I am incredibly disappointed in Sebastien Vettel. Ever since Monza ’08 when he trounced the field in a pathetically slow Toro Rosso, I had a suspicion he was going to be the finest driver on the grid within a couple of years. Sadly, like most of my sporting prognostications, I appear to be wrong.
In the midst of Hamilton-Mania I sat back and said with some confidence, ‘Vettel is the real rainmaster. Give him a McLaren and see what he can do…’ Well, now he has a car superior to the McLaren and given his prodigious speed he should be walking away with the 2010 title.
His display at Spa was fairly indicative of his form this year. A relatively poor qualifying session, average start and then over-excitement and panic as he tried to make it to the front. The great drivers are able to scythe through the field with a combination of aggression and racing nous. Vettel hasn’t displayed this skill at all in his short F1 career, unlike Lewis who has been spectacular on a number of occasions.
He now finds himself being outperformed by his teammate who, though a thoroughly decent bloke, is considered mid-field – an affliction known as Felipe-Massa-Syndrome. It will be a hammerblow should Webber win the championship and assume the unofficial number 1 status within the team, a situation which Vettel will surely find difficult to recover from.
At this stage in the season it is conceivable that Red Bull will need to back one driver over the final races. McLaren may have the same conundrum, but unlike their rivals the quicker driver in the team is leading the other and will probably continue to dominate him.
Even so, the Bulls must still be considered the favourites purely on the basis of the track design suiting their uber-downforce front-end, but Christian Horner will have a difficult conversation if he wants Vettel to yield.