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Coulthard: Vettel could be best ever – but he won't dominate

“It's hugely impressive. Remember, too, that Michael was driving in an era when the races all-but ended after 40 laps. By that, I mean if you were leading after the last pit-stop, you were almost assured of victory since track position was king.

“With these new regulations, races go down to the wire. Tyre management, making the right calls as the race unfolds, communication with your team, overtaking, raw pace – all are crucial to the modern-day driver, and at the moment, Seb is coming up with the goods.

“There were so many good performances on Sunday. Mark's pass on Fernando going down the hill to Eau Rouge was one of the bravest I have ever seen. Jenson's drive from 13th to third was beautiful – and there was Michael's drive from last to fifth on the 20th anniversary of his debut. Of course he, like Jenson, profited from the safety car but he paced himself well and used his tyres judiciously. I wonder whether it has taken Michael this long to get used to the fact that it is not a sprint formula anymore. It is about brain as well as brawn.

“Lewis Hamilton, a man with pace to burn, is still coming to terms with that fact. He has everything in his armoury, but for whatever reason the clarity of thought is not quite there at the moment. Actually, I didn't agree with Lewis' assessment that his collision with Kamui Kobayashi was '100 per cent' his fault, but there have been too many incidents this year. He needs to improve that area of his game, because Seb is setting the bar very high right now.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.07.2011- David Coulthard (GBR)
09.04.2011- David Coulthard (GBR)
21.05.2011- David Coulthard (GBR)
25.03.2011- Friday Practice 2, David Coulthard (GBR)
29.05.2011- Celebration, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director  and David Coulthard (GBR)
28.08.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner
28.08.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
27.08.2011- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
27.08.2011- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 pole position
27.08.2011- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
26.08.2011- Friday Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
26.08.2011- Friday Practice 1, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
26.08.2011- Friday Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
25.08.2011- Press conference, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02 and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
25.08.2011- Press conference, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
Sebastian Vettel, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, ROC [Credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after winning the 2017 Race of Champions title in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]

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Jeff 67 - Unregistered

August 31, 2011 2:26 PM

100% agree with Coulthard, even though I loathe the 'one finger salute' and aren't particularly Vettel's biggest fan. I can, hover, appreciate his talent. What he has achieved in his short career is remarkable. People say he has won one championship in the best car, whoop-dee-do but he's on his way to a second and he's only been around for 3 years. What more do you want from him? And why did he end up in a top team in the first place? Probably because he's very very good and F1 insiders with access to his telementary are astounded by his ability in the cockpit. To consistently beat Webber, a man that has destroyed the F1 careers of almost all previous F1 team-mates is massively impressive. Helmut Marko, Red Bull's driver advisor, says this year will be telling for Torro Rosso's drivers because it takes three years to develop into a proper F1 driver. But look what Vettel's achieved in three years. It's easy to bemoan the mistakes he's made, but they've been few and far between this

nightsoil - Unregistered

August 31, 2011 1:31 PM

Before some go on to bash Vettel and/or DC, let's just highlight the operative word 'COULD'. In effect, Alonso could, Hamilton could, B. Senna could. I agree with DC, though, that Vettel has improved considerably. Post-Spa 2010 to now, it's been a great year for him. He's certainly got a lot to learn still, but if he continues to practice what he preaches in pc's and interviews, he can continue this impressive run.

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