Vettel is the pick of F1 pack, admits Schumacher

German tips compatriot to win this weekend after bad luck in season's first two races

Impressive but unlucky so far this season, Sebastian Vettel is the man to watch out for this weekend. That's the view of Michael Schumacher, who believes his compatriot should have already won two races this season.

"If you ask me about a rival who stands out, it is him," Schumacher said. "If you look at the car he has and the way he's driving, he is the driver who's going to be the biggest threat. Of course he didn't have luck in the first two races. But if it went right, he would have won both."

Vettel lost the Bahrain GP because of a faulty spark plug, and the Australian race because of a suspected wheel fixing problem, both times after leading from pole position. But he said yesterday that he has no worries about his Red Bull's reliability and was more worried about a new clarification on the rules governing siting of the rear-view mirrors. "We are much more concerned that from the next race, in China, we'll all have to run the mirrors inboard and our car is losing quite some performance due to that," Vettel said. "But reliability, no problems."

"He's in a strange situation," Jenson Button, who expects McLaren to be competing for victory this weekend, said of his rival. "He will be disappointed that his car isn't reliable, because taking pole position and leading races is a great feeling until the car breaks. In the last two races the Red Bull has had an advantage over the Ferrari, which has an advantage over us, in qualifying. But as we showed in Australia, our race pace is pretty close.

"It's really given the people at the factory a push, winning there, and that makes it very special for us. If we can keep nibbling away at that advantage that Red Bull and Ferrari have, then we are going to be on them pretty quickly."

Button won last year's rain-spoiled race after a monsoon began before half-distance. This year the race will start an hour earlier to try to avoid the wettest time of the day. As very heavy rain fell at twenty minutes past five here last night, Button added: "This feels exactly like the weather we had in 2009! That was pretty horrendous, but if it rains at the same stage this year we will have covered 75 per cent of the race. If we'd done that last year I would have earned 10 instead of five points and it would have made my life much easier!"

Button, in common with team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Vettel and Fernando Alonso, said that their cars were undriveable in torrential rain. "The boys told me to come round to the pits and stop last year," the world champion said. "But even at 10 mph my car was sliding around so much that I told them I couldn't be sure of making it."

All of the drivers would rather have a dry race, notwithstanding the fact that the shower before the start in Melbourne made the race far more interesting than the season opener in Bahrain. But Button said that he did not agree with Alonso's suggestion that there has not been any overtaking in Formula One for the last twenty years and that people seeking it should look elsewhere for their thrills.

"I agree with Fernando when he says that we are driving missiles and that much of F1's charm lies in that," Button said, "but I disagree with his comment that there hasn't been any overtaking. I think there was quite a lot last year, and in Melbourne.

"This is a track here on which you can overtake, because you can race and fight it out. The circuit flows nicely, and there are two nice long straights and a couple of slow corners leading on to them, which is what you want.

"If you have overtaking on every corner it would be boring, but as it is when you see a move in F1 you respect it because you know how difficult it is."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future