Sterling Moss backs Sebastian Vettel to retain Formula One title

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The Independent Online

Sir Stirling Moss believes the combination of Sebastian Vettel and Adrian Newey will leave the rest of the Formula One field with no chance this season.

Moss witnessed Sunday's dominant display in Australia as reigning world champion Vettel drove another Newey-designed Red Bull to an easy 22-second victory in the season-opening grand prix.

Incorporating the end of last season, Vettel has now won the past three races and four of the past five, and is clearly again the man to beat this year.

Asked as to who his money is on for the championship, legendary racer Moss said: "It has to be Vettel, of course it does.

"Vettel is to driving what Adrian is to designing cars. He seems to have exceptional ability, and when you put the two together, who else has a chance?"

Moss was speaking yesterday at the Segrave Trophy Awards lunch held at the Royal Automobile Club in London where Newey collected the honour for 2010.

Commemorating the life of Sir Henry Segrave, the trophy is awarded to a British subject with the 'spirit of adventure' for the most outstanding demonstration of transportation by land, air or water.

Newey received the award for being the only Formula One designer to have designed championship-winning cars with three different teams, Williams, McLaren and Red Bull.

With the list of winners reading like a who's who of British greats from Newey's hero in Donald Campbell, to Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Lewis Hamilton, the 52-year-old felt humbled.

"To receive such an illustrious and distinguished trophy like this, it almost sends shivers down my spine when I look at the names who have received it in the past, the history of it," said Newey.

"I've tremendously enjoyed my career, and been privileged to work with some great people.

"I can honestly say I've just about enjoyed every single working day of it. Everything else has been a bonus."

Hill, whose 1996 title-winning car was designed by Newey, described him as "a genius".

Hill added: "Adrian's recognition is truly meaningful because he has been a key player in Formula One since he arrived.

"His particular talent has been understanding how the air can be used around the car to improve the efficiency and downforce.

"He is also brilliant at getting the most out of the teams he works with and focusing on producing a really great car.

"As well as that, he has this imaginative, inventive ability to see around regulations and where there can be gains."