The reigning world champion has so far won all races but one in 2011 – and that was because of a strategy mistake from his team – and is widely regarded as the top contender for the title, by far. The prospect of him killing the competition before the second half of the season was put into words by multiple world champion Niki Lauda, who said after the Turkish Grand Prix: “If he keeps it up like this, the season will be over at half distance.”
Following several such comments that appeared in the media following Vettel's easy win at Istanbul, McLaren's Jenson Button told the media to stop exaggerating when evaluating the German's chances of defending his title as almost certain.
“What's the point in saying that?” he burst, according to the GMM news agency. “We might as well fu**ing go home. I mean, come on guys, let's not make it too negative,” he added.
After 4 rounds in the 2011 F1 series, Vettel is 7 points short of perfection, leading the overall classification by 34 points from next placed Lewis Hamilton. Asked about the prospect of having to fight only for second place this season, the British driver responded.
“I don't have a fear that will happen, but it is possible,” he said. “But it is also possible we could catch up and overtake them.” He did however admit that what is being showcased by Vettel in the 2011 season is “very similar to when Schumacher was dominating”.