Soon-to-be four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is even better than the man many call the greatest driver in F1 history, Ayrton Senna, according to F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.
As the teams prepare for this weekend's Indian Grand Prix, where Vettel is very likely to wrap up the championship with three races to go, some figures have already begun placing Vettel in the list of all-time great drivers.
His team boss at Toro Rosso, former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger, believes the 26-year-old German is now the best driver on the grid today.
"I have always put Vettel behind Alonso," he told APA news agency, "but I think at the moment Alonso is focused too much on himself, becoming unstable.
"So while he is occupied with himself, Vettel gets one title after the next," added the Austrian.
"I think Vettel is clearly the best driver in Formula One now."
Indeed another man in the running for the title of greatest all-time driver is seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, and he too believes Alonso's attitude has done him now favours this season.
"He put himself on a path of stones," the seven time world champion told Bild newspaper, without elaborating.
"Things have happened that were not constructive," the former Ferrari driver added, still referring to Alonso.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner used the comparison between Vettel and his team-mate Mark Webber to prove how good the German is.
"Mark Webber is a very good driver," he is quoted by Spox.
"Before Vettel came into the team, his (Webber's) reputation was as a future champion. But this year in qualifying, Sebastian Vettel has beaten Mark 14 times and won nine times.
"If it was all about the car, we would be first and second in the drivers' championship, but we are not," Horner insisted.
"For me, he is now on par with Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher," Horner added.
But the biggest praise came from Ecclestone who has formed a good relationship with Vettel over the last few years.
"People don't know how many titles Senna would have won," he told Bloomberg, "but Vettel is probably the best we've had."
Ecclestone admitted Vettel's dominance has hurt TV ratings slightly.
"People complain about him winning everything," he said, "but the racing is good.
"It's a bit like with Roger Federer or Muhammad Ali," he explained. "Vettel is the best there is and people want to be there when he gets beat."
Indeed Vettel's popularity has waned so much that some fans are booing the German on the podium but Schumacher believes that is more the fault of Red Bull than his fellow countryman.
"If you win with a traditional team, a brand full of emotion and history, that is the ultimate.
"And that would certainly change one or two things in his (Vettel's) situation," said the great German.
"Whether he would have had the same successes with Ferrari," Schumacher acknowledged, "is a different sheet of paper."
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