Vettel takes stock of main title challengers

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel wary of his world championship rivals

Feb.24 (GMM) Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel has singled out two leading challengers to his F1 title, and mentioned two more rivals that could spring a surprise.

Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on November 13, 2010 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Sebastian reckons Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso will be tough competitors in 2011

“Alonso for sure, and Hamilton is without question one of the best drivers,” the German told Sport Bild during an interview.

But Vettel has also warned rivals and pundits against writing off 2006 Ferrari teammates Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher.

“He (Massa) didn’t have a good season but no one should underestimate him; it’s not so long ago that he was really strong,” said the 23-year-old, referring to Massa’s title challenge of 2008.

And Vettel said the same logic also applies to Schumacher who returned to F1 last year after layoff but has yet to ignite the scene in the fashion he did when racking up seven world titles.

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP and Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP unveil the Mercedes GP MGP W02. Formula One Testing, Day 1, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 1 February 2011.

Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher not to be underestimated

“I think neither of them have forgotten how to drive,” he said. “Schumacher’s history is too great to write him off, and Nico Rosberg has also showed us his strength,” he added.

Vettel also said Jenson Button has unique skills that kept him in last year’s title race, and admitted that his own Red Bull teammate Mark Webber is similarly a threat.

“If our car is good enough, he (Webber) will get involved again.”

On Webber, Vettel said he and the Australian have cleared the air since their 2010 clashes, but admitted that the pair are “not necessarily on the same wavelength”.

  • nemo

    Vettel only has to worry about Ferrari/Mclaren. He doesnt have to worry about Webber, as the team is 100% behind Seb