NEW DELHI — Sebastian Vettel has the talent to surpass Michael Schumacher’s record seven Formula One titles after becoming the sport’s youngest quadruple champion, according to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.
Vettel, still only 26, chalked up his 36th career win in 117 races at the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday to seal his fourth successive crown.
“His win record is quite incredible,” Horner told reporters when asked whether Schumacher’s astonishing records, which many people thought would last down the generations when he left Ferrari in 2006, looked vulnerable.
Schumacher won 91 races, with Benetton and Ferrari, from 307 starts.
“There’s so many things in this sport that determine that. It depends on being in the right machinery as well, but from a skill point of view there’s absolutely no reason why not,” Horner added.
Vettel led from pole position on Sunday, winning in India for the third year in a row, and both Horner and Red Bull design genius Adrian Newey said the German was still improving.
“I think Sebastian has grown this year. The way he’s driven, the level at which he’s delivered, it’s been his best ever year. He’s raised the bar continually,” Horner said.
Newey, who has won titles with three different teams (Williams, McLaren and Red Bull) in his stellar career and worked with greats like four times champion Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, had no doubt that Vettel was up there with them.
Numbers alone, he said, mattered less than the manner of achieving that success. While reluctant to make comparisons, he highlighted the qualities found in all the greats.
“The great drivers that I have been lucky enough to work with, the thing they do all share in common is that they have that ability to drive and process at the same time,” he observed.