Greater Noida, Oct 26: Legendary driver Niki Lauda is in agreement with Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone that reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel is as good as greats like Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
Ecclestone earlier this week had said that the Red Bull driver is ‘probably the best we’ve had.’
“I think Sebastian has done a great job so far, he is simply outstanding. Looking at him today, I can say yes, he is probably the best one we have had. I would put him right alongside greats like Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. I also think that he is going to become World Champion for the fourth successive year here tomorrow,” Lauda, the 1975, 1977 and 1984 champion, told IANS at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) paddock Saturday.
There was no stopping the 26-year-old Vettel for four years and he is tipped to win his third straight Indian Grand Prix race here Sunday.
Does one man dominating F 1 for so long make the sport boring as some pundits seem to think?
“Well someone is, he is good and you can only congratulate him. The others have to speed up, it is so simple, that’s all. Vettel is the best at the moment and others are not good enough,” said Lauda, currently the non-executive chairman at Mercedes.
The Austrian has recently been in the news after the release of the movie ‘Rush’ last month. The 64-year-old said he liked the movie which depicted his infamous rivalry with the late former World Champion James Hunt.
“Yes, I really liked the movie. I would say that about 80 percent of the story is real. To be honest, I never thought someone would make a movie on our rivalry. I was quite surprised when they approached me. But I am very happy to know that the reception has been unbelievable, worldwide the movie has earned $72 million and everyone seems to have liked it,” said Lauda.
Asked about the uncertain future of Formula 1 in India, the former champion said he hopes that the sport returns soon.
“I think this is bad. I hope they can sort the problems out here. It is a pity because I like the race and the country so it should come back sooner than later,” said Lauda.
The former Ferrari driver is perhaps most famous for surviving a crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix at Nurburgring when his Ferrari caught fire. He had a brush with death after inhaling hot toxic gases and suffering severe burns. However, he recovered and returned just six weeks later at the Italian Grand Prix. Scars from the injuries still remain.