Sebastian Vettel is only on the cusp of securing an ultra-rare on-the-trot hat-trick of F1 titles because of his superior Red Bull car, according to Lewis Hamilton, who hinted he rates the talents of the German’s 2012 championship rival Fernando Alonso more highly.
“For me, Fernando is more accurate,” McLaren driver Hamilton is quoted by British newspapers in Abu Dhabi. “He (Alonso) hits all the apexes. He (Vettel) goes off and he still goes quickest. And I think holy sh*t, I couldn’t do that lap even if I was on the limit.
“His car is just that far ahead of everyone else’s,” said Hamilton.
Indeed, the big step forwards made by Red Bull recently has many figures in the F1 paddock scratching their heads.
“They’ve done something,” Hamilton insisted. “The car doesn’t look any different but all of a sudden there’s a gap. I have my own opinion and I know how it is but that just confirms it when you miss all those corners. But you still have to do a job with it and he does.”
Without specifically naming Red Bull, McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh hinted that the energy drink owned team is happier than some other top teams to skirt close to the legal limits.
“It’s the old Benetton effect, isn’t it?” he is quoted by the Guardian. “I’m trying to avoid (mentioning) the obvious one today, (but) Benetton was a brand that enjoyed controversy for their particular consumer,” said Whitmarsh.
“There are teams that appear to have racier interpretations on regulations and resource restrictions.”
Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi admitted he expects Vettel to cruise to the 2012 title now.
“When you see it from inside the car, it’s unbelievable,” he is quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace. “If it continues like this, I think Sebastian will win easily,” said the Japanese.