Vettel – the new Schumacher?

Posted by topgear at 08:23 am on Sunday August 19, 2012

Once again, Sebastian Vettel made it look easy as he won yesterday’s Italian Grand Prix – his second victory at Monza and his eighth of the 2011 season. After a nervy first lap in which Fernando Alonso jumped up to take the lead from the second row, Vettel re-took first place with a ballsy manoeuvre around the outside of Curva Grande on lap five. Michael Schumacher also got away well, spending a good chunk of the race in third place, before eventually succumbing to the pacier McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Schumi finished the race in fifth, ahead of Felipe Massa and an extremely solid Jaime Alguersuari, while Paul Di Resta, Bruno Senna and Sebastien Buemi also took home some points.

So, with another win in the bag, Vettel is now a ridiculously comfortable 112 points clear at the top of the championship, meaning he feasibly can (and, let’s face it, probably will) take home his second world championship in Singapore in two weeks’ time. Know who the last man to win a world title with five races to spare was? Michael Schumacher – the guy who made the rest of the grid look like a bunch of amateurs with his dominance of the 2004 season.

Spotting the resemblance yet? Although he does spout a baffling brand of nonsense at times, Eddie Jordan could well have been on to something with his post-race theory that, in Vettel “we could be looking at someone capable of beating Michael Schumacher’s seven world titles.” Big words indeed from EJ, but why the hell not? Still aged just 24, Vettel’s already got one world championship (and 99% of the second) on his mantelpiece, a feat Schumacher didn’t manage until he was 26. By constantly outclassing teammate Mark Webber (following today’s retirement, Marko now sits fourth) he’s shown that he’s not just benefiting from a quick car and aside from the cock-up that handed victory to Jenson Button in Canada, he’s not made a mistake all year.

Sure, there’s still plenty of reasons not to like the guy – he’s robbed us of what could have otherwise been a pretty entertaining season, for one. But maybe now’s the time to say fair enough and instead have a go at everyone else for not upping their game. After all, we know for a fact that both the McLarens and one of the Ferraris are capable of beating Vettel in a straight fight – they’ve just been too busy falling over each other to get anywhere near him.

So if things stay that way, who’s to say we’re not in for a Schumacher-like era of total Vettel supremacy? Red Bull certainly aren’t about to kick him out of the motorhome and we’re pretty sure they’ve sold enough cans of fizzy drink by this point to keep paying Midas-fingered head designer Adrian Newey’s bills, so the car’s going to remain competitive.

What do you lot reckon – is Sebastian Vettel just a flash in the pan, or are we doomed to have that index finger thrust into our faces forevermore?

While you think about it, here are the full results of today’s race:

1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Jenson Button
3. Fernando Alonso
4. Lewis Hamilton
5. Michael Schumacher
6. Felipe Massa
7. Jaime Alguersuari
8. Paul Di Resta
9. Bruno Senna
10. Sebastien Buemi
11. Pastor Maldonado
12. Rubens Barrichello
13. Heikki Kovalainen
14. Jarno Trulli
15. Timo Glock
16. Daniel Ricciardo
17. Sergio Perez (DNF)
18. Kamui Kobayashi (DNF)
19. Adrian Sutil (DNF)
20. Mark Webber (DNF)
21. Jerome d’Ambrosio (DNF)
22. Vitaly Petrov (DNF)
23. Nico Rosberg (DNF)
24. Vitantonio Liuzzi (DNF)


TAGS// f1, formula one, sebastien vettel

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