Vettel is up there with Schumacher and Senna, says Massa

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Felipe Massa paid Sebastian Vettel one of the highest compliments he could by comparing the four-times world champion with a fellow Brazilian and a former team mate of his.

“I want to congratulate Sebastian, who deserves everything he has achieved so far,” said Massa after Vettel’s title-winning drive in the Indian Grand Prix.

“I am really happy for him, because he is a great driver and a very nice guy.”

“From today, his name will sit alongside the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One, such as [Ayrton] Senna, [Michael] Schumacher and few others.”

Vettel has won ten of the sixteen races so far this year. More of his rivals added their praise following his latest triumph.

“Massive congratulations to Seb on becoming four-time world champion,” said Lewis Hamilton. “That’s an awesome achievement and he’s put in some incredible performances this season. I really hope we get to take the fight to him next year.”

Hamilton’s team mate Nico Rosberg added Vettel’s title was “well deserved”.

Jenson Button, the last driver to win the world championship before Vettel, added his “big congratulations to Sebastian”.

“He’s shown over the past few years that he’s a truly great champion. He’s had a great season, what he’s achieved is incredible.”

Leclerc: No. 16 was third-choice for Formula 1 career

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2018 Formula 1 rookie Charles Leclerc has revealed No. 16 was his third-choice number to use through his grand prix career, with his preferred options having already been taken.

From 2014, drivers were given the chance to pick a number to use through their F1 careers instead of being assigned one depending on their team’s championship position.

Formula 2 champion and Ferrari junior Leclerc was announced in an Alfa Romeo Sauber race seat for 2018 earlier this month, picking No. 16 as his permanent number.

However, the Monegasque racer revealed last week that it was in fact his third choice, with both No. 7 and No. 10 already being taken by Kimi Raikkonen and Pierre Gasly respectively.

“It’s quite simple to be honest: I wanted number 7 first, but Kimi had it,” Leclerc said, as quoted by Crash.net.

“Then I chose 10, but Pierre came to F1 and chose number 10, so then I chose number 16.

“It’s just my date of birth and I could not find anything better. And 1 + 6 = 7, which is my favorite number.”

Leclerc will become the first driver hailing from Monaco to race in F1 since Olivier Beretta, who made nine grand prix starts in 1994 for Larrousse.