Lewis Hamilton 'not in same class' as Sebastian Vettel with Brit told he was way ahead in terms of F1 talent | The Sun
SEBASTIAN VETTEL was "never in the same class" as Lewis Hamilton, according to former Williams and Ferrari team manager Peter Windsor.
Four-time world champion Vettel, 35, retired at the end of the 2022 season after 16 years in F1.
All of his title triumphs came with Red Bull as he claimed four successive championships between 2010 and 2013.
He then went on to drive for Ferrari and Aston Martin but failed to clinch a fifth crown.
Meanwhile, Hamilton has gone on to win seven world titles – a record he shares with Michael Schumacher.
The Brit, 38, who is preparing to enter his 17th season in the sport, won his first championship with McLaren and has won his other six with Mercedes.
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Both men made their debuts in the 2007 season and have enjoyed historic careers in F1.
But Windsor, who worked as a sponsorship manager at Williams and general manager of Ferrari's UK base in the 1980s, believes Vettel cannot be considered on the same level as Hamilton.
Speaking on his Twitch channel, he said: "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.
"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.
"He didn’t say at the end of that year, or during that year, ‘wow, I’m in trouble here. When I don’t have a great back end, I need to start to be able to play with it a bit more and do more with the front, get the front to work.’
"[There were] all sorts of things he could have done but he didn’t do any of that.
"He just signed off and went to Ferrari and arrived as the four-time World Champion who was greeted with a lot of money and a lot of fan adulation.
"And he never got any better, he was still the same driver. That’s the Sebastian Vettel story."
Windsor then referenced the collision between Vettel and Hamilton in 2017 where the German hit the back of the Brit after accusing him of brake testing.
Continuing to talk about Vettel, he added: "The only thing you only can add is that he’s also the guy, behind the Safety Car, who drove into Lewis Hamilton at Baku [in 2017] because he was annoyed with Lewis for driving slowly.
"He got away with that. He got away with that with a very, very small fine whereas Dan Ticktum lost his licence for a year for doing virtually the same thing. So that was disproportionate. He was very lucky to get away with that.
"I never would have put him in the same class as Lewis. 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].
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"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."
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