Sebastian Vettel knows how tough a task it would be to face Max Verstappen in the same car, but remains convinced “everybody is beatable”.
The four-time World Champion retired from Formula 1 last year but has left open the possibility of a return in future, given he cannot know for certain what the future holds.
But even through Verstappen’s all-conquering form in the last two years, the German believes – with enough time and commitment – he could compete, in the hypothetical circumstance they ever end up alongside one another.
Sebastian Vettel asked about how he could match up against Max Verstappen
Vettel’s record nine-race winning streak from 2013 was beaten by Verstappen when he took his 10th victory in a row at Monza in early September, and the Dutchman is now bearing down on Vettel’s career total of 53 race victories.
He was asked about how he feels he would compete against him if the two were to be matched together in the same car, with Vettel having won all four of his titles at Red Bull from 2010 to 2013.
Vettel was pragmatic in giving his answer, but admitted that giving himself to Formula 1 again would be a “huge commitment” regardless.
“Not like that [clicks fingers], because that’s how good he is, and that’s just not how it works for any one of us,” Vettel told Channel 4 when asked how he would fare against Verstappen if he were to begin driving the same car.
“But, of course, I believe in what I can and know what I can do and maybe what I can’t do. I think I’m very different to him, but I mean, obviously, I’m convinced that everybody is beatable.
“But it is a big commitment. I know also the way I like to do the sport is a huge commitment, and if I do something, I want to do it properly.
“So I wouldn’t be able to beat him just turning up and dropping my bag in the room, getting my kit on and ‘let’s have a go’. I don’t think that’s how it works.”
Vettel was among the first to congratulate Verstappen by text after breaking his record winning streak, with Verstappen having revealed around the five-race mark that the German had messaged him to say he believed he would break that landmark of his.
While the former Red Bull and Ferrari driver knows all too well about having his own dominant period in Formula 1, he feels the achievements of Verstappen and his former team need to be appreciated.
“Max is amazing,” he said when asked about what he has enjoyed about the 2023 season so far.
“I think it’s great to watch. Obviously, it will be very, very, very, very difficult to repeat.
“I get it, it’s boring to watch if the same guy wins again, but you’ve got to be impressed by the excellence.”