Toro Rosso technical director Giorgio Ascanelli has compared Sebastian Vettel to the late Ayrton Senna, insisting that the defending F1 champion is in the same league as the mercurial Brazilian.

Ascanelli worked alongside Senna for his final two seasons with McLaren prior to his ill-fated switch to Williams for the 1994 campaign, and eventually wound up at Toro Rosso, where he oversaw Vettel's maiden F1 victory at Monza in 2008.

In between, Ascanelli spent time at Ferrari, which enabled him to work alongside Michael Schumacher but he said it was Senna and Vettel who are the two men he believes are the stand out drivers.

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"I am very lucky," he told Sport Bild. "Twice in my life I have experienced perfection; once with Senna, again with Vettel. In one respect Michael was different because he had to work harder for his success than did Senna and Vettel.

"With those two it was something else."