F1: Half Way There
John Surtees, former British Grand Prix driver and 1964 Drivers Champion was once quoted saying, “If he can’t do it with Ferrari, well, he can’t do it.”
This might have been true back then in the 50s, 60s as well, and 70s while we’re at it, and noughties I suppose thanks to Herr Schumacher. But now in this rather tricky to name decade we’re faced with a new prophecy, “If Vettel can’t do it, then no one can.”
When Vettel first appeared on the scene in 2007, racing for BMW Sauber, Germans hailed him as being the next Michael Schumacher. I didn’t believe it, but then again I didn’t believe Lewis Hamilton could score someone as tall as Nicole Scherzinger.
First in the drivers championship log Vettel is a staggering 80 points in the lead of team mate and runner up, Mark Webber. We know from experience that the only people who really enjoyed Michael Schumacher’s fabled Ferrari whitewashing of the past were Ferrari fans, so hopefully we won’t get too bored too quickly again with this newest young prodigy.
Fernando Alonso helped break this Red Bull trend, a little, by splashing a bit more colour on the podium with his win at this last British Grand Prix. Mark Webber also posed a delightful threat to his team mate and maintains that he pushed Vettel the hardest he could right up to the finish line.
“The team radioed me about four times, asking that I maintain the gap to Seb, But I wasn’t happy with that because you should never give up in Formula 1, so I continued to push. If Fernando had retired on the last lap, we would have been battling for the lead,” said Mark.
It’s wonderful to hear this fighting spirit in the Aussie who has yet to win a Drivers Championship, but is due one very soon. Look at the stats, Vettel has done a sterling job of qualifying in the top two positions of the grid and, majority of the time, has kept those positions.
Webber on the other hand hasn’t won a race yet, but watching him eat up the field at the Chinese Grand Prix (starting in P18 and finishing third) makes for a far more entertaining watch than boy wonder keeping his tyres warm up front.
So we’re nine races down and ten left. As Ferrari’s Filipe Massa wrote on the Ferrari website, “My experience in 2008 and Kimi’s in 2007 shows that anything can happen. [Although] Realistically, Sebastian Vettel would need to do a really crazy job to lose the title. But we cannot give up and this situation changes nothing in our approach, because a victory is already a very nice thing to have and some wins this year would show we have done a good job.”
You’re right Massa, victory would be quite pleasant, so please give the German some stick?