him in a Sauber and see how he copes.

      This is the most annoying comment I have ever seen.

    4. Let’s see him in a Sauber and see how he copes.

      This is the most annoying comment I have ever seen. For the reasons mads described above.

    5. And Montoya.

      I suppose you could throw in Senna too, since Schumacher finished ahead of Senna in 1992 and delivered good results in 1993.

    6. Let’s see him in a Sauber and see how he copes.

      I’d give, whoever can get wins like that in a Sauber, driver of the century.
      Holds no value to your argument.

      1. Technically, Kubica DID win in a Sauber… :P

        1. Yeah but I doubt he’d be able to get *wins*, especially in the dominant style Vettel is winning!

  23. I went shopping in the last race, and could not even be bothered to watch the start. As it turned out, the majority of cars finished as they were.

  24. I disagree.

    not yet until vetel has a real “fight” / battle at front

    like Michael Schumacher’s and Mika hakkinen battle

    and Michael Schumacher’s and fernando alanso

    the agresif part still don’t show up

    we see how he lost to button in canadian Gp

    how his win all this year just like Button in 2009 with

    Brawn team

    Along way to go to says he more impressive than

    Michael Schumacher’s

    1. Beyond your rather creative way of posting your message :P , I agree that Vettel has a while to go. However, you bring up Canada, when for the two races prior, he was under pressure from Hamilton and Alonso, and didn’t put a foot wrong.

      1. He just doesnt seem to be competing against anybody. Its not a championship fight, he’s under no pressure. he is a great driver but there are other great drivers unable to put him under consistant pressure because they dont have the equipment. It seems their only hope is to pass him at the start and thats just not happening.

        1. he’s under no pressure.

          Did you watch the Spanish GP? And the Monte Carlo GP?

          1. I am talking about championship pressure. Its much easier to hold on at the front when youre leading the championship by a big margin.

  25. For all you whiners out there: I hope Vettel becomes just as dominant as Schumacher was. I hope he wins the championship the next 5 years in a row. It will be a bit boring, but I’ll watch it happily, just like I did in the Schumacher years. And in 10 years from now, when a new generation of drivers populates the grid, and Vettel is starting to think about his pension, I’ll look back at his career and say that was a great achievement. I’m glad I got to see that.

    1. I think that is the most humble attitute to Vettel I have ever seen anyone write online!

  26. Ignore Bernie. He’s just talking up the TV audience.
    I bet if he was being interviewed by Mexican media he would say that Perez was *definitely* the next big thing, whereas the Times of India would be told that Karun and Narayan were due to be next year’s stars . . .
    Bernie is nothing if not predictable. If you’re trying to do a deal with him, he’s atrociousely rude and insulting by routine. If you’ve got something he wants, he’s bombastic, hectoring and bullying until you yield.
    But if he needs something you’ve got, he’s smooth as syrup, wriggly as eels and twice as slimey.
    And yes, I have that from three separate individuals who have done business with him.

  27. Guilherme Teixeira
    29th June 2011, 21:51

    I’ve been silently following these discussions about Vettel here, and if you’ve been reading some of them even badly, you can easily come to some conclusions. It seems that the arguments against him generally revolve around two things: his supposedly innability to overtake and the dominance of his cars. But, somehow, I’ve failed to see one single convincing proof for either of these points.

    I understand that after Belgium 2010 there was a lot of complaints against Vettel’s racecraft, and rightly so. However, that mistake, along with his crash with Mark in Turkey alone is not enough to say that he doesn’t know how to overtake. I don’t want to be cynical, but in the last 15 races I’ve seen Lewis Hamilton crashing into others four times, taking either him or somebody else out of race in every occasion, yet no one says that he can’t overtake. Of course, that is because he has proven that he can indeed overtake. But why does Lewis make so many overtakings? Because generally when he does, it means he is in a lower position than he should have been, whereas Vettel is rarely in such position. He is always on the front row and he has been almost flawless for quite some time now, so he has no one to overtake. Yes, he failed at it twice when he had to last year, but I’ve seen him doing decisive passes this year after his pitstops, and maybe, just maybe, he did some overtakes when he scored his good results back in 2008.

    One point leads to the other, as he’s always at the front because he has a good car. But what do you people want him to do? Qualify tenth on purpose so he would need to fight back, just to prove (as if he needed to prove anything) he can fight for his wins? I’d like to quote a dear friend of mine here: “The RB7 is the best car in qualifying no doubt but he has only been beaten by Mark once, has started from the front row for 13 consecutive weekends and has won pretty much everything so what’s he meant to do? Cry on the radio and pretend it’s harder than it actually is? He’s doing the maximum and good for him. Everyone else should work harder to catch up that’s just how it goes.” (Thanks Steph :P). To finish it off, how cone Webber is not finishing every race behind him, if the RB7 car so dominant?

    I wanted to say more, but this post is already gigantic and I should have been studying right now :P

    1. Start with a bad car and make it better. (See Schumacher at Ferrari)

      Or at the very least go to another team and win there too. (as Alonso has tried to do, and Button, to a certain extent too).

      Good point on Webber, though – but is that because Vettel has been so good this year or because Webber has been so bad?

      1. Good point on Webber, though – but is that because Vettel has been so good this year or because Webber has been so bad?

        Either way: :(

  28. Leave a Reply
    29th June 2011, 22:06

    Rather, what Ecclestone should have said is that Sebastian has the best “car” right now and that’s why he’s dominating. Sebastian had the best “car” in Montreal and still screwed the pooch. So were it not for having the best car, Sebastian wouldn’t be leading.

    1. It is rather unfair on Vettel that the one loss he has had when his car was supposed to be faster is always brought up, when on several occasions this year(esp. Spain and Monaco), other cars have been closer (if not slightly ahead) in race pace.

  29. Two words: ‘Crazy frog.’

  30. It’s clear he’s the driver to beat, and he faces tough competition, regardless of whether or not that competition is tougher than what Schumacher faced.

    Here’s the thing, though: Seb is not exciting. I follow a lot of the conversations on this site and read other forums as well, and very few people are Vettel fans (granted, these are English speakers, not native Deutschlanders) and I feel like even fewer people are excited that Seb’s won yet another race. Maybe it’s the dominance that takes out the excitement, or maybe it’s his driving style, or the fact that he can’t seem to stop with the stupid finger thing, but I just couldn’t care less about him or his accolades.

    I’m a huge Lewis fan, but I still cheer for a number of other drivers as well … Petrov, Kovalainen, Di Resta … and this year I find myself cheering on Alonso, Schumacher and Webber … all of whom are interesting and unique characters. Seb, to me, is like an android that leads races while cool stuff happens behind him.

    1. Perhaps it’s because Vettel’s wins are pretty much always lights-to-flag victories. Other drivers overtake to win. Well…Hamilton does.

  31. More Noteworthy?????????????

    MSC was a double World Champion and chose a crappy car and team (yes Ferrari was crap for years), and after 4 long years he won 5 consecutive F1 titles. In which he definitly didn’t have a dominant car every year (see 2000 and 2003). It will be hard 4 any driver to have more noteworthy succes then MSC did. Damn his succes led to rule changes!

    I also get tired of people acting like the competition in F1 was crap for like 10+ years. I always compare it with other sports like the NBA Jordan era. Was Jordan that good or the rest crap?? The Michael Johnson years (running), the tiger woods (golf) years etc. Were these guys unbelievable or was the competition crap?

    BTW i only see 3 Top(times 10) talents: Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton (random order). And then you have a top(times 12) talent, but he’s old now.

  32. I cannot understand why people still seem to doubt the guy’s talent. The comparisons are pretty useless because Seb’s not had half the experience that Schumi has had but I wouldn’t say that he’s just an average F1 driver – in terms of ability.
    His qualifying results speak for themselves and most drivers do win championships in the best car (as will he, I’m sure). He knows how to defend his position, though we haven’t seen much of his overtaking skills because I can’t even remember the last time he had to really overtake someone. Ultimately, he is consistently getting the best out of his car.
    Sure he’s not the best at everything but he’s 23 years of age. He has plenty of time. The argument about his luck, be it his seat at RBR or just certain circumstances, is wearing thin. He has more talent than a lot of people give him credit for.

    1. The point is that we have no way of knowing whether Vettel is ‘getting the best out of his car’. After all, there is no bona fide benchmark.

      Vettel’s team-mate is 34 year-old Mark Webber, who was never anything special, even when he was young: now, he is well into the twilight of his career. Vettel’s other team-mates have been the mighty Quick Nick, Liuzzi, and Bourdais. None of whom were any good.

      Moreover, consider this: Vettel has driven an Adrian Newey-designed car for all bar one of his races: where he drove a BMW. So, he has always had good machinery. And, in the past two, perhaps three, years, he has had the best car by some margin. Yet, he only has one championship so far; and he was leading that championship only at the last race, despite having a car that was often around a sec per lap faster and at Hungary was over two seconds per lap faster…

      I don’t think Lewis, Alonso, or Button would have made it quite so difficult. This year, it’s just too easy for Vettel.

      1. I can consider those things and still come to the conclusions that I did before. In 2009, it wasn’t the best car throughout. The double diffuser made it hard for the RB5 to match the Brawn at the beginning but yes towards the latter stages it was but Button had already won a bunch of races. This in addition to reliability problems made it even harder. To come 11 points near of the title isn’t so bad.
        In 2010, I’m sure he’d have won the championship way before Abu Dhabi, in Japan maybe, if it hadn’t been for reliability problems. Yeah he made some bad errors but that’s just him being human and like I said, he’s young.
        This year is basically what last year would have been if the RB6 had held up.
        Mark is the ONLY benchmark we have, so even if you discount him then there’s nothing to say that it isn’t him but the machinery. How can you be so sure when you have such little proof? There’s more to say that he’s a great driver than there is saying that he’s not.
        Also, he didn’t do a bad job in the BMW either, especially for a rookie.

        1. Not sure about others having made an easier job of it.

          For example, I really think Hamilton is a great races, but he did start in ”07 in a champion car, made it harder by bickering with his team mate, did a few weird races (the team also helped with all this), and came in second.

          Then in ’08, he had a lot of FIA antagonism, but came through in the end, despite, again, some really scrappy races for him and his team – that was partly thanks to fumbling by the opposition.

          ’09 was different, team and he took their time finding the problem, but then got good results, even though they could have had a few more, with everything going right.

          ’10: well, he drove great most of the season to keep himself in contention, even as the team started fumbling with the EBD in the 2nd half of it; but that did cause him to again have some really scrappy races. Still, he was in it until the end.

          ’11: well, in Spain I don’t think he could have won it, maybe with different team strategy; after that, had two scrappy races, and once a non-competitive car.

          In all, Hamilton/team combo certainly haven’t managed to get the three titles they could have gotten.

          I am not really thrilled with Vettel’s way of winning start-to-finish, but I can’t fault him/team for making the most of the opportunity this year, after him or the team messing up often in ’09 and ’10.

      2. I don’t think Lewis, Alonso, or Button would have made it quite so difficult.

        For one, you’ve ignored the mechanical failures that took over 60 points away from Vettel through no fault of his own. Also remember that Button in 2009 had a 100% reliable car that was dominant for half the season, yet in the final 10 races did nothing particularly impressive and was even outscored by Barrichello. At least Button would have made it look a lot harder than Vettel made it.

        I also have to debate whether the Toro Rosso in 2007 and 2008 were so good- the current Newey dominance started when Newey exploited the 2009 aerodynamic rule changes better than all barring Brawn GP. In 2008 the Red Bull and Toro Rosso were usually midfield runners, but Vettel impressed by regularly scoring points. He ended up 8th in the championship, ahead of both Red Bulls, Toyotas, Williams and a Renault. I think it is reasonable to assume that he got the most out of his car that year.

        1. I’ll play devil’s advocate with you on this figure of 60 points. For the sake of argument, I’ll accept that figure (in reality, I don’t). But you must accept that 60 points only equates to two wins and a fifth place under the then new points’ system. That really isn’t much to overcome when you have the fastest car – by a mile – all season.

          Take Hungary, in qualifying, Vettel was 1.2 sec faster than the next non-RBR and 1.7 sec faster than the best McLaren. And the gap was around 0.9 sec at every track, more at high aero tracks. Here, the questionable legality of the RB6, much like the BGP-001, came into its own.

          Vettel only led the championship at the very last race, despite having the best car by miles and a second-rate team-mate in a team which revolves around Vettel.

          Vettel made such hard work of wining that title. In Turkey he DNF’d, spectacularly, by crashing into his team-mate. In Spa, he got a drive-through for crashing into Button. He finished third at Hungary, a race he should have won, because he got a drive-through for, of all things, exceeding the ten-car length’s rule to the safety car! Alonso and Lewis took the title down to the wire, in far inferior machinery…

          1. That really isn’t much to overcome when you have the fastest car – by a mile – all season.

            The value of (roughly) 60 points comes from Australia (25), Korea (25), and Bahrain (13), where he suffered from mechanical failures while leading.

            While the Red Bull was overall the fastest car of the season, it wasn’t so often fastest “by a mile”, especially on Sundays. At Monza and Montreal, the RB6 was probably even 3rd fastest, while indeed, at the Hungaroring you could say that it was fastest by a mile. There isn’t a high proportion of qualifying sessions to back up your 0.9 second claim either.

            I believe that you’re exaggerating just how superior the RB6 was, while not considering that last year, while Red Bull revolved around Vettel, Ferrari revolved around Alonso.

      3. we have no way of knowing whether Vettel is ‘getting the best out of his car’.

        The only way how any driver can get any more out of the car would be by finishing all the races one top. Last time I checked, Vettel’s record this season isn’t that far off of perfect.

        1. The question is, would any other driver, such as Lewis or Alonso, have done (or be capable of doing) better? I suspect they would. As I don’t think Vettel is the best driver in F1.

          There was a funny quote from Briatore a while back where, after suggesting that Webber’s problems were not entirely of his own making, he said this:

          ‘They’re [i.e., Lewis and Alonso] the best drivers. I wonder what they would do at the wheel of the Red Bull. Maybe they’d lap everyone else.

          Vettel is doing a good job, he doesn’t make any mistakes and if he carries on this way the championship will be over in two or three races. But then, it’s no secret that Red Bull has the best designer around. Adrian Newey is the [Leo] Messi of F1 engineers.’

          1. Oh well, Newey is famous for ruining an F1 season for the fans right. Hhhmm not totally correct though, when there was a certain MSC on the grid except 92,93, 96 he was the one with the power to fight and beat those Newey machines quite often.

          2. The question is, would any other driver, such as Lewis or Alonso, have done (or be capable of doing) better?

            I doubt this very much.
            Briatore isn’t exactly the best man to quote from, nothing the man says would make me think twice.
            I also suspect that Adrian wouldn’t be as enthusiastic to stay at RBR if there wasn’t a driver capable of winning in his car.

      4. He might have driven an adrian newey designed car, but that don’t mean that it was any good.
        RB didn’t win any races back then even though it was a Newey designed car. The cars there was crap because the design staff wasn’t good enough. That was the problem, they had a star designer, but the people who should design the final pieces weren’t good enough to make it work.
        He hasn’t driven the best car for two or three years. His car in 2008 was never a race winning car, only because it was good in the rain and Vettel was quite extraordinary in those conditions, His car was the 2nd best in 2009, mainly because it was a lot slower in the beginning and because it was very unreliable. In 2010 he had the best car, and he won. He made it difficult for him self i agree, but somewhere between 60 and 100 points were also lost or partly lost because of reliability issues. That is huge. Now in 2011 he has the best car and he is winning everything basically.

  33. Total tripe.

    Vettel has had it, alarmingly, easy: he has had the best car, by miles, for the past two, perhaps three, years. He has also had Mark Webber as a team-mate: a driver for whom DC (!) was more than a match. And, remarkably, Webber is unquestionably Vettel’s best team-mate. Not just this, but RBR worship Vettel. There have long been claims of favouritism in F1; but when else did a team take a front wing off of one car and give it to the other driver after he broke his new wing!? Even the officials seem to like Vettel: have a look at how herbie blash greets both he and, by way of comparison, Lewis.

    A driver only proves himself against another in equal machinery – not by having a second-rate team-mate or by far the best car. Only three drivers have proven themselves in F1: Lewis, Alonso, and Button.

    1. DC was a better then average driver, with a great day here and there.

      Lewis proved himself against Alonso, Alonso had trouble with a rookie, and Button proves Lewis is faster than him.

      Anyway Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton are all top talents. I rate Button slightly under them.

      1. DC was probably better than average; however, he was not WDC material: as shown by his failure to best Hill, Hakkinen, and Raikkonen, time and time again, in cars good enough to win the WDC.

        My claim was really about Vettel. In F1, your only real benchmark is your team-mate. Vettel’s team-mate is Webber. But Webber was outscored by Quick Nick in 05, by DC in 07, and struggled to beat Rosberg in his rookie year. So, Webber (now 34, to boot) is not a particularly high benchmark.

        So, Vettel’s beating him does little to suggest that Vettel is something special. Moreover, the margin of victory must take into account all relevant circumstances. Not least, RBR’s patent favouratism towards Vettel from the Boss, Marko, Newey, Horner and down.

        Whereas,Lewis, Alonso, and Button have all proven themselves to be of a certain pedigree against top opposition in equal machinery. Vettel has not. If and until his does, he is still an unknown – a much hyped reigning WDC – but very much an unknown: lots of champions have been shown up when they left the best team (JV etc)

        1. I just stated the DC comment, because sometimes people act like he was total crap.

          Vettel however has imo shown that he is a top class talent. In his F1 debute he immediatly scored points for BMW, Then at Toro Rosso he had an amazing pole and race win in very difficult circumstances in Monza (off course there was some luck involved, but that doesn’t make it less special). Furthermore he scored alot of points for such a team and outclassed the big brother Red Bull team several times (which were the same, but more upgraded cars right?). Then just take a look at his last 4 races of 2010. Lastly this year he has shown he is on pace immediatly even though time lost through a crash. He ‘cracked’ ones under pressure, but was very good in monaco and barcelona. Also the quickest driver in the team always gets favoured, thats normal.

          I also don’t think he has to prove himself next to a Lewis or Alonso. For Example MSC defeated all his teammates who were on a better then average level (although Rubens still doesn’t get that). He proved himself through battling in inferior cars against better (Newey) cars and beating them often and winning the championships. And yes in 2001,2002, and 2004 he had the best car, but that’s 3 and he has 7.

          However i agree that time will tell how great Vettel really is. Anyway i think he is already better then Button, who you say proved himself to a certain pedigree.

          1. Well, Quick Nick outqualified and had more faster laps than Vettel but one less point. Liuzzi finished ahead of Vettel more times than not, outqualified him overall, and had more faster laps; but one less point. Even Bourdais outqualified Vettel four times before he was unceremoniously sacked. And let’s not forget that Di Resta beat Vettel, his team-mate, to the F3 crown.

            As for Monza 08 and the Toro Rosso, Vettel’s car was identical to the RBRs, that year, except that he had a more powerful Ferrari engine. This practice was latter banned. It was a good car: even Bourdais qualified 4th and set the second fastest lap at Monza 08. Hamilton (specifically McLaren) once again got strategy wrong in qualifying and he started 15th; Kimi, 14th; Kubica, 11th; Alonso, 8th.

            But Lewis was the star of the show, once more: look at his amazing overtakes on YT. he almost won this race but had to pit when the track dried up. All this, after the debacle at Spa.

            The comparison with Schumi doesn’t hold. Schumi beat lesser drivers to the title who benefited from better machinery (though, they might not have benefited from TC, fuel-nozzels, and other devices of questionable legality); Vettel has only won his sole championship driving the class of the field. He’s an unknown, still.

            That’s the remarkable thing about F1: because the car matters so much, you can win the championship one year and be terrible the next. Consider JV. Until Vettel gets a top-line team-mate, he will be an unknown, largely untested driver. Whereas, in pretty much any other individual sport, whether that’s Tennis, golf, etc., winning the title is enough to show your mettel: you didn’t win by having a much better racket or club or faster balls…

            PS Any driver would be mad to go to RBR: they worship vettel. No-one could be assured of equality with him.

          2. The F3 thing, well in their rookie years Vettel was 5th overall, Di Resta 10th. In ’06 Di Resta beat him yes, but Vettel is more then a year younger and i think that is also important, especialy in lower classes. anyway good results and showing promising talent.

            2007: Vettel replaced Kubica for 1 race. So Nick outqualified him by .7 is not a big thing. Vettel started 7th and finished 8th, which is a very good result for a race debute while 19 years old.

            Then from Hungary on he raced for Toro Rosso. So rookie driver getting in at around mid-season and up against a driver with more then a full year of experience. Q vettel lost 3-4, In Chinese gp they both finished in the points, but vettel finished 4th luizzi 6th. All in all very good debute if you ask me.

            2008: Q 13-5, points 35-4 both in favour of Vettel. Both drove a full season, Bourdais was sacked in 2009.

            I said he was also lucky at Monza, but if you look at it as a whole it was a very very good race weekend by Vettel.

            The MSC thing: he battled against Hakkinen, Raikkonen and Alonso for the title 4 example. In times they had the better machines (if only slightly) and beat them or challenged. Well Alonso only in ’06 but really could have gone both ways and Alonso had the advantage of the mass dampers first half of the season and the bad luck for msc in the last 2 races. I rate the above named drivers top class. Vettel drove against two top class drivers (alonso, hamilton). Not that much more then one and a bunch of guys who had very good years like Montoya etc in MSCs time.
            In 94 the benetton had a system yes, but after a rough start the Williams still had the better car, same for 95. That was against Hill, but i honestly think Hill is better then most say, but yeah not the lewis or hamilton level. Anyway this is off topic

            Fact is i believe Vettel is very good and probably on the same level as Hamilton and Alonso.

            BTW i’m not a Vettel fan

            ps as for the sports comparisons you’re right and 2nd people thought MCL was HAM team, but Button gets treated fairly i would say. Key is be close from day 1 and then beat the #1. In the beginning the cars are definitly the same, if you dont do that yeah you got a problem.

    2. Don’t see how Button especially has ‘proven himself’ more than Vettel. In 2009 dominance at the beginning of the season was because he had the best car. Jenson’s won about 4 races where he’s not been in the best car and those were in mixed conditions. Believe it or not, F1 isn’t solely about overtaking. Button’s qualifying record isn’t good enough compared to Hamilton’s. There goes your argument about a ‘second-rate’ team mate. If he’s so good, why isn’t he at least matching Lewis?
      I’m not trying to say that Button isn’t great, just that your argument is flawed.
      I’m also bewildered as to how you could leave Schumacher out of that list.

      1. Button has proven himself. Whereas Vettel’s team-mates have been Quick Nick, Liuzzi, Bourdais, and Webber, Button has faced tougher opposition. Namely, Fisi and Ralf in their primes, JV (a WDC in his own-brand team), Rubens, … and, at the zenith, a certain Lewis Hamilton. And done well against them all.

        Regarding Button’s qualiying, not even reiging double world champion Alonso could match rookie Lewis in 2007 – qualifying 9:8; poles: 5:3. (Button’s record last year was 13:5; 1:0.) N.B., Lewis is widely regarded as the *fastest* driver in F1 (even Allen, Hughes, and Benson now accept this). So Button’s failure to match Lewis, in outright pace, is no surprise. Button’s main skills are his feel, his intelligence and strategy, his consistency, his marketability, and his ability to get along with his team-mates and the team. For these reasons, I belive that McLaren have the best driver line-up. Shame about the car…

        As for Schumi, we must remember that we’re dealing with the here and now. So, by way of analogy, if Mansell were to make a come-back, I wouldn’t be championing him, saying that he proved himself against Piquet et al: I’d be saying that he’s too old. I have been saying the same thing about Schumi since he made his decision to return. It was a mistake then and it’s a mistake now.

        1. Button’s qualifying record as you point out is a lot worse than Alonso’s. And his points tally relative to Hamilton’s was a lot worse too. Button is good, but is indeed below Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso when it comes to proving himself.

          Adn by the way, Button did not do well against Fisichella or Ralf.

          1. As I said, Button’s outright speed, exemplified by his qualifying performances, is not Button’s main strength.

            As for comparing Alonso with Button, by their relative performances against Lewis, remember that Lewis was only a rookie in 2007. It would be odd if Lewis were not a better driver, overall, now than he was when he didn’t know the tracks. Accordingly, Button has a greater challenge. In fact, he has the greatest challenge: the best driver in F1 as a team-mate.

            With respect to Ralf, I think Jenson had a fairly strong debut: indeed, 2000 was an example of a good debut season, before Lewis rewrote the book for rookies in 2007. As for Fisi, he was a good benchmark in 2001: it’s a shame Button was more interested in his yacht than his racing…

      2. 2011:

        Button has finished ahead of Hamilton three times and qualified in front two times , so far.


        Button finished ahead of Hamilton seven times and qualified in front five times.

        Alonso in 2007 against rookie Hamilton:

        Alonso finished in front of Hamilton 10 times and qualified ahead of him 8 times.

        If we really want to get down and dirty:

        Average time difference when Hamilton qualified in front of Button (2011): 0.276

        Average time difference when Hamilton qualified in front Button (2010) : 0.370

        Average time difference when Hamilton qualified in front of Alonso (2007): 0.281

        Button would appear to be doing just fine against Hamilton.

        1. Of course, in 2007, the drivers qualified with race fuel; in 2011, they don’t…

          1. And how often were Hamilton and Alonso on vastly different strategies? It is a reasonable comparison and doesn’t change the fact that Button has held his own against Hamilton.

            Some people just can’t seem to accept that Button has developed into a very good driver.

  34. ok you all got your point

    But if we put Schumi in redbull cars right now

    what would it be !!!

    1. He’d probably beat Webber! Therfore, he’d probably win the WDC. Such is the life of a RBR driver.

  35. Why are you all arguing with Alistair? You should remember from last season that he’s just one of those f1 fanatics on whom common sense is lost.

    1. Aren’t we all F1 fanatics!? And, sir, my arguments are never lost. You’d do well to remember that.

  36. Yeah … i cant see on his post

  37. The Last Pope
    30th June 2011, 2:19

    Theoreticly, wouldn’t it be interesting if Red Bull dropped Webber into Torro Rosso for three races and tried out all three torro rosso drivers in turn against Vettel. It would be funny if the torro rosso drivers turned out to be faster than Vettel and beat him, well for webber it wouldn’t be funny lol.

    Of coarse this isn’t taking into acount the fact that in real life the car would be unfamilior to them and they (and Webber in his torro rosso) would struggle just as bad as fisichella did at ferrari.

  38. Mr. Ecclestone – RUBBISH!!!. Schumacher’s impressive record will never be matched or broken!! And as far as drawing the crowd is conserned, this may start to go downhill from now on as the season is by and large over!! Good one Vettel.


    As if announcing the confirmation of 2014 engine regs wasnt enough, Mr. Ecclestone decided to make further headlines with another prototypical Ecclestone off-the-wall/controversial statement.

    Poor Vettel.

    Why you may ask? Because anytime Bernie mentions something in the press, the opposite turns out to be true…such as keeping Turkey or..Valencia (which both seem in doubt at the moment, no?)

  40. They modelled twitter after Bernie

  41. It’s very hard to compare MSC to VET. Take MSC’s first title for instance, controversies aside who were his competitors at that time? Senna and Hill? Yes. Hakkinen was there around that time, but he was no championship contender. And considering Senna didn’t finish the first 2 races and was no more from race three MSC had only Hill to contend. The only reason why Hill could come ever close was because of MSC’s DSQ in GBR(for passing Hill on the warm-up lap) and the 3 race Ban/DSQs for the plank. Oh and when the fuel injection irregularities crept up they pointed fingers at other teams, notably McLaren. As for the VET in 2010 he had to contend with 5 other title contenders till Korea, 4 from then on and 2(3 if you include HAM) in Abu Dhabi. With the so called dominant car they still had an Achilles-heel in reliability which ensured we had a thrilling season, not to mention a team mate who was ahead on points till the last race. Truth be told, it’s too early to make a comparison, especially when one is a 7time champ and the other just a 1 time champ. Oh and btw for VET not moving to a rubbish team and raising it, it was pretty much his driving skills at a certain STR that got him his RBR seat. And finally, VET is also the driver who has given two teams their first wins. I don’t know how many current and past drivers can boast of something like that.

    1. Oops, should be “As for the VET in 2010 he had to contend with 4 other title contenders till Korea, 3 from then on and 2(3 if you include HAM) in Abu Dhabi”

  42. Why does everyone think Webber is crap all of a sudden? Short memories, I think. I bet he’ll win the championship now!

    1. Not me. The reason maybe because VET is beating WEB left and right with no hope of light, suddenly people realize that unless you discredit WEB, VET will be a credited with beating a good driver who also happens to driver a RB7. Too bad for the driver who led the championship for the most part last year.

  43. Well, whatever the who might be better in what terms and conditions, one thing seems sure to me that the game got really boring and deprives of any excitement.
    I hate especially his sort of “WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT” which I presume get the pole max utilizing RB7 advantage and cruise as smoothly as possible or like a machine without any mistake. That’s what he talks about and it got thru the season. So what’s left? Good for him so be it. As for me, would rather deviate from watching the dull cruise. Bernie, good for you too as far as you can grap the money. Why care? But don’t siphone the dissapointment of some to something like ‘More exciting cuz who will beat him this time?’
    Well not at all exciting to me cuz it’s pretty much one sided game…

  44. For me Vettel wins hands down, he doesn’t cheat to win. I never liked Schumacher’s ram them, block them (after qualifying Monaco) and close the door tactic’s, though he’s found out that times have changed and the young guns are not scared to have a go. even the oldest guy on track Rubens, managed an overtake although Schumacher nearly killed him in the process, lucky that wall ended at the right moment. He should have been penalised far more, lucky for him he was driving a Ferrari but that’s another story.

    1. The problem with saying Schumacher “cheats to win” is that you make it out as if a large proprotion of his winning was by breaking rules. Look over his career, and you’ll find that simply isn’t the case.

      1. You NEVER cheat to win ever.. You can’t say well yes he did sometimes but that’s alright. That’s why drivers like Clarke and Moss are so great, thank god SMC tactics are now frowned upon. Can you imagine SMC losing out on a Championship because he stuck up for someone (Moss- Hawthorne) not a chance in hell..
        Don’t get me wrong yeh good driver but he could have been a great driver just a shame he cheated so much, Senna the same.. How can you live with yourself if you win using unfair tactics?
        Just not sport old chap.

        1. Can you imagine any other driver that would give up a title since lets say 1983???

          Fact is the 80s was an era were they started using there cars as ‘weapons’ (thinking the cars were very safe now), then in the 90s safety came back.

          Anyway ‘cheating so much’? Fact is in Monaco he got penalised and didn’t win the title, ’97 he didn’t win did he, and for 94 i don’t see that as ‘cheating’. Yes maybe the car wasn’t totally legal, but alot of cars haven’t been ‘legal’, but found a way around the rules (flex wings? for example). The job of the FIA is to catch them or change there rules since alot of the time they aren’t waterproof.

        2. Can you imagine SMC losing out on a Championship because he stuck up for someone (Moss- Hawthorne) not a chance in hell..

          Schumacher was prepared to give up wins for Irvine, so there goes your point about him being selfish.

          Schumacher didn’t usually get away with what he did, so you can’t argue he didn’t get penalised. He simply played the modern game of F1 like Alonso, Senna and Prost did, and like those, is seen as greater for doing so, even if he has his detractors.

    2. Well MSC learned the ram them tactics from Prost and Senna for example. The close the door tactics/ruthless driving, probably also by watching Senna.

      Th Monaco thing was bad, on the others i can’t agree. Well 97 wasn’t nice either.

  45. Face palm!

  46. disagree with bernie, schuey had the hardest rival of the lot, Newey. Between 92-04, wither MS or a Newey designed car won the championship. And schuey appeared to have inferior cars 94,95,00,and 03, as well as challenging in 97 and 98. And as a poster pointed out earlier Hakkinen was pretty highly rated by whitmarsh.

    Secondly, while many have mentioned subservient team mates, ferrari in the 90s were hard nosed business men, they didn’t have to favour schumacher, they gave him preference for a reason, he was the best, and they didn’t make his team mate’s cars slower, they needed MS’s team mates or to impede the maclarens, hockenheim 2000 for example, or take a look at Malaysia and suzuka 99, Irvine would have struggled to out qualify schuey in a maclaren. And today, are Webber and Massa any more equal than Irvine and Rubens?

    And yes schuey did some unsightly things, but so did senna, in a far more dangerous era, he edged Prost against a wall ala schuey last year

  47. Typical comments from Ecclestone. He forgets to mention that Schumacher raced against the likes of Senna, Prost, Mansell, Hill, Villeneuve, Hakkinen, Alonso even before he retired in 2006. A career of fifteen years that was only interupted in 1999 due to his Stowe crash.
    Its a totally disjointed and unfair comparison. Vettel is a superb driver but he is young and just starting his career, which makes his achievements all the more impressive. However, much like Lewis Hamilton, he has had the backing from his current team throughout a large portion of his career in the shape of Red Bull.
    Schumacher did not have this luxary when he signed for Eddie Jordan back in 1991, a team that was never flush with cash unlike Red Bull and McLaren are. Michael achieved his acclaim by his early performances which brought him to the attention of Benetton and later Ferrari.
    In fifteen years time, then we can compare but not now! As for this season being boring I must admit it would be nice if the other teams were on Red Bull’s level but they are not, and you could hardly blame Vettel for that can you?
    The boy’s doing great and he should enjoy every minute because to stay where he is at for very long is very difficult. Savour it!

    1. Sorry to break your bubble, Mercedes paid 100k to secure his seat at Jordan

      1. gamer_k, you just inadvertently underlined the point that our earlier writer ‘the limit’ was making: jordan was a team with very little cash, and 100k was a big help for that team. compare that to the financial possibilities the teams of vettel and hamilton have. of course schumacher’s qualities were screaming for sponsorships pushing him to a drive, but just as vettel proved his mettle with bmw & str before ‘sitting pretty’ at rb, schumi did that at jordan before benetton pried him loose. compared to that, hamilton had it easy in a winning car from day one, with guardianship to boot. maybe that is what is turning against him now when the going gets a bit tougher. he’s not used to it and demands the usual help. vettel and schumi worked with lower f1 material before stepping up.

        1. +1 to what you said. Just wanted to point that it was more difficult for MSC back then. Funny that MSC raced for Jordan in just one race and retired in that race

          1. ok, well that intent is hard to decipher with your opener ‘sorry to break your bubble’ which rather sounds like a debunking of the content our writing predecessor ‘the limit’ had in pointing out schumi’s then fiancial & competitive disadvantage. yes, it was rather good income for jordan’s one race of having had rookie schumi driving for them.

  48. Vettel will probably be at Red Bull, with Adrian Newey, for the next 2 or 3 years at least. He’s a driver that can ‘think’ during the races, and is as fast as anyone in the sport. Settle back, and enjoy.

  49. I find it bizarre that people say: Michael didn’t have opponents who could touch him, therefore his competition was weaker, therefore he is less deserving than Vettel, whose competition is consistently closer.

    Well, hold the phone, people – this argument essentially says that if Michael had been *slower*, making his opponents closer to him, he would be *more* deserving of praise. What?!

    How does Vettel winning races by narrow margins make him faster than Schumacher winning by enormous margins? If Schu had eked out every victory by a second or two everyone would say that his competition was very fast, and so his victories were difficult. But since he mopped the floor with his competition, everyone says that the opposition were very slow, and so his victories were easy!

    Essentially, the larger your winning margins, the worse people think you are.

    This stuff is all relative. Nobody right now is saying, “All of these drivers are slow”. So how can you say that all of the drivers (save Schu) from 1993 to 2004 were slow? The field was fast and competitive right up to Schumacher, and then crappy, and then became competitive again as soon as he went off form? How remarkable!


    1. +1. It’s this sort of argument that always baffles me. If you want me to believe that Damon , JV, Berger, Hakkinen, Coulthard, Barrichello, Ralf, Herbert, Fisichella, Raikkonen and Alonso (all of whom have won multiple races between 1994 and 2006 with MSC on the grid) are crap, you’ll have to get me very very drunk first!

    2. I do feel the field is more competitive now. Alonso and Hamilton are a lot better than anything Schumacher won his championships from.

      Lets not forget that Schumacher started losing championships to Alonso and then he left.

      I’d also also put Rosberg and Kubica over most of them and then Vettel is in there somewhere as well.

      With Vettel we only know he’s in the fastest car and that he’s faster than Webber.

  50. @ Game R K.

    That maybe the case but you cannot compare the resources of Jordan to those of McLaren and Red Bull, that was my point which you missed completely. Ofcourse Mercedes offered Eddie Jordan a cash incentive, but the biggest incentive was that Schumacher was bloody good!
    Plenty of guys have tried Formula One with huge sums of cash behind them and have fallen on their backsides because they were not good enough. In F1, money gets you in the door but talent keeps you from being thrown back through it!

  51. Simply dellusional old man. would peddle any ridiculous story for a few more Shekels

  52. I cannot people believe that vettel doesn’t have the same favouritism in the team that Schumacher had. lastyear vettel and webber were neck and neck in the championship and look what they did at silverstone!!

  53. I cannot believe lol

  54. “I don’t see a reason why there shouldn’t be a Red Bull era just as Ferrari had theirs with Michael.”

    It an utter disgrace when we all found out this dominance was brought on by an insane form of favoritism. FOM was paying Ferrari 80 million extra per year and FIA gave Ferrari a veto on the rules.

Comments are closed.