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Alonso: Vettel has 'remarkable qualities'

As Sebastian Vettel speeds towards what looks all-but certain to be a second consecutive F1 drivers' crown this season, Ferrari star Fernando Alonso insists his Red Bull Racing rival would fully deserve it
Fernando Alonso has echoed David Coulthard in springing to the defence of Sebastian Vettel in the wake of recent criticism of the runaway F1 2011 World Championship leader, arguing that his Red Bull Racing rival is 'a great champion' with 'remarkable qualities'.

As Vettel speeds towards what looks inevitably to be a second consecutive drivers' crown this season – with a 92-point advantage in the title standings and only 175 remaining up for grabs – there are still those who claim he is only dominating in such a fashion due to the fact that he has the best car at his disposal in the shape of Adrian Newey's all-conquering Red Bull RB7. Put him in a situation where he has to fight his way through traffic, they contend, and he goes to pieces.

Former RBR ace Coulthard, however, has rejected notions that Vettel is merely 'an average racing driver', countering that the 24-year-old could just be on his way to becoming 'the best driver ever' in F1 as he 'continues to sweep all before him' [see separate story – click here]. Alonso – whose tally of two world championships the young German stands to equal this year – broadly agrees.

“I don't understand the criticism about him, that he is not a real racer,” the Ferrari star told German publication Auto Bild Motorsport. “He is a great champion about to win his second title and he has remarkable qualities, a lot of speed. Yes, he has the best car that gets a good place on the grid, but you need to be able to get the most out of it at every race and Sebastian does that very well. Even in difficult moments or when he makes a mistake, he is always fighting for the win. That is proof of his great qualities.”

The Spaniard did acknowledge, however, that Vettel would not have achieved the tremendous success that he has done in the top flight were it not for the team behind him, and specifically Red Bull's chief technical officer Newey, arguably the greatest designer in F1 history.

“They have played to the regulations better than us and the others, and this year they have a great car,” he reflected. “Adrian Newey is obviously the key person, but behind him is a strong team. Ferrari attracts drivers but also technicians, so if Newey wants to come to us, it would be a pleasure to drive his car...”

Meanwhile, the 27-time grand prix-winner conceded that he will remain at the Prancing Horse until he has lifted the laurels for the third time in his F1 career – as a minimum.

“It's very important to me,” he confessed. “I will not stop my career until I am champion with Ferrari. If it doesn't come by 2016 (the end of his current agreement with the Scuderia), then I will stay in F1 until 2021 – for 20 years like Michael [Schumacher]!”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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
27.08.2011- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 pole position
27.08.2011- Saturday Practice, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
27.08.2011- Saturday Practice, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
30.07.2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
29.07.2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
24.07.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
10.07.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia race winner and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 2nd position
10.07.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 2nd position and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia race winner
09.07.2011- Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
26.06.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
26.06.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia 2nd position
10.07.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 2nd position and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia race winner
10.07.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia race winner and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 2nd position
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
press conference with:
Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02 
Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9 
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22 
Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36 
Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes AMG F1 W05 
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10

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Bystander - Unregistered

September 07, 2011 11:26 AM

Not sure how complimenting another driver and NOT just saying it's all the car is sour grapes?!?! A driver has to make the best of the machinery he's given - and Vettel has definitely made the best of having the best car this year, whereas Webber is only just ahead of the others. Maybe his racecraft and overtaking needs to be improved - but if your car allows you to be out in front, you simply don't have cause to show these skills! Maybe in a lesser car we'd see this side more, who knows? I do think there are areas Vettel needs to develop, but I also think he has developed since last season. After Spa 10 I was sure he was going to have another 'crash kid' moment during the season but he didn't, and he hasn't yet in 11. Maybe not the finished article yet, but he's doing a great job with the car he's got. It's fair to question aspects of his driving which this season he hasn't had cause to evidence, but I find it very hard to criticise how he's performed on the whole this year.

AB - Unregistered

September 07, 2011 12:18 PM

"if Lewis was in a Red Bull he would of had the championship rapped up by now" More like if Lewis was in a Red Bull he would have put Red Bull out of business by now.



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