This is how Vettel lost his talent in a Formula 1 car claims media voice and a champion of Lewis Hamilton, the Australian Peter Windsor was once a manager at Williams, and now as a reporter, says that Vettel is only average, especially in comparison to Hamilton.
With four world F1 championship titles, 53 victories and now a reputation as an activist, Vettel is preparing for his appearance with Mick Schumacher at the Race of Champions.
But Windsor was quoted as saying that Vettel never drove in the same class as seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel dominated in the Red Bull
Yet his career seems similarly spectacular. The driver from Heppenheim took his first victory in his first full F1 season in 2008 in the inferior Toro Tosso. From 2010 to 2013, he dominated the field at Red Bull.
It was only at Ferrari that his career came to a standstill. Due to technical defects and political squabbles, he lost to Hamilton in head-to-head duels in 2017 and 2018.
Even then, rumours arose that Vettel could only show his special skills with the throttle and braking foot in the Red Bull with a V8 engine. Without a tail sticking to the road, on the other hand, he had gone from being extraordinary to a average Formula 1 racer.
Vettel was “about as good as average”
Self proclaimed driving style expert Peter Windsor now claims this opinion again, this time in his Twitch stream, which also talks about Vettel’s special cornering technique.
“I’ve always thought that Vettel was a very reflexive, very fast, very balanced driver, who even in his test time at Sauber was nothing other than the ultimate exponent of V-shaped cornering.”
In other words Vettel drove the corner very pointedly, braked extremely late and accelerated super early.
But the reporter also admits: “When he couldn’t do that because of the geography of the corner, he was about as good as average, but when he could do it in a certain kind of corner, he was brilliant.”
“He shone at Red Bull when he had the blown diffuser and with it the incredible grip in the rear. When that went away in his last year at Red Bull because of the regulations, he became a normal racing driver and got to deal with Daniel Ricciardo.”
“Would never have put Vettel in the same class as Lewis”
Indeed, newcomer Ricciardo went toe-to-toe with Vettel at Red Bull in 2014, even collecting all three wins, while the German came away empty-handed. Windsor therefore concludes: “I would never have put Vettel in the same class as Lewis.”
In concrete terms, the journalist says: “If he has a really good rear end on the car, I might put him on a par with Fernando Alonso – but if he has an idiosyncratic rear end and not much grip, he has a problem.”
In that case, he said, everything would even have to fit to prevent Fernando Alonso (two world championship titles) from overtaking the German.
“A bit of crosswind, a bit of oil on the track, a bit of degrading tyres,” Windsor enumerates, “Fernando will always do a better job when all the variables are in the air. Seb, on the other hand, is very focused on what he’s good at.”