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Ecclestone: "Vettel is the best driver on the grid"

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Ecclestone: "Vettel is the best driver on the grid"
Sep 29, 2011, 10:57 AM

Today on F1.

Today on F1.com there is a transcript of a chat between F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone and Red Bull racing supremo Christian Horner.

There are two eye catching quotes in here, the first is Ecclestone's blunt assessment that championship leader Sebastian Vettel has now grown into the best driver on the F1 grid and is still improving and the second is a swipe at FOTA, which Horner, a FOTA member, seems to endorse.

"In my view Sebastian is the best driver on the grid right now…" says Ecclestone, who has always taken a close interest in the young German's career. Horner argues that Vettel is "getting better with every bit of experience that he gains… and Ecclestone adds, "and there is no end in sight to that curve. There is still a lot to come from him."

"Sebastian has an absolute will to succeed but has stayed very grounded," continues the 80 year old impressario. "No win, however big, will stop him being grounded. That is immensely important in this business. Seb is relaxed and will always remain true to himself - that is why things come easy."

There is a swipe at Ferrari when the conversation turns to whether Vettel should switch to drive for Ferarri at some point in his career, should he really consider this, Ecclestone is asked?

"Well, seeing the situation as it is now it would be an appropriate means to slow him down…"

But the biggest swipe is at FOTA, the teams' association, which is evolving, three years after its formation and has just taken on a new General Secretary, Oliver Weingarten, replacing Simone Perillo, who has gone into Italian politics with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo's Italia Futura movement.

Ecclestone says that FOTA "is an unnecessary association of people who should put their sole emphasis on getting competitive cars on the grid. It’s just more of what they don’t have to think of. I look after that so there are enough financial resources."

Interestingly Horner in the same passage of conversation, says of FOTA, "I also don’t spend too much time thinking in that direction."

Although Horner has always stayed quite close to Ecclestone through all F1′s twists and turns and has served on FOTA working groups, this is the first time I can recall when he has publicly distanced himself from the Association.

It’s an interesting development in a multi-layered jigsaw puzzle, which we will not see as a finished picture for some time.

To read the full conversation click HERE

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