Sebastian Vettel still has the pace to race with a top team in Formula 1, according to ex-F1 driver Christian Klien.
And, off the back of a miserable campaign last year, Vettel has looked rejuvenated at Aston Martin, with him frequently getting the better of his team-mate and scoring the team’s maiden podium in Baku.
Vettel thought he had scored his second podium of the season after he finished P2 last time out in Hungary.
However, he was swiftly disqualified by the FIA due to his car having less than the required one-litre of fuel left in its tank after the grand prix.
Speaking about Vettel’s start to life as an Aston Martin driver, Klien said the German has capitalised on the opportunities that have cropped up so far this season.
“It was up and down for him. But when there was something to get, he did it,” Klien said in an interview with SpeedWeek.
“He feels more comfortable in the environment, you can see that he needs that to be successful again. When he sees that something is going, he delivers again.
“Maybe he can’t call it up every race weekend. But it’s also more unimpressive in the midfield.
“There you can deliver super races and you only finish tenth. It always looks brilliant up front.
“The important thing is that he has found fun again and feels in good hands. I think he still has the speed,” he added.
As for how Vettel compares to the likes of Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris, Klien said he believes he probably can’t match their single-lap pace but he can make up for it in other ways:
“Over one lap maybe not like Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris or Max Verstappen, but he does it with his experience and cleverness.”