A third Championship win will give Sebastian Vettel the respect and the status of a legendary driver, but does he have what it takes to take the title in 2012?
The season started with a record breaking six Championship winners and everyone knew that it was going to be an exciting year of Formula 1 racing. Vettel knew even before the season started that he will be the one with the spotlight to defend the championship and in effect the most under pressure to show that he has got enough in him to be called a true champion.
Red Bull looked confident before the season and have had a good base with the RB8 to compete against the top teams of the season. McLaren, Lotus, Mercedes and Ferrari were the teams tipped to be the strongest in the season and after six races gone by that speculation was quite right.
That many teams in competing fiercely meant that it made Vettel’s job all the more difficult. The season so far has seen six different winners of the six Grands Prix held. This means that it is still very much anyone’s title to take.
Vettel has not started the season as dominantly as he did in 2011 and that somewhat led to the outburst he had during the Malaysian Grand Prix. The weather was rainy and Vettel was struggling to get in the top five. Narain Karthikeyan was about to be lapped by the German but his slow corner turn led to a collision and ended the race out of points at 11th place.
Vettel was evidently disturbed by the incident and after the race called Karthikeyan a “cucumber”. Vettel was criticised for his comments but the German never apologised and neither men took the blame.
Vettel though improved his performance in China but still was not where he wanted to be. He finished 5th in the race which was won by Nico Rosberg who celebrated his maiden Victory. That was confirmation that Mercedes will be a strong contingent in the season.
Bahrain was where Vettel finally came to his ways of 2011 and dominantly won the Grand Prix with a little scare from Kimi Raikkonen in second.
The next race was in Spain and saw another maiden victory for Pastor Maldonado and Vettel again lost his way and finished the race placed sixth. Vettel though was comforted to know that he was still leading the board with Alonso a close second.
To remain in the lead Vettel had to finish ahead of Alonso at Monaco, but Alonso made sure that did not happen and finished just ahead of Vettel and took the lead in the season. The winner of the race was Vettel’s team mate Mark Webber the sixth winner of the season.
Although the season is still very much open but with that many winners fighting for the title Vettel is going to find it very difficult. Although this is the best opportunity for him to actually show the world that he is in fact a true winner a deserving Champion worthy and destined to be given the legendary status in Formula 1.