AUGUST 18, 2010
Berger on Vettel: he underestimated Webber
Former BMW and Toro Rosso boss Gerhard Berger, in a mid-term assessment of the German F1 contingent for Auto Motor und Sport, believes that Sebastian Vettel is still very much a world championship contender but has underestimated Red Bull team mate Mark Webber.
Berger thinks that Vettel, 23 just a month ago, "is incredibly mature" although still making mistakes which he would put into the inexperience category, one of which is underestimating the championship-leading Australian in the sister Red Bull RB6.
Predictably perhaps, the Austrian has also been highly impressed by Nico Rosberg's showing - a 56-point advantage over team mate Michael Schumacher and a 10-2 lead in qualifying - and says, "For me, Nico's on a par with Vettel. He just needs the right car to be winning races. His set-up is normally right, he makes very few mistakes and if he was sitting in the identical car to Vettel, I wouldn't know who to put my money on."
There was also high praise for Adrian Sutil, a man who Berger admits he didn't rate at all 12 months ago, but who has transformed himself into a hugely rapid point scorer making precious few mistakes in a stronger Force India outfit.
On rookie Nico Hulkenberg, the former McLaren and Ferrari driver said: "He makes more mistakes than Vettel and Rosberg did when they began, but Sutil was the same. I think it's normal for a first year. He is almost at the level of Barrichello, and that's a compliment. Rubens is certainly the best man of the second division and with his vast experience, doesn't make mistakes."