Sebastian Vettel says he struggles to comprehend how he’s won four world championships against the strong field Formula One has today.
Vettel singled out Fernando Alonso for praise, the Ferrari driver having finished runner-up to him in two of the last three seasons and is currently second again.
“I was watching Formula One when Fernando started to win races and now I’m racing Fernando,” said Vettel yesterday. “He’s been my toughest opponent for the last couple of years.”
“I think he’s extremely talented, very gifted behind the wheel, for sure. He’s Spanish, he’s very passionate, one way and the other.
“To race people like him, race people like Lewis [Hamilton] who I think has an amazing level of natural talent, to race people like Mark [Webber] who I rate the same way, like Nico [Rosberg] who I think is underestimated… a lot of guys, you know: Kimi [Raikkonen], Jenson [Button]- to win four titles, I don’t know, it’s just a big number you know? Four titles.”
Vettel has became the fourth driver in F1 history to claim the crown, putting him in a very select group of drivers. “To join people like that: Michael [Schumacher], [Juean Manuel] Fangio, [Alain] Prost is very difficult to put into perspective,” he said.
“I’m way too young to understand what it means. I might be sixty one day, maybe then I will understand but nobody cares any more. I care, it’s difficult to realise something that nobody can take away from you, basically.”
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.