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Domenicali: Vettel still not a leader

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has argued that despite his outstanding success in F1 this season and last, Sebastian Vettel is 'still not a leader' - and that only two current drivers truly are...
Stefano Domenicali has taken a swipe at runaway F1 2011 World Championship pace-setter Sebastian Vettel, claiming that the Red Bull Racing star is 'still not a leader' – albeit acknowledging that he could yet feature on Ferrari's driver shopping list for future campaigns.

Domenicali was asked by German Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag whether – as he speeds towards what looks almost certain to be a second consecutive title triumph this year – Vettel can now be considered a true team leader in F1, but the Italian revealed that he holds just two of the current grand prix grid in such high-esteem...and the young German is not one of them.

“Really, there are only two and they are Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher,” he opined, pointing moreover to 'many parallels' between the Spaniard and the most successful driver in the sport's history. “I see no others. Vettel is still not a leader. He is on the way there and he is getting close, but right now there are only two. He's not like Michael and Fernando. He is simply too young, and lacking in experience.

“Both (Schumacher and Alonso) are fighting like lions to bring their teams to the front; they take care of the details that others don't even notice. You will not hear anything bad from me [about Schumacher]. He is driving at a very high level – it is the Mercedes that is not good enough. If Michael was in a Red Bull or a Ferrari, then he probably would have won races in the last two years.”

If Schumacher is Ferrari's past, then Vettel has on occasion expressed an interest in being a part of the Scuderia's future, but team principal Domenicali is quick to stress that 'it's too early to tell' whether such a situation could ever materialise, reasoning: “It depends on many developments to occur in the next few years. Currently, we do not need a leader. At some point, we may, and so then Sebastian is a candidate. As I said, there are not many.”

The 46-year-old went on to assert that he will only be truly impressed by Red Bull Racing's recent successes in the top flight should such form be maintained, and that as of yet, Ferrari has no lessons to learn from its Milton Keynes-based rival. McLaren-Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton previously scathingly dismissed the team as merely 'a drinks company'.

“With all due respect, they have [one] title and we have 16, so if Red Bull do half of what we have done then maybe we will have a re-think,” Domenicali mused. “The question is, who has the better foundation? I don't know if what has happened at Red Bull is because of one or two good people. For us, we are currently building a new Ferrari – and then we will start a great period.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
28.08.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 3rd position
28.08.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner
28.08.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
28.08.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner
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
27.08.2011- Saturday Practice, Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Team Principal
22.07.2011- Press conference, Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Team Principal
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Team Principal and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
10.07.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia race winner, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 2nd position and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7 3rd position with Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Team Principal
Thursday, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6, Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Head of the Gestione Sportiva and Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
Friday, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 and Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Head of the Gestione Sportiva
Sauber C36 Ferrari
Sauber C36 Ferrari
Sauber C36 Ferrari
McLaren, 2011 launch, [Credit: Crash PA]
Crash.net 2017 Formula 1 Calendar

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September 05, 2011 11:43 AM

Darn those grape are sour! So what if Ferrari have 16 titles and Red Bull have 1? They still beat Ferrari last year by a long way and they look like repeating this again htis year. Basically, Ferrari are upset at being beaten by a relatively new team. Bad losers?

Calvin _

September 05, 2011 1:07 PM

I would have to agree with him. It is difficult for an F1 driver to be a leader, because by nature, they only think about themselves for most of the time. In this sense, very few F1 drivers are leaders.

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