Vettel a cut above all others in world of racing

Crosby vs. Ovechkin, Kobe vs. LeBron, Federer vs. Nadal and Messi vs. Ronaldo.
The debate between sports fans over who the best athlete is in their given sport is usually a discussion that becomes both very spirited and endlessly debated.
Probably the hardest sport to determine who the best in the world is might be auto racing, as you have multiple forms of racing and different disciplines to bring into the discussion.
You often hear those involved with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the most popular form of racing in North America, say that they have the 43 best drivers in the world, though that line might be debated when the inevitable carnage fest occurs during the final 25 laps or so of most events.
The standard bearer in that series right now is Jimmie Johnson, who has amassed 54 career victories since making his debut in 2001 and has won the last five championships.
While Johnson is the top of the heap right now in NASCAR, and also has the best crew chief in the business in Chad Knaus on his Hendrick Motorsports team, the five-time champion doesn’t really have that killer instinct driving skill that makes most fans stand up and take notice, as Johnson instead has a methodical approach about how he goes about his work.
The most talented driver on a pure skill level might in fact be Kyle Busch, who is also the most hated driver in the sport, mainly due to his brash attitude and the fact that he punted fan-favourite Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a late race battle for the lead back in 2008.
That same season was when Busch, 26, was at arguable at his best, as he won eight races and was a legitimate threat to win every time out during the first 26 races of the season.
However, Busch’s season came to a dramatic collapse during the final ten races, and since that time, while Busch is still winning, he is nowhere near as dominant or polarizing as he was during that season.
While both are good drivers, they personally come nowhere close to the man that I have as the best driver in the world.
And since he is European-based and runs strictly in an open-wheel series, that rules out anyone from North America (such as three-time Indy Car champion Dario Franchitti) or the top motorcycle and rally drivers from across the pond.
In my opinion, there is no debate over who the best driver in the world is at the moment, and to me, the answer is perfectly clear.
It’s current Formula One points leader and defending World Drivers‘ Champion, Sebastian Vettel of Germany.
After four completely unpredictable seasons in world’s most popular racing series, the 24-year-old Vettel is making an utter mockery of the competition this season, which includes four other former world champions.
Following last Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Vettel has won a career best six of the 11 races run this season, sat on the pole eight times, and has a mammoth 85 point lead over Red Bull Racing teammate Mark Webber with eight races left to run in the campaign.
That type of dominance in Formula One hasn’t been seen since the glory days of seven-time world champion, and fellow countryman, Michael Schumacher, who along with Ferrari, dominated Grand Prix racing during the early 2000s.
But while Schumacher had close title fights in that era with a number of drivers, there seems to be no one on the grid this season that is coming within striking distance of Vettel.
As was the case during Schumacher’s dominance, there are those that say that the only reason Vettel is as good as he is comes from the fact that he’s driving the best car at the moment, giving him that much more of an advantage.
However, a true measure of Vettel’s talent can be found during his first full season of Formula One in 2008, when he drove for the lowly Scuderia Toro Rosso team and won his first career race on a rainy track in Monza, Italy.
Following that season, Vettel moved over to Red Bull Racing, while STR has run nowhere near close to the podium as they did when the German drove for them, which shows just how good a driver Vettel is.
With one world driving title under his belt, and a second seemingly on the way, the discussion may begin to start turning to where Vettel will rank among the all-time greats.
Although he is nowhere close to the levels of Schumacher as of yet, or even the late great talents of Ayrton Senna, Vettel is quickly starting to become the most talented driver of his generation and is already the standard bearer by which other competitors are measured against.
And as a racing fan, it truly is a pleasure to watch.

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