Vettel: Schumacher more dominant
10 October 2013 – Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel does not believe his recent Formula 1 dominance should be compared to the era of Michael Schumacher.
The Red Bull driver, who can secure a fourth world title in Japan if he triumphs and Fernando Alonso finishes ninth or lower, claims that although he has won the past four races, the general performance gap is less than Schumacher experienced.
"I think there was probably one race that was an exception, and that was Singapore," Vettel explained at the Suzuka circuit on Thursday. "The gap we built up, it was two seconds [a lap] quicker than the cars behind, but that depended on who was behind.
"In Korea, which is more similar to Spa, that gap was around three and six seconds for the whole race. With Schumacher, it was more like 30 seconds, which is a big difference. It is a nice cushion to have when you are three seconds down the road, but one mistake in Korea with a lock up then three seconds is nothing compared to 30."
Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton argued after the Korean Grand Prix that Vettel's dominance is damaging the sport, but he later outlined his respect for the German.
"It's very nice to hear that," said Vettel after hearing Hamilton's comments. "I get along quite well with him lately so I can only say 'thank you very much' and give it back."