Sebastian Vettel’s first regular teammate is predicting an era of dominance for the new back to back world champion.
It is often forgotten that amid Sebastien Bourdais’ ill-fated switch to F1 from superiority in American open wheel racing three years ago, he was paired with the then rookie Vettel at Toro Rosso.
“People groan about the days of Schumacher’s dominance,” the Frenchman told Germany’s Auto Bild, “but I say that the Vettel era could be worse.”
32-year-old Bourdais, now an Indy and sports car driver, recalled of 2008: “In the first third of the season we were equally strong.
“Then we got the new car and Toro Rosso did not have the capacity to develop it specifically for one driver.
“But what Sebastian can do, even with an extremely fast car that is difficult to control, is simply drive around problems.
“His car control is exceptional, and it really stands out if the car or the conditions are difficult.”
Bourdais said Vettel, then 21, stood out in another area.
“We both had problems with our crew, with the mechanics speaking little English. For me it was worse because I had a family at home and couldn’t spend my little bit of spare time learning Italian.
“Sebastian invested more time and energy and therefore could communicate better with the team,” added Bourdais.