(Inautonews.com/GMM) If Bernie Ecclestone were to bet a few dollars of his fortune on the outcome of the 2011 title, he would safely back his young friend Sebastian Vettel.
The F1 chief executive is famously friendly with the 23-year-old German who last year became the sport’s youngest champion and this year is running away with the spoils.
“Put it this way,” Ecclestone, 80, told the German magazine Speed Week. “Someone else would have to have very good luck to win this world championship.
“When I look at the speed of his car, I think only his own teammate has a chance,” added the Briton.
Vettel has won five of the opening six grands prix so far this season but there are more than a dozen to go.
“Until then, it’s a long way to go,” he is quoted by the SID news agency. “Last year we saw how quickly things can change.”
Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko agrees: “Sebastian has a comfortable lead but there are 350 points to go.”
In reality, Vettel is on target to set a new record for the earliest-decided title, with Michael Schumacher holding the current record for winning in 2002 with 6 races to go.
But he is cautious: “Anything – reliability, mistakes – can happen.”
FIA president Jean Todt hopes so.
“It is obvious for the sport that it would be best to have a different winner at every grand prix, but he has done a great job and has a great talent,” the Frenchman told Spain’s Diario Sport.