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The F1 World Reacts to Sebastian Vettel’s Second Straight Title

Sebastian Vettel Photo by Ramesh Bayney

What do you think of what Sebastian Vettel has accomplished this season? Last year he seemed to go out of his way to try and lose the Formula One World Championship. This year he made it look easy. PRN canvassed the paddock to hear what every one of his 23 rival drivers as well as other F1 personnel had to say about the newly crowned double world champion.

Mark Webber Photo by Ramesh BayneyMark Webber “We know who deserves to be champion this year. He is young, very gifted, and has done a good job. Away from the track he is very normal. He had a normal upbringing. Good parents. He is a guy with his feet still on the ground despite being on a rocket ship the last few years. He has achieved many good things, but he also knows that nothing is forever and someone will come along some day and change things. But at the moment he is doing a very good job.”

Jenson Button “He is done better than last year. I said last year before he won the championship that I didn’t think he’d win because he made too many mistakes. But this year he has driven really well. More than his speed, he has made a lot less mistakes. He looks really confident in the car. When someone is in that form and the car is working like that, and the team does not make mistakes, it is verydifficult to beat them when you don’t have all those aspects.”

Fernando Alonso “He’s driving fantastically. This year he has made very few mistakes. The car is as quick as last year. He has finished all the races, plus he’s driving very, very well. When you have a dominant car it’s easy to get a pole position or win a race, but there’s been some occasions this year when the conditions were very tricky and he managed to pull a perfect lap in qualifying and a perfect race from the start to the end.”

Jenson Button Photo by Ramesh BayneyJerome D’Ambrosio “He has had a fantastic, amazing season. I don’t remember this since Michael Schumacher’s days in Ferrari. He is an amazing driver, very complete; he has been strong in every single race this year. It is a strong package with him and the team.”

Rubens Barrichello “I rate him very highly. It looks like it has been an easier year for him than last year, but he has done it all perfectly. Well done to him. He looks very confident and there is a lot of talent behind the steering wheel.”

Paul de Resta “He’s done what he’s done and is world champion. He had the best car and took advantage of it.”

Pastor Maldonado “He did a fantastic job, and the team. Together they have been the best. They were so quick and consistent, especially the consistency of that car – it is fast at every track. An amazing championship. In my car it would have been very difficult for him. In F1 the car is so important.”

Sebastian Buemi “He’s been winning everything that he has raced in so he’s doing a really good job, especially last year when he clinched the title in the last race. This year’s he’s had the perfect season. It’s been a wonderful season, winning nearly all the races. He’s just getting the maximum out of the car and the team. He’s done the best job of everyone.”

Fernando Alonso Photo by Ramesh BayneyKamui Kobayashi “It is car and driver. In F1 it is always the package. If one very fast driver is driving last year’s car he could not win the championship. It is very difficult to judge who is the best driver. But at the moment he is the strongest driver. He managed a really good season. He had a good winter testing and made a good car, that that is why he is where he is now. Also the team did a really great job.”

Jaime Alguersuari “A fantastic season. He is a great driver. A great car. No mistakes. He deserves to win.”

Nico Rosberg “Good driver and deserves to win.”

Lewis Hamilton “He has been exceptional this year. He has driven very well. He has been massively consistent and in control. His persona and attitude have been very professional. Even the two small mistakes he made were not very costly. I take my hat off to him – he has done fantastic. We get on fine. He is a very relaxed guy. He has won a lot this year and is in a happy place in his life. He is a real pleasant guy to be around. We don’t meet up or do anything like that, not many of us drivers do that, it has a lot to with how competitive we are. I asked him if he plays golf because I’d happily gone and played golf with him. I don’t know what else he does. Maybe we will meet up on the autobahn or something in the same cars and then we will see how it goes!”

Sergio Perez “He’s really a complete driver, and he deserves to win the championship this year.”

Lewis Hamilton Photo by Ramesh BayneyJarno Trulli “He has been outstanding because although he has been driving the best car he has been handling it very well. You just know that he has made a step from last year. Obviously he has the best car, which has made his season easier. But he has been handling it very well and totally deserves the championship.”

Adrian Sutil “Overall a perfect season.”

Heikki Kovalainen “You have to rate him very high. He has not made any mistakes. He has taken second or third when he could not get the victory. And when he has had the opportunity to win he has always taken it. He has got everything out of the car, especially in qualifying. He is has been very consistent. He has done a great job and the team has done a great job.”

Bruno Senna “He is a benchmark, a great driver. Sebastian has always been very quick and with the experience he is gathering and the confidence he has now, he making very few mistakes which is great because he can basically take every opportunity and make the most of it.”

Felipe Massa “It was a very good season. When you look and see the worst result was fourth and he never stopped in any race, the closest comparison is Michael Schumacher
in 2002 and 2004.”

Tonio Liuzzi “He showed that he is much more mature than last year. He is winning strongly because he and the car are working well together. The car is amazing but this year he didn’t make mistakes, to they deserve the championship.”

Timo Glock “Nearly a perfect season for him. He got the most out of it, very consistent, no mistakes. Compared to last year which was not really smooth season for him, but now he learned from that and got it right every weekend. It is really impressive. The team is doing a great job for him and everything went very positive for him.”

Michael Schumacher Photo by Ramesh BayneyVitaly Petrov “Last year he made some small mistakes but this year he did zero mistakes. Sometimes he risks too much. At Monza he went out on the grass and tried to pass Alonso. Anyway he did a brilliant year, no mistakes, qualifying in front of his teammate; there are no bad things that you can say about him.”

Daniel Ricciardo “He is a very good role model. It has helped us Red Bull Junior drivers realize that it is possible to come to F1, get supported, and win a world championship. They are going to give us the same opportunities if we have the same results. So I just have to push and hope to see myself in his boots some day. He is very mature. His best quality is that in pressure situations he handles it well. In qualifying and races he doesn’t crack. He is very strong in the head, and this is the quality you need to be champion. I hope I have this. For now he is someone I can look up to and try to beat some day.”

Michael Schumacher “We have known each other for a very long time, starting from his go kart days. I am very proud to see him performing as he has. He has represented our country in the years I have not been present. And now I look forward to fighting with him in the future. It is not possible to quantify [how much better has he driven better this year] because each year is individual. He certainly maximized his opportunities. He did that last year, and he did it this year. If you take a race like Monza, he did not need to win that race but still he had the will to do so, and that is what makes him champion. You have to fight for it, and he is open for fights.”

* * * * * * *

1979 World ChampAlan Jones, circa 1980. Photo by LAT Photographicion Alan Jones “Last year he was very quick and he brought a lot of lessons into this year that has helped him even more. He has matured as a person and that has showed in his driving. He is not making anywhere near the mistakes he made last year.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner “Seb has had an unbelievable year. He has been operating at such a high level this year. It has been fantastic to witness him evolve to the level he is currently delivering at. There is still more to come from him as he gains more experience and continues to grow as a driver.”

Former F1 driver John Watson “The way he attacked Alonso in the early laps at Monza, that was outstanding a true indication of the world champion who is still prepared to fight even if he had a huge points advantage. That is just magic, a real true champion. That is what racing drivers should do, not consolidation, hanging back, gathering points.”

Team owner Peter Sauber “He sits in the best car, but he clearly shows what abilities he has. It is very important to have talent, physical and mental strength, technical understanding. He has a positive aura which not all drivers have. And he is clever.”

Former technical director Gary Anderson “This year he came back with his confidence multiplied by 10. He came back very strong and surprised Webber dramatically. Suddenly Sebastian was the new boy in town.”

Sir Jackie Stewart Photo by LAT Photographic1969, 77 & 73 world champion Jackie Stewart “He is the best example of a 24-year-old with fantastic mind management as well as superb skill. He drives the car in a very sympathetic way. He is smooth. He does not make the car work too hard. At this stage in his life he is doing a remarkable job.”

Former F1 driver David Coulthard “He has just taken what was already a very high level of performance and taken away the rough edges. He has pretty much been flawless.”

Team Lotus CEO Riad Asmat “He has done a fantastic job again. It is also the team that has done their part.”

Renault owner Gerard Lopez “They have the best car and they have somebody who can use it to the maximum, so he deserves to be where he is.”

David Coulthard Photo by LAT PhotographicTechnical director Sam Michael “He’s done a fantastic job for the second year in a row. It’s not the races when Red Bull are dominant; it’s the ones when they are not that show that he’s really something special. He’s won races when perhaps maybe they shouldn’t have won”

Vice president Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Norbert Haug “Sebastian is certainly a very special guy, a very talented guy. He’s a very focused, very intelligent guy, very demanding guy, and an absolutely nice chap. We absolutely have to take our hats off to him.”

Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey “He is a very bright young lad who thinks a lot about what he does. Takes a lot of time to try and understand the car, understand his own performance. He has a good feeling for the car and the tires. He’s very gifted naturally but he works hard at it and that is always the hallmark of a great driver.”

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