‘Average’ Sebastian Vettel told he’s not even close to Lewis Hamilton

Sebastian Vettel retired from Formula 1 as one of the sport's most decorated drivers; however, his talent has been thrown into question.

Sebastian Vettel has been told that he isn’t in the “same class” as seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, with journalist Peter Windsor having likened the German more to double World Champion Fernando Alonso.

The four-time World Champion was an exceptional driver for the vast majority of his 15-year career at the pinnacle of motorsport, with the German having claimed his first win during his rookie campaign at a wet 2008 Italian Grand Prix.

His four consecutive World Championships from 2010-2013 whilst driving for Red Bull are part of the reason why he’ll be remembered as one of the greats; however, his career did wane after moving to Ferrari.

Vettel made several errors whilst at Ferrari and was actually an “average” driver when the car didn’t suit his style, as seen in 2014 during his final year at Red Bull.

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When the car suited him, though, Vettel was virtually unbeatable, with the 53-time race winner having stormed to several records during his dominant four-year period.

Windsor doesn’t argue with the fact that Vettel was exceptional when the car suited him; however, he believes the 35-year-old was “exposed” once the turbo-hybrid era was introduced.

“I always thought Vettel was a very reflexy, very fast, very well-balanced driver who, even in his testing for Sauber days, was nothing other than the ultimate exponent of turning the corner into a V shape,” said Windsor during a recent Twitch stream.

“And when he couldn’t do that because of the geography of the corner, he was about the same as the average [driver], but when he could do it on a particular type of corner, he was brilliant and had that ability to do it.

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“And he had that at Red Bull, when he had that amazing grip at the rear, blown diffuser and everything else. When that went away in the regulations in his last year at Red Bull, he became just an ordinary racing driver and actually struggled against Daniel Ricciardo. It was obvious then that that’s how he was exposed.”

Windsor went on to explain that when he’s performing at his best, Vettel is “up there” with Alonso, not Hamilton.

However, once something is put in Vettel’s way that is out of his control, Windsor believes that Alonso will “do a better job”.

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“I never would have put him in the same class as Lewis,” added the Australian.

“Maybe, if he’s got a really good back end on the car, I’d put him up there with Fernando [Alonso] – but if he’s got a wayward back end and not a lot of grip [he’s in trouble].

“Overall, throw a bit of crosswind at Seb, throw a bit of crosswind at Fernando, throw a bit of oil on the track, throw a bit of tyres going off – Fernando’s always going to do a better job [than Vettel] with all the variables up in the air. Seb is very locked into what he does well.”