Vettel can match Schumacher, says Berger

Gerhard Berger, the former grand prix driver who is the co-owner of the Toro Rosso team that celebrated their first victory at Monza on Sunday, says he has no doubt that Sebastian Vettel can follow in the footsteps of illustrious fellow German Michael Schumacher and become a multiple world champion.

Vettel surprised everyone by taking pole position for the Italian Grand Prix, and then going on to dominate a race in which the championship contenders Robert Kubica, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton could finish only third, sixth and seventh respectively.

Berger won this same race for Ferrari 20 years ago to the week. That day, only seven after the legendary team founder Enzo Ferrari had died, Ayrton Senna tripped over backmarker Jean-Louis Schelsser and thereby McLaren failed to make a clean sweep of the season's 16 races. Berger, who later partnered Senna at McLaren, says he believes Vettel has similar qualities to the Brazilian, whom many still rate as the best driver ever seen in Formula One.

"Sebastian proved today he can win races," Berger said to autosport.com. "But he is going to win world championships. He is very good."

Berger won his own first grand prix with Benetton-BMW in Mexico in 1986, and went on to win races for Ferrari, McLaren and Benetton again on his return to that fold. Later, when he had retired as a driver, he experienced victory as part of the Williams-BMW team. But he said that winning as a team owner was an entirely new experience. "It's an unbelievable feeling," he said. "We've been extremely lucky to have the support of Red Bull for the basics of the car – it helps a lot. We have been building a nice little team."

The team manager Franz Tost said: "This was Vettel's race weekend. From Friday onwards he controlled the pace and the situation and today, from start to finish, he drove a fantastic race without any mistakes under very difficult circumstances.

"The team, under the direction of Giorgio Ascanell, also did a fantastically good job in terms of being prepared for the race and in how it executed the strategy and pit stops, and we can all be proud of what we have achieved. It was great to get this result here in Monza in our home grand prix and I am particularly happy for Gerhard, who has waited 20 years to get back on the Monza podium as a winner."

The veteran German motor sports writer Achim Schlang also predicts a big future for Vettel. "With Michael, he could speak well one-to-one, but the moment he tried to talk in public it was like the Russian chancellor. Sebastian is like a man who has been coached by a Hollywood producer. He is so lucid and so sharing with his emotions, that he is a breath of fresh air for Formula One. I think we will be hearing a lot more from him."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam