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Murray Walker believes Vettel is an all-time great

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Commentary legend Murray Walker has said that he feels sorry for three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel as the German driver faces a backlash from the fans after dominating Formula One in recent times.

Vettel’s success has widely been attributed to the pace of the Red Bull car, although teammate Mark Webber has failed to match the form of his teammate over the past three seasons. At the Canadian, Italian and Singapore Grands Prix, Vettel was greeted with boos and jeers upon taking to the top step of the podium, but Walker believes that he deserves better.

“I feel sorry for Vettel,” Walker explained to The Times of London. “He’s not getting the credit he deserves on account that he is in the best car. The less intelligent observers say anyone could do it in that car, but Mark Webber has not and he’s very good.

“Vettel is one of the greatest of all time.”

Vettel is set to clinch his fourth world championship at next weekend’s Indian Grand Prix, requiring a top-five finish at the race to secure an unassailable lead over closest-rival Fernando Alonso.

Walker is an icon in Formula One media, having commentated on the sport for over twenty-five years before retiring in 2001. However, he has remained a popular figure in the paddock ever since, celebrating his ninetieth birthday last week.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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