Vettel ranks alongside Senna & Schumacher – Massa

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In the round-up: Felipe Massa says Sebastian Vettel is one of F1’s all-time greats along with Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Felipe Massa: “No mistakes” (Ferrari)

“I want to congratulate Sebastian, who deserves everything he has achieved so far. I am really happy for him, because he is a great driver and a very nice guy. From today, his name will sit alongside the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One, such as Senna, Schumacher and few others.”

Christian Horner Q&A: Success breeds success (F1)

“The problem of how [financial] numbers are presented is what is included and what is not. If you take like for like the numbers are extremely comparable with McLaren’s, and considering the success bonus we have paid as well, it is an erroneous assumption that we are outspending every other team in Formula One. There are other, bigger spenders. It is very easy to say that Red Bull spends the most money in Formula One: that is factually incorrect.”

It’s hard to see how F1’s Sebastian Vettel can improve – Red Bull’s Newey (The Guardian)

“He’s not going to get worse, that’s for sure. He’s going to continue to develop, though it’s difficult to see how he can develop from this season.”

Ruthless, intelligent, patient – Sebastian is truly astonishing (The Telegraph)

David Coulthard: “Can we all now agree to put the ‘Is Vettel a great’ debate to bed? A four-times world champion at the age of 26? Simply astonishing.”

Beaten Alonso congratulates Vettel (Reuters)

“(Vettel’s) driving performance is big with numbers, being four-times champion. In 2011, I remember him winning 14 or 15 races, this year he will win, I don’t know many. Now it’s 10, he will win maybe 13 races.”

Analysis: Vettel without doubt an all-time great (BBC)

“Senna had his Prost. Hamilton and Alonso have each other. Who will be Vettel’s true yardstick?”

Raikkonen ‘disappoints’ Lotus (Sky)

Trackside operations director Alan Permane: “It was a little disappointing, to be honest. He knew his tyres were finished and there was no need to have a battle.”

Lotus to discuss Raikkonen defiance (Autosport)

Eric Boullier: “I’m going to speak to both of them in Abu Dhabi. We are working for these guys to deliver, but there is a team behind them and you always have to think about the team.”

Bernie Ecclestone back in legal spotlight (FT, registration required)

“CVC paid $814m for the bank’s stake, which was completed in early 2006. But by the time CVC refinanced F1 in November of that year, accountants had estimated that the enterprise value of the racing series had reached $5.9bn.”

Nico Rosberg: 2nd place Indian GP video message to the fans (Nico Rosberg via YouTube)


Comment of the day

A selection of tributes to the newly-crowned quadruple-champion:

Hats off to Vettel, he deserves all the accolades and none of the negativity he has received. I’m a bigger fan of a few other drivers on the grid, but also remember how happy I was when he won his first race at Toro Rosso as an up and coming driver. I think he showed a lot of class after winning his fourth title including his doughnut celebration.

It begs to be mentioned in the same breath of other champions he is being compared to that he has never done anything as controversial as Senna or Schumacher in his quest for titles. Since he is being compared to those two and other champions I think it is fair to bring up that he races hard, but clean. Cheers to Mr Vettel!

An amazing achievement that no one can deny. Vettel is one of the greats no doubt! The fact that he’s very young maybe makes it difficult to see what a legend he is. I’m sure the next generation will look up to him just as we do to Senna, Prost, Stewart, Lauda, and the rest of the greats.

Like Schumacher it’s an absolute honour to witness a champion race. When we grow up we’ll be able to say, yes I’ve seen Sebastian Vettel race live. I’m sure then all those who boo him now will feel stupid that they booed one of the greats.

I think every F1 fan should feel privileged to witness this. Even if you do not like the guy and secretly wish some accident would happen to his finger (temporary paralysis, say, we would not wish for something permanent), 40 years from now, when your grandchildren start comparing drivers and quoting statistics, you can wait till they get to Vettel and say: I was there

F1 is far from boring, to the contrary. Now the real suspense starts. How far can he take it? Five in a row? Will he be the first one to do six? It almost feels worth rooting for him just to see this happen. After all, unlike Schumacher, none of his titles has been tainted with cheating, wouldn’t he be a better person to top the charts?

But I do feel sorry for Hamilton and Alonso.

A four time world champion, incredible. Sebastian Vettel has had a fantastic season: faultless in pretty much every single race. For me, this is without any doubt his greatest championship year (to date).

I will say, I’m not a Vettel fan at all. I appreciate drivers who’s goal it is to gain respect from their fellow competitors, not drivers who race purely to win (same reason I appreciate Fangio, Moss and Clark more than Senna and Schumacher). But then again, apart from Malaysia, he has surely gained my respect this year. This year, Sebastian Vettel has made the leap from World Champion to F1???s greatest, in my opinion.

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93 comments on “Vettel ranks alongside Senna & Schumacher – Massa”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    28th October 2013, 0:13

    How ironic some weeks ago Massa saud Alonso was better than Schum, and now he says Vettel is alongside Schum and Senna in the all-time greats. Is he looking for a job at Red Bull, at least as a third driver?

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      28th October 2013, 0:13

      saud = said

    2. @omarr-pepper Maybe getting away from Ferrari PR?

    3. The PR Massa vs. The Out Of Ferrari Massa

    4. David not Coulthard (@)
      28th October 2013, 14:40

      Massa saud Alonso was better than Schum, and now he says Vettel is alongside Schum and Senna in the all-time greats.

      …implying that Alonso is better than all 3?

  2. “Senna had his Prost. Hamilton and Alonso have each other. Who will be Vettel’s true yardstick?”

    It’ll be one of Hulkenberg, Bottas or Grosjean in 3-4yrs

    1. I can see (and hope!) Grosjean or Hulkenberg, but not so sure about Bottas…

      1. I agree about Bottas. There was much hype from Williams about him, but he’s been quite disappointing for me.

        1. To be fair, it’s difficult to shine in that car- exactly like Hulkenberg in his first year actually. Until his pole position I don’t think he’d really caught many people’s attention.

        2. maarten.f1 (@)
          28th October 2013, 11:02

          @deej92 I think Bottas has been leaving a proper impression. As a rookie he’s been out-qualifying his more experienced (and race winning) teammate quite often, and it’s not like he’s being completely trashed by Maldonado in the race either. Whether Bottas will be a future champion remains to be seen, but that goes for Grosjean and Hulkenberg as well. It’s all about being in the right car at the right time.

          1. Of course he’s had to endure a horrid car in his debut season, and his qualifying pace seems good, but he often seems to fall right back in races. Maldonado is the driver who is usually the one getting closer to the points and vitally he has got the team one.

      2. Surely it must be Hakkinen and Schumi, then Raikkonen and Alonso, now Hamilton and Vettel. Each pair also has the runners up, like Coulthard, Barrichello, Montoya, R. Schumacher, Trulli, Fisichella, Massa, Rosberg, Kubica, Webber etc.

        By the time Hulkenberg gets in a top car, it could be him and Grosjean, and from the lower levels, Ricciardo and Bianchi? Those guys could feasibly end up in a Red Bull and Ferrari, both front running teams in the new era.

        There’s a good reason why literally everyone wants to see Hulkenberg and Grosjean square off at Lotus! The next two big superstars, if the Lotus can challenge the top 4 next year! Ricciardo is guaranteed to make an impact over 2014 as Vettel’s team mate in the Red Bull. Bottas may never get a good car, along with Vergne and many others..

        1. It’s fun that you mention Grosjean as a future superstar. A year ago, everybody was saying that he should no longer be in F1 :P

    2. The exciting thing is that Vettel’s ‘Prost’ or ‘Alonso’ might not even be on the grid yet. Nobody saw this Vettel kid going on to dominate the way he has when he scored his first point in 2007. Now here he is, an all-time great. Maybe the next guy is just around the corner?

    3. It has already taken those you mention to long to be able to challenge Vettels record.

    4. I don’t think Alonso is done yet, 2014 has the potential to be a very trying season for Sebatian Vettel if they fail to build a good car (it’s a long shot, but it’s possible). Seating on 2 WDC, getting to 4 is not the end of the world. Plus, we should keep an eye on Mercedes, if their confidence is translated into performance they may hand Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg the class of the field starting a new generation of car design and we know hoe well it worked for Red Bull.

      Personally, I don’t think Seb will have much more 13/15 wins seasons in the years to come.

      1. I hope your right from a competition side.

        Also to be fair it does have to be said they wouldnt of won so many this year without the tyre change. Some dont want to hear that, but even they admitted it yesterday.

        Not Seb fault, as you take what you can get it. Thats what modern champs do. But it does take a slight gloss of off this one.

        Needless to say though once he had the advantage he is at his very very best and unbeatable/

        1. He still won 40% of the races before the tire change ;-)

      2. IMHO, I think the ‘Alonso period’ is over. But there are few new kids coming to the top teams (and I don’t consider Lotus a top team yet). I hope Magnussen ends at McLaren and Hülkenberg gets a Ferrari drive. :)

        1. Am with you – I think it will be up to Magnussen to give Vettel a run for his money. He is truly from “the new bread” of drivers who are becoming complete much sooner than previously in history.

        2. Never rule out the old dog…Im sure he can still learn a trick or two.

          Plus, he isnt that old, he’s only 32. With the fitness regimes these guys have nowadays, the likes of Alonso and Button could be racing into their early 40s. Schumi was fine from a fitness perspective at the age of 42…and judging by Rosberg’s performances this year, Schumi was off the pace at all.

    5. I am very excited for the ‘Ultimate Rival’ chapter in Seb’s Story.

      His rival must be a team mate at one point, there has to be on track collisions, one of them has to leave the team, and between the two of them, they will both win WDC in alternating years. – at least that’s the classic stereotyped rivalry. I wonder if it could be even more dramatic? May be off track Sebastian’s rival would start to date his wife? or even throw in a mystery child!

    6. vwttwl never beat newey, i hope he moved to another team 2015 because we know newey will never leave rbr

  3. “his name will sit alongside the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One, such as Senna, Schumacher and few others

    I think that’s the important part.

  4. Not sure if anyone can surpass Schumacher, but he’ll definitely be considered one of the top 5 greatest.

  5. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    28th October 2013, 0:38

    I lost a lot of respect for Lotus when Permaine swore at Kimi in the process of issuing team orders.
    Didn’t need to tell him to “Get out of the ******* way!”.

    1. @tophercheese21: Kimi won’t think much about it. He’s the one saying that he wants to punch people in the face, so he will be hardened enough to take such rudeness himself. :P

    2. We haven’t heard the whole conversation that led to that, but based on Kimi’s behavior it’s fair to assume he had been told a few times already Romain was coming and to let him by. Considering that, I felt it was completely justified, and that’s coming from a Kimi fan. Kimi’s attitude dissapointed me yesterday.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        28th October 2013, 12:32

        But from the footage on TV it didn’t look like Kimi intentionally hit Grosjean off the road. His tyres were so old that the rear end just lost purchase. Similar to Hulkenberg in Brazil 2012.

        Lotus could have gotten Kimi to pit a few laps earlier and scored more points and avoided the risk of their drivers coming into contact.

        It seemed like a strange strategy to me.

    3. When you win a lot of points for the team, you deserve more respects. Grosjean did more worst that good for the team. Lotus will be a no-name next year.

    4. @tophercheese21 Yeah, let’s judge a team and the effort of 500+ people behind it based on a single comment made on the heat of the moment, whose back history we don’t even know.

      It’s like we aren’t even trying to be reasonable.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        28th October 2013, 12:38

        Okay, let me rephrase that since I’ve apparently offended you so much:

        I lost a lot of respect for the person who ordered Kimi out of the way by swearing at him (I heard it was Permane, but not totally sure). I thought it was a bit unnecessary. I get that it’s a tense situation, but they got themselves into it, and swearing at their best driver to get out of the way does make them look reputable.

        Instead of swearing at him to get out of the way, they could have just brought him in a few laps earlier and totally avoided the entire situation, rather than trying to 1 stop.

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          28th October 2013, 12:39

          get out of the way does make them look reputable.


        2. You’re making a huge deal of it. Not very reasonable.

          1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            28th October 2013, 13:38

            I not making that much of a deal about it.

            When I saw it on tv, it just gave me the impression that Lotus are trying very hard to project the image that they have lost all interest in Kimi. He’s still their driver for 3 more races, and they should Atleast attempt to show him some respect.

            My point is that they didn’t need to swear at him.

            Anyway, it’s done now. It will be very interesting to see what happens between them over the next month or so.

          2. t just gave me the impression that Lotus are trying very hard to project the image that they have lost all interest in Kimi.

            Yep, making a bigger deal out of it than it is.

          3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            28th October 2013, 14:53

            Well no, I’m not making a big deal out of it, because it’s plain to see that that’s exactly what they’re doing.

            It’s fair enough that Romain is their main priority in the team now, but it doesn’t mean they have go swear at Kimi when issuing team orders.

            Can I just clarify, I’m not a supporter of Kimi. I like him, but I don’t support him.

          4. @tophercheese21

            There is no logical connection between “they used they cursed in a radio message” to “Lotus are trying very hard to project the image that they have lost all interest in Kimi”

            Not only is unreasonable, it’s borderline irrational.

          5. @tophercheese21 Also, if you think a bit more carefully about it, instead of blindly jumping to conclusions and making huge deals out of nothing, you’d know that a lot of teams swear in the radio to prevent their messages from being broadcasted. This trend goes back to 2011.

            Let’s try to be a bit more rational and think a bit before making accusations here and there.

          6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            28th October 2013, 15:19


            There is no logical connection

            Yes there absolutely is a connection!! Have you watched any of the pre or post race shows on Sky or BBC. Martin Brundle has talked about it at length, Lotus are trying to promote Grosjean as a future leader of the team, and that means getting Kimi out of the way.

            I guarantee you that they would not have told him to get out of the ****** way, had Kimi chosen to re-sign with them instead of Ferrari.

            I have said nothing irrational or unreasonable. You just seem so fixated on trying to gain the moral and intellectual high ground on every comment when you seem to be missing the point.

            Let me make my point very clear:

            I feel that it was very unnecessary of the pitwall to tell him to get out of the effing way. It’s just not needed.

            I fully understand that it’s a heated moment, but they got themselves into it by committing to a one stop strategy until it was too late.

            If anyone is jumping to conclusions it you, in your initial comment when you judged me by thinking that I was somehow blaming every single one of Lotus’s staff.


          7. @tophercheese21 You’re making illogical connections once more.

            Of course they are promoting Grosjean to number 1 driver, that’s clear. But from them to be “trying very hard to project the image that they have lost all interest in Kimi” there’s an abyss of illogical conjecture and failure to see how small the issue actually was in comparison to the bigger picture.

            You’ve made a bunch of assertions based on a single curse on a radio message. As unreasonable as it gets.

        3. Lotus should have brought Kimi in as soon as his lap times dropped. It’s not like they have not been through this scenario before. I think the rest of it, however inappropriate, was heat of the moment on both sides. It was a bit much to ask 53 laps from a set of tires and from Kimi to hold off the field for P2, an impossible task. After all the time lost trying to prevent the inevitable, Kimi would not have finished any lower than he did. I think you have a good point @tophercheese21 that he had a limited amount of car control on those tires, even Brundle commented that Kimi could barely keep his car on the track.

          Anyways, Boullier said they would have a meeting with the drivers in Abu Dhabi and sort things out. Here is a good sorting out – Lotus had monumental drives from both of their drivers in India, they were also worried about Grosjean’s tires with less laps on them (and his engine), they still scored substantial points, they need both their drivers to score as many points as possible and still have a shot at the 2nd spot in the WCC.

          So, they need Kimi and it behooves Lotus to try to work things out for the last 3 races. Some people are saying Kimi has lost his desire. Sure doesn’t look that way to me.

    5. @tophercheese21 – frankly I lost some respect for Kimi. Though it was a mistake and he’ll bounce back. We don’t know the history of the conversation but considering his move in turn 4 he wasn’t going to make it easy for GRO but putting both almost out of the race. He wanted to retaliate the move Perez did on him in Monaco so he shouldn’t be surprised if people criticize him for this one on his own team-mate

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        28th October 2013, 15:04

        This could go on all day, but my interpretation it was that Grosjean tried to overtake around the outside knowing full well that the track tightens up significantly on the exit of T4.

        He also knows Kimi is on older tyres and it will be risky try the move because overtaking around the outside is difficult enough in the first place, and that Kimi’s older tyres meant that he had less control. And it showed, since the rear end snapped and they made slight contact.

        I think Romain should have done what Alonso did several times, which is also safer. Which is to take a wider line into T4, straighten the car up earlier on the exit and get past him on the following straight into T5.

        Romain’s tyres were a bit newer and had a lot more purchase on the Tarmac, so a pass into T5 would have been safer, infact Kimi’s tyres were so destroyed that Grosjean most probably would have gotten him almost immediately after the exit of T4.

    6. Alan Permane is bitter that he’ll be watching Kimi’s rear wing all next year. If you go back over his comments, he’s had it out for Kimi since Singapore. Good riddence Lotus, hello Ferrari.

  6. Lewis Hamilton posted a genuinely nice (I thought) congratulatory message on Twitter:

    1. Really nice to see that!

    2. Yeah, I though too, is a nice message…

    3. Very nice message! But what is it with British people using “of” instead of “have”?

      1. Poor education standards. It comes from the abbreviation of ‘have’ being ‘ve’ at the end of a word. If you don’t have a grasp of the rules and are writing phonetically then the ‘ve’ can be mistranslated to ‘of’ I assume.

        1. I guess it is hard to understand for a foreigner :)

          But it shows that he actually wrote the message himself, and not some PR person.

      2. @mike-dee It’s not just the British. I’ve heard a lot of Americans using “of” instead of “have” as well. :)

        1. Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve sound an awful lot like could of, would of and should of. When they type it out or write it, the difference shows.

  7. Vettel deserved all of his titles. This year he has been nothing but perfect.
    About Lotus, well, they got the right to get upset, but the day they pay what they owe Raikkonen then they will be more comfortable to openly criticize him.

    1. If I hear Kimi´s message correctly, Kimi´s english is hard to understand to me, he wasn´t denying to obey order, but he didn´t like it that his team were screaming during the fast curve.

      Anyway, even for crazy F1 Fandom standard the fact that some, not all, Kimi fans are menacing Lotus members with death and insult is just too much…

      1. This behavior pretty much sums up the Lotus class and especially the management, therefore the reasons why after same errors and trials they are not the top team.

        I’m not sure if it’s the lack of competence or personal agendas that doesn’t let them to make the final push.

  8. I think it’s pretty endearing to see Vettel join in with tidying up. I know many disagree, and I’m not a ‘fan’ of Vettel but he genuinely seems like a humble individual that seems to truly understand and appreciate what he is and what he’s done.

    1. Either that or he is not only a brilliant driver but also very PR savvy.

      1. I think you have him confused with his teammate! (Brilliant driver and THE MOST PR savvy.)

      2. Yes, that’s true he’s definitely a smart guy when it comes to PR. However I’d like to think that from what little we’ve seen and hear about Vettel’s personality that it’s not all just PR and he actually is as genuine and humble as he seems.

        1. You only have to see him in the early interviews at Torro Rosso before all the fame and the PR Training, that he has always been a humble and nice guy. I remember lots of stories of mechanics from Torro Rosso being very sad when he was promoted because they genuinely liked the kid…

      3. i believe those drivers who shared their opinions on social media are more PR savvy than this guy. oh wait, there are even more drivers who washed their dirty linen in public, that’s even more PR savvy or maybe attention seeker i think.

      4. Imo he could do much more in the PR department, for example join social media – I’m sure that the PR folks at RB think so too since it would make their job easier.
        But if you look out for interviews of former and current mechanics, colleagues and supporters then it’s always the same narrative – nice, humble guy with a good sense of humor. And he seems to be especially popular among the mechanics, so I like to believe that it isn’t all just a PR-facade.

    2. Sometimes the PR doesnt work: Button screaming at Perez earlier this year (Bahrain?), Massa criticizing Ferrari all the time. I never saw something like that happen to Vettel, he seems like an actually nice guy.

  9. Afraid I’m mellowing, I absolutely loathed Senna, and Schumacher made me cringe, but now I simply dislike Vettel.

    1. Extrapolating from this, you will find the next multiple champion ok, and finally like the one after that.

      1. The question is: will he genuinely be a fan of a driver before 1) we run out of fossil fuels or 2) Formula One is ditched for F-Zero.

  10. And congratulations to RedBull as well on their forth constructor’s championship – will they have long term ambitions to continue in the sport to try and catch up with Team Lotus on seven (and Mclaren – 8; Williams – 9; Ferrari – 16)?

    There’s nothing to suggest they plan on pulling out any time soon so I’m sure reeling in those teams above them will be their goal!

  11. With regards to the COTD, unless I was going in and out of consciousness due to it being like 6am here in the US at the end of the GP, I never saw Seb once flash the finger after the race… just the fist.

    1. He showed it once briefly when he was on the shoulders of Rosberg and Grosjean. But he only had the fist in the air. Finger was shown in front of his chest only.

      I read that he shows the finger because he almost lost it in an accident in Spa in one of the junior formulas.

      1. He also showed his finger while doing donuts.

  12. I think that he (Vettel) is better than Senna, but not as good as Prost or Schumacher.

    1. @kingshark – for me he is somewhere on 6th or 7th place. But the kid is 26, so enough time to climb.

  13. A bit off-topic:

    Why drivers are allowed to constantly drive off-track limits? At BIC most drivers were just crossing the white line to gain time and nobody get’s punished unless they pass someone.

    IMHO, those buys should be forced to be “in-bounds” all the time unless they need to go off to avoid an accident.

    1. @jcost They said that it is because of the blind corners, it is hard to get it right. And that they prefer to stay on the circuit instead of running wide as you lose traction there.

      1. @mike-dee sure it’s hard when you carry so much speed, on the other hand, if there were punishment nobody would enter teh corner so fast…

        1. David not Coulthard (@)
          28th October 2013, 14:56

          if there were punishment nobody would enter teh corner so fast…

          @jcost The solution is to have everybody (allowed to) do so instead, I think.

          1. Probably @davidnotcoulthard. But I still think they could enforce the rules there :). Maybe that would be more interesting and challenging.

  14. I hate to be cynical and I think Vettel has done a great job, but this is how I see it: Driver spends 4 years in the best car and so wins 4 world championships and then is lauded as one of the all time greats so that people can keep up the pretense that f1 is a true sporting contest. I could go on but I can’t be bothered.

    1. It is a contest of man and machine; the teams compete against each other to build the best car! This is a large part of the competition; it is not only a drivers’ contest.

    2. a rare piece of wisdom for these forums
      f1 has always been a sport for the rich
      the fans: we are the poor that pay to see the rich play
      and in the process fund it all for the rich

    3. Beautifully said.
      I wish this makes the COTD today.
      The truth is, it’s really 95% the car. I honestly don’t think there’s more then 5% difference in performance among the 22 drivers we have and I do think that Vettel certainly is among the top drivers in the field, but I do feel as if we have to keep repeating how magnificent he is just so that F1’s image in the imagination of the public isn’t undermined.

      1. The irony is that the cars are probably closer to spec than they ever have been. Various aero bits banned over the last 10 years (e.g. DDDs, EBDs, F-ducts, double DRS) with all teams quickly implementing each other’s ideas anyway, one tyre supplier, no driver aids (TC, ABS, active suspension), spec ECUs, similar engines (all normally aspirated V8s, close on power, all reliable), and teams have a much lower tendency than in the past to give one driver upgrades (or even entirely new versions of the car) over their teammates.

        So I fail to see how it’s 95% the car now, if that wasn’t the case in past eras where drivers were not lambasted for only performing well “because of the car”.

      2. His team mate never finished 2nd in the championship in a car ‘who does 95% of the work’ …

        On the contrary, Barichello secured the 2nd place in the drivers championship in 2002 ;)

    4. No doubt Vettel has been in a very fortunate position by entering Red Bull at the perfect time but he has also executed to make the absolute most of his fortune which is a lot more than you can say about his team mate.

      I don’t really know about Fangio but it is not exactly like Schumacher, Senna or Prost didn’t have excellent material at their disposal most of the time. While Schumacher had limited competition from other teams while in Ferrari (and none within the team) Senna and Prost did not only have fierce battles on track but perhaps even more importantly had to fight each other for the best seats. Obviously each of them could have held more titles today if it wasn’t for the other.

      Personally I am just as tired as you of watching Vettel win but it doesn’t take anything away from him as a driver. Whether the Red Bull has been overly superior or not it doesn’t change the fact that he has been on par. I just can’t help wondering what it would have looked like if Hamilton (or any of the other top drivers) had been just a tad of the man Hamilton’s big hero Senna was. I have no doubt in my mind that Senna would have found his way into Red Bull at least from the third of the dominant seasons. He would have done anything to get there – including driving for free – while the top of the field of today just seems to be numb and helpless while watching Seb run away with it all!

    5. That’s why Webber has always been second in the championship and only a few points behind, right? That’s why Webber won… anything this year, right?

      Come on. This “it’s only the car” shtick is pathetic. Yeah a great deal of it is the car but if it was the majority the car then Vettel would not have had 4 championships in a row, first of all, and secondly Webber should’ve been closer.

      Neither are true.

  15. Up until Singapore this year I was always of the opinion that Alonso was the best out there, by quite a margin if I’m honest. It was during that race a few weeks ago that it finally sort of clicked with me that actually that might not be the case at all.
    It has always been too easy to praise the car, and almost discount Seb’s performances on that basis but you have to appreciate the flawless consistency of the man.
    People say it’s a boring era of domination but I am absolutely amazed. I don’t think it would matter who you put in the sister car at this stage, with Seb in the form he’s had in the last 3 years nobody would stand a chance.
    I’m just praying for a Championship battle next year, that’s the only element that’s missing.

    1. Not to take anything away from vettel this season… As he has been better than all his rivals.

      But i do not think that anyone can say that if Hamilton or Alonso were in the sister car, they wouldn’t beat him.

      Its fairly obvious that Alonso would have beaten Vettel in 2010 and 2012 if he was in that 2nd rb… But 2011 and 2013 could still have been Vettels years

  16. Here in Australia, the network broadcasting the Winter Olympics has changed ahead of the 2014 Games. They just broadcast a segment on the early-evening news on the progress of construction in Sochi, and while there was no mention of the Grand Prix circuit, there were plenty of external shots of the venues. Only the main stadium and some landscaping work are yet to be finished, but for the most part, the Olympic Precinct is done. From the looks of things, the surface will need to be put down once the Games are over, and some of the buildings (whose function were never explained) need to be converted to pit garages.

    There was also a wide panning shot of the Medals Plaza, which looks to be enormous. The corner that sweeps around the outer edge could be phenomenal.

  17. I’d like to pitch in on the “is Vettel a great” debate.


    To elaborate a little, I think there is quite a lot you can tell from a driver’s skill even if his raw speed can only be measured against that of his team mate. Whatever list of criteria you would draw up to assess a driver’s performance, I think Vettel would score very high on each count. Importantly, Vettel and the Red Bull team get the maximum result almost every weekend. They are not floundering with car setup, there are no niggling strategy or driver errors, and Vettel always handles his tyres well.

    Let’s compare Vettel to the other two of the ‘big three’, Alonso and Hamilton. Alonso is famous for getting the most out of the race despite starting from a rubbish grid position. Vettel has not demonstrated this ability as often as Alonso, but on the occasions that he did have to come from behind, he impressed me no less than Alonso. And then there are Fernando’s qualifying performances. I do not remember how quick he was in his championship winning years, but is there anyone willing to say that Fernando in his Ferrari years has had more raw speed than Vettel?

    Then Hamilton. I would like to believe that Lewis has at least as much speed as Sebastian, but I don’t think Hamilton is anywhere near as complete as Vettel is. Take the last race in India, for example. Hamilton made only a few tiny mistakes (oversteer in final corner in qualifying cost him P2 on the grid, slithering wide in turn 3 in the race cost him P2, and attacking Massa cost him P5) but he ended up sixth instead of a possible second. If you would look closely at Hamilton’s season at Mercedes, I think you would find numerous occasions where the combination of Lewis and Mercedes has not operated as effectively as Vettel and Red Bull.

    So, in my opinion, the only thing that Vettel has not been able to prove yet is whether is one of the fastest drivers ever. I would loved to have seen a Vettel-Hamilton pairing (or Vettel-Ayrton Senna, when I’m wishing anyway) at Red Bull, but his qualifying record against Webber (considered very fast if not as complete) must count for something too.

  18. Well, he’s definitely achieved more than they both have in a much more competitive F1 so I don’t see why we even have to compare them.

  19. Webber has never been a strong qualifyer, I’m wondering if Ricciardo could at least challenge him on Saturday :)

    1. Prior to Vettel arriving at Red Bull the standard brief summation of Mark Webber everywhere in F1 was that he was a “qualifying expert” or “one lap specialist”. He had out-qualified all his previous teammates, including Nico Rosberg. So saying that “Webber has never been a strong qualifyer” is rather like saying that “Alonso has never been noted for his consistency”.

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