I am an official blogger for the Autosport International Show 2014. As part of that, I’ve been tasked with writing a piece on who I think is the greatest F1 driver of our generation. That’s difficult. It’s so hard to pin down one driver who stands out above the rest – actually perhaps it’s not but several emotional reasons stop it from being easy.
If you read this blog on a regular basis, you’ll know that I’m not impartial. I’m a fan with my favourite drivers just like the rest of you. It’s for that reason I wish this article could be about Mark Webber. Obviously, it’s not going to be though.
It’s going to be about his team mate. Four-time World Champion, Sebastian Vettel.
Possibly an unpopular decision but not one I make lightly. He’s a great driver and I love his off-track personality. However, on track, he’s a bit of a dick. (Come on, you were thinking it.)
As a Mark Webber fan, I find it so difficult to see past incidents such as Multi-21-gate in Malaysia but when you really think about it, it’s things like this that make Vettel great. I hate to admit it but I love that feisty little German. We want the drivers to race — team orders suck — it’s only when the team mate is the lovely, charming Mark Webber that we get bothered by this.
Vettel Can Overtake
Nothing annoys me more than people saying Vettel can’t overtake. It’s as if someone said it once in 2011 and everyone jumped on that bandwagon. It became ‘fact’ without anyone ever looking at the evidence.
I’m quite defensive about this, as previous Twitter conversations have proven…
I think during that race, the Indian Grand Prix, I even argued with someone who agreed with me.
Vettel spends most of his time at the front and creates such gargantuan leads that he’s still at the front after pitting. This might be down to the sheer speed of that Red Bull but Vettel really shows what he can do when he gets shoved down the pack for whatever reason.
The 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Vettel started from the pits. By lap 20 he was already up to 10th place. By lap 34 he was in second. His pitstop put him down to fourth and he fought his way back up one place to finish the race in third. Vettel went from 21st to third. That’s a lot of overtakes and it’s not the only race where something like this has happened. (See: Brazil 2012.)
Is He an Average Driver Carried by a Good Car?
Was Schumi an average driver carried by a good car? No. Nor is Vettel.
Of course, he’s helped by the car. It’s vastly superior to anything else on the grid. But if Vettel were an average driver he’d be sharing those wins with his team mate.
He Wants to Win
Malaysia 2013 is a very obvious piece of evidence when it comes to how much Vettel wants to win. He’s not happy with anything but the best. He wants pole position, first place and that fastest lap (much to his race engineer’s dismay). He wants all the records. He wants to better Schumacher and he wants to make his Red Bull family proud. That unrelenting dedication and passion makes him great in the same way it made Ayrton Senna great.
Not only does he want to win but he still revels in every one. Someone said to me that he over-the-radio celebrations sounded fake. I don’t think so. He appreciates each and every win.
I don’t think this has anything to do with him being a good driver but it’s the reason I don’t hate him as much as I feel I should. On track, like I’ve said, he’s unrelenting. Off track, though, he’s funny and honest. I like that and I don’t think it’s an act.
Let this video forever serve as proof of Vettel’s wonderful personality.
Discuss, tell me I’m wrong. Give me your opinions.