'Free rein' for Vettel in 2012
THE BEANIE TO BEAT: Sebastian Vettel is hot for the 2012 F1 World title, his boss says. This shot was taken at Jerez during testing there in February, 2012. Image: AFP
BERLIN, Germany - Sebastian Vettel has the potential to be even more dominant in F1 in 2012 and is likely to take a third consecutive World title with ease.
That, at least, is the view of Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz who warned on Tuesday: "He still has great potential because his experience, his consistency and his domination in different situations will be given free rein."
TEAM TO BEAT
Mateschitz, in a interview with Speedweek magazine, added: "His focus in qualifying was already part of his strength but he's going to be even stronger in competition because he knows the complexity of his sport even better now."
After their latest World double - 2011 Drivers' and Constructors' titles - and despite a change to F1's rules, Mateschitz believes Red Bull will again be the team to beat in 2012. He also expects an even fiercer battle between Vettel and veteran Australian team mate Mark Webber, 35.
"It's important for the team that the duo are quick and fight on an equal footing," Mateschitz said.
Vettel, 24, took his second World title with 11 wins, a record 15 pole starts and a 122-point winning margin over second-placed Briton Jenson Button. Webber was third.