If Sebastian Vettel hangs on to the drivers’ world championship trophy at the end of 2012, he will be only the third driver in the sport’s history with a title hat-trick.
Eight drivers have won three or more championships in total, but only Michael Schumacher (2000-2004) and Juan Manuel Fangio (1954-1957) won more than two on the trot. Names including Prost, Lauda, Senna and Alonso all failed.
“My guess is that he really can do it again,” Bernie Ecclestone told F1’s official website. “What points against it? I think anything else would be the surprise.”
So what does the 24-year-old German think about the chances of a treble?
“That only two or three had done it before, I was not aware,” he is quoted by SID news agency. “All good things come in threes. Of course it would be great, but there’s a long way to go and we stay patient and keep the feet on the floor.”
The 2012 field, however, appears closer than in 2011, and the Red Bull perhaps not as dominant.
“To say that everything is perfect would be a lie, because we have some problems to solve,” admitted Vettel ahead of the 2012 season opener in Australia. It will only be possible to make a true assessment of our performance and the performance of the others this weekend.”