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27/06/2013

Seb wins at Silverstone? 50/50 is not off the Mark

I’m generally loathed to back Sebastian Vettel as he is a perennial bookmaker’s favourite and nobody gets rich from backing favourites. Generally a ‘horses for courses’ approach yields more value as opposed to backing a car/driver combination that is simply in form.

The problem is, the Red Bull/Sebastian Vettel alliance has been ‘in form’ since the summer of 2010.

Few outsiders would believe we have woken from that yawningly long era when F1 was dominated by two teams and, on some occasions, just one. The general consensus of those on the inside is this, the twenty-tens, is the most competitive epoch the sport has enjoyed in decades.

That sentiment makes the young German’s achievements all the more striking. Of course it’s not inconceivable that his Red Bull car is simply Superman’s cape and this particular Clark Kent boasts results which are only a reflection of its capabilities as opposed to those of the mortal at its wheel.

The only true substantiation of a driver’s ability is his results compared to his teammate. In this department Sebastian Vettel - seen here checking the latest odds - has not merely beaten his Australian garage-mate, he has massacred him.

In his defence a lesser man than Mark Webber would have avoided the embarrassment, made his excuses, and walked long ago. There is a sense of relief that his suffering is coming to an end as, sadly, he’s appearing battle fatigued, if not shell-shocked, by the futile and often unpleasant fight.

By winning at Silverstone last year he may have got a monkey off of his back but subsequent embarrassments have seen him morph into an angry silverback at a time when he should be bowing his head in deference, preparing a pitcher of warm water, and washing his teammate’s feet in a fitting biblical gesture.

Seven races down this season and Vettel has out-qualified and out-finished Webber on a ratio of seven-to-nil. Additionally in the 18 races since the 2012 British GP only twice has Webber finished ahead of the German. It is blatantly obvious Christian Horner was not awarded his OBE for running an Austrian F1 team or making a German driver a multiple world champion. It’s for his sense of humour and support of a Commonwealth subject.

Seb on Stats

Against a bigger sample, the remainder of the Formula 1 starting grid, Vettel boasts seven race wins, two seconds and two third placed finishes from his last 14 race starts. It’s been 58 races since he last retired from a race due to a collision and his three subsequent DNF’s came courtesy of a puncture, engine failure and a defunct alternator. Clearly the words misfortune and Vettel do not belong in the same sentence.

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