Current Sebastian Vettel

Lots of threads have alluded to having a discussion about the current world champion so lets get it all off our collective chests (oooeer!)

Lots has been has been written about this young man from his testing debut with BMW Sauber in 2006 aged just 19 - he then progressed to the the toro rosso team for his first full race season in 2008 - the memorable race being his drive in the wet at Fuji where he managed to rear end his future team mate Mark Webber who said ""It's kids isn't it... kids with not enough experience – they do a good job and then they :censored: **** it all up." - Little was Mark to know he would be paired with the "Kid" just 2 years later.

His maiden win came at the 2008 Italian GP where he qualified up from, the race started under the safety car in the rain and the young German led from start to finish in the Toro Rosso - becoming the youngest winner of a grand prix ever.

Then we enter the era of the Red Bull. In 2009 he joined the Red Bull team, which got off to a torrid start as he managed to crash into Kubika in Australia, a feat he would go on to repeat during the 09 season.

Last year needs no mention........

So to the crux of the matter. Is Sebastian Vettel?

the real deal, the baby schumi, the new pretender - a genuine racer? - aka Wunderkind


A very quick driver, who lucked into a very fast car and can bang it on pole and lead from lights to flag and be the quickest pilot of a car, yet can't overtake for toffee? aka WunOrAother

Very quick, no doubt about that.
He can also put in consistent laps over a Grand Prix.

However, he was almost beaten by Webber last year, who a lot of people wrote off.
He also has a tendency to lose composure when being challenged, as evidenced by the number of times he has driven into, or attempted to drive into people.

So far, all he has really shown me is he can qualify on pole and then lead from the front to the flag.

Until he is in a car which is 2nd, 3rd or 4th best and still manages to get poles and wins, and matures when it comes to wheel-to-wheel racing, I am unable to determine just how good he is.
The latter in my opinion. A very quick driver yes. The real deal? The jury is out on that
The real deal? The jury is out on that?

He won at Monza in a Toro Rosso!
He's won 12 Grand Prix and a World Championship!
If the jury is still out, then they must have gone AWOL of their senses! :o
I don't think F1 is in the Golden Age many of the commentators would have us believe. There have been a few in the past, think Clark, Hill, Stewart, Rindt, Fittipladi etc. in the 60's/70's or Prost, Senna, Piquet, Mansell. Rosberg, Berger etc. in the 80's/90's. Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Button is not, from my perspective, yet in the class of either of the above lists but it's still quite exciting and ceratinly better than when Schumie was wiping the floor with all comers.

As to Vettel, what Snowy said. Amongst his peers, just as good.
My feeling is that there is a unprecedented pool of talented drivers in F1 at the moment. Fernando Alonso made Michael Schumacher retire. Michael Schumacher was seriously good at pedalling a car. Ergo Fernando Alonso is seriously good at pedalling a car. Lewis Hamilton tied(actually beat) Alonso in the same car in his rookie season. Nico Rosberg is beating an older slower version of Michael Schumacher, has never had a seriously quick car or been teamed with Alonso, Hamilton or Vettel so the Jury is out on him. But it is only a question of time!

With Button, Webber, Kobayashi, an albeit demoralised Massa and an injured Kubica, the strength in depth is astounding. :D It is unfortunate that they are not all driving Red Bulls or Citron 2CV's.
He's extremely quick. He's got some rough edges to his driving, but most drivers need time to smooth those out with experience. Not all of them manage it, but I see no reason to think Seb won't. His drive in Abu Dhabi last year was perhaps a sign that he is getting all the mental equipment together.

We shouldn't forget he is still very young in F1 driver terms, and particularly in world champion terms. The raw ability, though, seems to me to be as good as, if not better than, anyone else's on the current grid.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the real deal.

So far, all he has really shown me is he can qualify on pole and then lead from the front to the flag.

Yes, 9 out of 12 of his Formula One wins have been from pole. But if you qualify on pole every week, you don't need to come from the back. And that is the aim of the game.

How many 21 year olds have won a Formula One race? 1.
How many 23 year olds have won the World Title? 2.

He's a very good driver in a very good car.

Would he win without the RB6? No. Would anyone win without a good car? No. See Alonso at Renault 2008-9!
I am going to get into a lot of trouble for this... but the last thing I want to do is start a Hamilton thread... :sick:

Sebastian stands far more chance of achieving his goal of being a multiple WDC than Lewis at the moment, simply because he is (I'm going to get flamed for this) not a "racer"! Lewis loves to race, he is accused of being manufactured but only a small part of him is if any. Lewis loves to race and tussle and duck and dive, whereas Sebastian is not at home in the cut and thrust of heated combat. Sebastian is methodical and single minded in his pursuit of a win and is exasperated when his teammate beats him.

Lewis is not single minded enough to mould a team of people around him as Michael Schumacher did in the 90's and 0's, whereas Sebastian is. When it comes to race, race weekend and team strategy Sebastian will win out time and again. Because Lewis will never be able to make the hard decisions which involve the hiring and firing of people. Sebastian won't have that problem, the only problems he may encounter is Newey getting bored or Fernando and Ferrari getting their act together long term.
I think Schumacher was a very good driver in a very good car. With Ferrari what they had was also consistency over a long period of time when their machine had 1s / lap over the field. Like Prost, Schumacher did the business by making the whole thing work better - something Fernando is good at but Vettel has yet to have to do in his short career.

Just looking at pure speed on the track though, for me, Vettel is up there with Senna. Yes, the RBR is a great car, but you only need to cite Monza 2008 as evidence that Vettel doesn't need a great car to show what he can do. 2008 reminded me of Senna at Monaco in 84 or Estoril in 85.

The greatest similarity is their qualifying pace. The commitment and control is what separates these two in my eyes. I don't think you can hold it against Vettel that he doesn't win from pole! He is not giving himself a great chance to fix that perception right now, is he? :)

The other factor is Webber. Mark's record in qualifying vs his team mates was exceptional until Vettel arrived and now he looks second rate. In contrast Schumacher can only be benchmarked against Barrichello (beaten by Button who was beaten by Hamilton) and Irvine (who was only marginally quicker than Rubens and Pedro de la Rosa when team mates with them).
The other factor is Webber. Mark's record in qualifying vs his team mates was exceptional until Vettel arrived and now he looks second rate.
I don't think that's true at all.
It was closer than a lot of people think last year, and would have been closer still if Mark had been given the same equipment, etc.

Let's not forget that Mark finished just 14 points behind, which is about 6 points in old money.
Michael built or had built around him a machine for winning GPs, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and a number of others worked with him at Benetton and they moved moved lock, stock and barrel to Ferrari and created a monster. That is the sort of thing Sebastian could do. Lewis just isn't going to do that, A: Martin Whitmarsh is no Ross Brawn, B: the McLaren design team is a committee devoid of a Newey or Byrne and C: It's not in his nature, he wants a competitive car, not a "Championship Winning Machine".

Fernando has the nous to bend a team to his will and create a monster, and I believe Sebastian is of a similar ilk.
But jez does have a point. Webber was a Trulli-esque qualifying specialist up to 2009, at which point he suddenly became the team's "Sunday man".

Remember St. Ayrton had a 65:41 poles to wins ratio, which compares unfavourably to Vettel's rapidly improving 17:12! And with that poor ratio Senna won the WDC 3 times!
No-one's doubting his ability to stick it on pole and win from the front though.

Good, because if they were, they'd be daft! LOL

Vettel's 3 Wins Without Pole:
2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
2010 Malaysian Grand Prix
2010 Brazilian Grand Prix

In two of these he hit the front by turn 1 and in the other the pole sitter retired!

Nothing's been proved about his ability from the back because he's not been at the back recently! His strength is Saturday, but why should that mean he's not a top class driver?
I collected a load of data a couple of years ago, basicallty all the qualifying times up to the end of 2008. Against his team mates, Webber's record was A+.

Mark Webber

Team mate Ahead by Races
Nico Rosberg 0.31% 18
Nick Heidfeld 0.41% 14
Justin Wilson 0.86% 5
David Coulthard 0.90% 35
Christian Klien 0.75% 18
Antonio Pizzonia 0.85% 16
Anthony Davidson 0.59% 2
Alex Yoong 1.83% 14

Last year, Vettel was 0.34% faster than Webber in qualifying.

To put some context on Senna's qualifying though you

Ayrton Senna

Team mate Ahead by Races
Stefan Johansson 1.21% 2
Satoru Nakajima 4.06% 16
Mika Hakkinen 0.04% 3
Michael Andretti 1.66% 13
Johnny Dumfries 4.11% 16
Johnny Cecotto 1.76% 10
Gerhard Berger 0.65% 48
Elio de Angelis 1.33% 16
Damon Hill 0.78% 3
Alain Prost 0.79% 32

Yes, that last one is right. Senna was nearly 0.8% (maybe 7/10ths) fater than Prost in qualifying!
I should point out that Webber vs Rosberg was in Nico's rookie year
Yes, that last one is right. Senna was nearly 0.8% (maybe 7/10ths) fater than Prost in qualifying!

And it mattered not a sod...

They had two seasons together in 1988/89:

1988: 1 Senna 90 [94], 2 Prost 87 [105][/B]
[B]1989: 1 Prost 76 [81], 2 Senna 60

Thus without the points-dropping Prost would have been WDC both years, and points wise we have:

Prost 186 Senna 154

I agree with all points counting; without the "best 11 results" farce Ayrton Senna may have only one Championship to his name. No points have ever been awarded for qualifying.

However, Vettel, despite wins from pole being robbed from him by mechanical problems in Bahrain, Australia and Korea, still, despite throwing away a raft of points elsewhere, held on to a points lead to become champion, finishing the season with 4 flawless drives. And all races count.

I don't want to play "what if", but it could have been a massacre! He is a deserving champion. I repeat, no-one wins the WDC in a crapbox.
Top Bottom