Monday, December 16, 2013

Sebastian Vettel is a Pretty Good Driver

With his fourth World Championship sown up well before the Formula 1 season came to a close some folks are saying 26 year old Sebastian Vettel will own every record that means anything in Formula 1 before his career is over.  They very well may be correct.  He may become the greatest and most dominant F1 driver there has ever been.  As a matter of fact, if Vegas put odds on this sort of thing, and maybe they do, I’d expect those odds to be pretty close to even. 

The record for world championships is seven, and with four, Vettel will need at least four more years to break that particular record.  Until that time, Michael Schumacher will remain the most dominant driver in F1.  He is still the holder of virtually all the records.  Five of his seven championships were won in succession.  Five.  In a row.  I can’t do anything five times in a row short of bringing a fork full of food from plate to my mouth.  Even then Vegas has the odds at 3:2.

Looking back on Schumacher’s career as a whole yields some impressive stats.  If his three year return with Mercedes isn't considered, his record looks like this.

248 Starts
91 wins
154 podiums
67 pole positions

He won more than a third of the races he started.  Sixty two percent of the time he was on the podium, which means every other race, except more than that.  If he didn't win, just wait a race or two, he’d win that one.  Or both of them.

I was fortunate enough to watch him race in person at six different United States Grands Prix.  I’m glad I did.  I've never seen Sebastian Vettel drive a race car in person.  I should work on that.