In a YouTube video posted today by Mercedes AMG Petronas, seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher counted himself lucky not to have gone head-to-head with Sebastian Vettel this past season.
“He won all those races, 13 this year,” Schumacher says in Mercedes’ season review. “[Teammate] Mark Webber, he won none in the end…That’s pretty shocking. I mean, [I’m] glad I’m not [Vettel’s] teammate.”
Vettel cruised to his fourth consecutive world title this season, finishing out 2013 on a record-tying streak of nine consecutive victories while become the first driver ever to pull off that feat in a single season.
“I’m really happy for him and if somebody can break all these records, then I’d prefer it to be him than somebody else,” said Schumacher, who ended his career with Mercedes in 2012 after cutting his first retirement short for a three-year run with the team.
He also touched upon Mercedes’ resurgent runner-up performance in this year’s constructors’ championship, saying that everything is in place for the squad to go for an even bigger result in 2014.
For more of Schumacher’s thoughts, check out the video above.
Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 9th
Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.
Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.
Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.
Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.
Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.
Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.
Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.