On his day, Webber ‘unbelievable to witness’ says Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel has raced against a plethora of remarkable drivers during his sixteen years in F1, but the four-time world champion admits that on his day, his former Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was “unbelievable to witness”.

From Lewis Hamilton to Fernando Alonso, and many other drivers in between, Vettel battled and beat F1’s most talented drivers during his championship winning years.

The German recently singled out his former Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen as the “biggest natural talent” he’s ever faced as a Grand Prix driver.

But when he was asked by F1.com’s Tom Clarkson on the same Beyond the Grid podcast to name “the fastest driver” he has ever raced against in F1, Vettel offered perhaps an unexpected name.

"That is very difficult to answer as F1 is particular, because you only get to see what's happening behind the wheel with your teammate," Vettel explained.

"The other drivers - we now get a lot of information and data and have some knowledge, but you don't really know how good their cars are, how they might adapt or how hard they are working for it.

"I don't want to sound like I'll give myself credit as I was strong, but on the day, when Mark got his things right, it was unbelievable to witness.”

Webber and Vettel raced alongside each other for five seasons at Red Bull Racing, and while the German clearly had the measure of his teammate, the Aussie regularly gave Vettel a run for his money, and even more.

The pair also clashed at times, as was the case in Turkey in 2010, or in Malaysia in 2013 when Vettel stubbornly ignored a ‘Multi 21’ team order from Red Bull that called for the two drivers to freeze their positions. Vettel subsequently overhauled Webber and won the race, much to the latter’s ire.

But the bad blood between the two drivers was always short lived, and Vettel recalled one instance – the 2009 German Grand Prix, Webber’s maiden F1 win - when he was powerless in fending off his teammate.

“I'd pick a weekend like Nürburgring 2009 and I just ran out of things to do,” remembered Vettel.

“After the race, I just said: 'I don't know how you did it, but hats off.'

“He was so quick, so much more than me, and then for the [next race there], I tried to work on the Nürburgring, but maybe the track doesn't like me or I struggle with the track.

“But it didn't matter so much, I think it mattered for him more to be really in his happy place.

“If he was there and the car was doing what he wanted and expected, it was impressive to see.”

Over the course of his career in F1, from 2002 to 2013, Webber collected 9 wins and 13 pole positions and finished third in the Drivers’ Championship three times, in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

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