Lauda: Vettel is having to fight like a donkey in order to stay in touch

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing is interviewed by Niki Lauda (AUT) on the podium. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday 22 July 2012.

Sebastian Vettel is interviewed by Niki Lauda on the podium after the German GP

Aug.15 (GMM) Winning the 2012 Formula One World Championship – his third in as many years – is going to be a much tougher task for reigning title holder Sebastian Vettel as he no longer has the advantage of a superior car and the stress level is much higher than before.

Sebastian Vettel during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo Circuit on May 24, 2012 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.That is the view of F1′s legendary triple world champion Niki Lauda, who nonetheless told the Osterreich (Austria) newspaper that the 25-year-old German cannot be written off.

With half the 2012 championship now behind him, Vettel has one win compared to leader Fernando Alonso’s three, and he also trails his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber.

Told that Vettel appears less happy in 2012, Lauda said: “That’s logical.

“Last year he had a huge advantage with his car. Now, in every race, he is having to fight like a donkey in order to stay in touch. And the stress level is higher.”

Austrian legend Lauda, 63, said Webber and Ferrari‘s Alonso are not Vettel’s only problems.

Sebastian Vettel during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on July 29, 2012 in Budapest, Hungary.“All the top teams are closer together, as we saw in Budapest last time. I expect it to stay like that and I hope that Red Bull and McLaren can exploit their full potential.”

As for how Vettel shapes up against 2012 favourite Alonso, Lauda said that the Spaniard is “superior to everyone in difficult situations”.

Lauda was also asked about reports London could soon join the F1 calendar.

“I watched the Olympics from the opening to the closing ceremony,” he said, “and loved it. An Olympic Games could not have gone better.”

As for what he thinks about the idea of a London street grand prix, Lauda answered: “Not a lot.”

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  • Jody Renza

    Champions normally get to the top at the end of the season & Red Bull is still the car to beat…2nd half of the season will be even closer than the 1st half for the top 3 teams with Lotus chasing for wins.

  • Disgusted with 2012

    Even if Vettel fails to win his 3rd this season, he wins. What makes Alonso so tough under duress is his maturity, which comes with age, and the experience of more than a few disappointing results/seasons that builds perspective, plus talent. Vettel has all the talent necessary, and with tempering of a few more years will gain the wisdom and patience that only time and experience can deliver – putting him on par with the best there is – including Alanso, Schumacher in his prime, et al. . A hard fight this season is a good thing, regardless of the outcome. We’ll be seeing a lot more from this kid as his career blooms. That said, there is no reason to assume he’s out of the running, or that Alonso owns it yet.

  • Chris

    With the Season standings we can’t say that Who can win this season but Vettel and Alonso will be in Top 3 by the end of season cos they are the Fighters and this season giving Vettel what he Really needs. He needs some tight and tough competition so that he can Evolve If he Keep on winning it would only Damage him at later point
    with this season he can get much more experienced and He can be like Alonso
    But We also need to consider Sebastian Age he was only 25 now and He has a lot of career time so i was thinking he can be the Next Alonso when he reaches his prime i.e 30 years

  • f111111

    STOP beng constervesial MR lauda

  • hillside

    Seb will cry like baby just win again

  • bfhfghfhdfhfg

    If that double DRS works for Kimi and he wins Spa & Monza, he could be back in the fight for the title in a jiffy!