As Sebastian Vettel prepares for a new season with a new team-mate his former Red Bull partner has been praising the 26-year-old.
Though the history between Mark Webber and Sebastian is strong and the relationship between the two much less so, the Australian spoke about how the German was able to prove himself not just against him but the other top drivers on the grid.
“Obviously the scorecards aren’t exactly in my favour,” Webber said in an interview for the March edition of Motor Sport magazine.
“Especially since we went to the Pirellis,” Australian Webber, 37, told journalist Nigel Roebuck. “He destroyed me on those, but I can live with that.”
The reason why Webber can ‘live with that’ is because he believes Vettel is the best driver on the grid over a single lap, even when compared to his good friend Fernando Alonso.
“I always thought Fernando was the best, and I still do — on Sundays,” he said.
“On one lap, though, I think Seb’s got him covered — and I’m taking in terms of preparation, not just pace.
“Seb’s strengths, as we know, are escaping at the start, and running in clean air — he’s like a computer, isn’t he? His only weakness was always fast corners.”
But in the slower corners Webber admitted that no-one could match his former team-mate, particularly after watching one of his most emphatic wins in 2013 back on TV.
“A couple of weeks ago I watched the Singapore race on television for the first time: he was two and a half seconds quicker than anyone, and he had Nico, Fernando, Lewis and me behind him,” he marvelled.
“It wasn’t as though he was racing a bunch of muppets! Ok, it wasn’t always like that, but at some races he was exceptional.”
What was noticeable for Webber, is the speed Vettel’s life has gone at off the track, and he believes that could lead to the German having a shorter F1 career than most.
“Do you know what?” Webber said, “I think Seb will do everything early in
“He’s got his championship titles and his results early, he’s going to have a kid early and I think he’ll retire early — he’ll probably take a blast in the red car, then sayonara.”
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