Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene is sure Sebastian Vettel will win a championship with Ferrari at some point in the future and has compared the four-time world champion with Michael Schumacher.
Vettel is on the brink of being ruled out of this year’s title race and needs to finish within eight points of Lewis Hamilton at this weekend’s U.S. Grand Prix to keep his slim championship hopes alive.
A series of mistakes and missed opportunities have seen the Ferrari driver go from being the title favourite ahead of F1’s summer break to his current position 67 points off Hamilton. But Arrivabene said Ferrari would not give up until the title is mathematically out of reach and is convinced of Vettel’s star quality.
“It has become a mission impossible, but it’s not over,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “And I am sure that sooner or later Sebastian Vettel will win the world championship at the wheel of Ferrari.”
Arrivabene, who was made Ferrari team principal in 2015 but has a long history with the team working for its main sponsor Philip Morris, said Vettel reminds him of Schumacher.
“I think he has something similar to Schumacher: he is German, but very Italian and has been close to Maranello from an early age.”
But F1’s sporting boss Ross Brawn, who worked with Schumacher throughout the German’s period of championship success at both Benetton and Ferrari, believes Vettel’s title rival Hamilton is closer to the seven-time world champion.
“I never thought I would be able to say it, but Hamilton really is the one who could beat Michael Schumacher’s records,” Brawn said. “He’s got everything under control. The quality that unites him with Michael and the great guys is that he knows how to win races that he should lose.”