Sebastian Vettel suggests his ability to lead races from the front has been undervalued
Champ finds about turn in perception of his racing ability as "comedy"
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 28/11/12 12:03pm
Sebastian Vettel: Showed he could race from back to front
Sebastian Vettel has questioned whether critics of his have fully appreciated the talent involved in winning races from the front, in wake of the praise he has received for his recent comeback drives.
Prior to the Red Bull driver's recent through-the-field surges in Abu Dhabi and Brazil which ultimately made the difference in his bid for a third straight world championship, Vettel had been derided in some quarters as a driver who couldn't overtake and only enjoyed success when he qualified on the front row.
Vettel's second title, in 2011, in particular was built on the German claiming pole and then in the race building an immediate cushion over his closest pursuer in order to stay out of DRS range, before managing the gap and his tyres from there.
The 25-year-old's recent recovery drives from the back of the field have, however, arguably now earned him more plaudits and the irony of the situation is not lost on the World Champion.
Indeed, Vettel suggests both types of performance should be held in similarly high regard.
"It's actually a little bit of comedy to look back now and you were the driver who can't overtake,' said Vettel was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
"Now after just two races people have changed their mind.
"To win from the front or to come through the field it is the same thing. You still do your best.
Vettel's toughest test
"People credit the fact that you have overtaken drivers more than pulling away from the front and building a lead. Maybe they don't understand how much it is worth to pull out a gap?"
Nonetheless, due to their very nature, Vettel's comeback drives have undoubtedly proved particularly eye-catching and his team boss reckons they proved once and for all that the German can race wheel-to-wheel with the best of them.
"Again, he put in a phenomenal drive and I think what he has demonstrated more than anything else this year is that his race craft and his ability to go through a field is second to none."