Sebastian Vettel proved in 2011 that he is the best driver in Formula One.

Gerhard Berger and Sebastian Vettel
Gerhard Berger and Sebastian Vettel

Photo by: Red Bull GmbH and GEPA pictures GmbH

That is the claim of former Toro Rosso team co-owner Gerhard Berger, who in 2008 stood on the podium to collect the constructors' trophy after Vettel won the first of his now 21 race victories.

"The boy is just great and he's also with the best team," said the Austrian, referring to Toro Rosso's parent team Red Bull Racing.

"In the meantime he has become the best racing driver in Formula One," Berger told the Austrian broadcaster ORF.

"Last year I would have put him together on a level with Alonso and Hamilton, but after this season I have to say -- he's the best."

Vettel, 24, won the 2011 championship in dominant style after his breakthrough title last year, and Berger tipped the German for more success.

"Together with Red Bull, he will be the front runner again next year," he said.