LONDON Feb 17 Red Bull's double world
champion Sebastian Vettel reminds Stirling Moss of Juan Manuel
Fangio, the Argentine all-time great who denied the Briton a
Formula One title with his dominance in the 1950s.
Speaking to reporters at a Motor Sport magazine Hall of Fame
event, the greatest driver never to win the Formula One crown
poured praise on the fresh-faced 24-year-old German with the
"Vettel is a modern Fangio, really, in Formula One. I can't
see, other than his natural ability, how he is that good, how he
can be that good," said the 82-year-old Briton, his walking
stick poised by his side.
"I think Vettel is quite outstanding, but then he has got
the best car, which is fair enough because normally the best
driver gets the best car.
"Fangio went around and took what he wanted and one took
whatever was left.
"Where we're lucky is that Vettel has a great sense of
humour. He is a damn good world champion. I can think of a lot
of other people who get to that position and they don't give
back as much as they get out, but he really does."
Moss was runner-up in the Formula One championship four
times while Fangio, regarded by many as the greatest driver of
all time and the Englishman's team mate at Mercedes in 1955, won
Vettel dominated last season, taking his second successive
crown with four races to spare and chalking up 11 wins from 19
McLaren's British duo Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, both
champions, will be among the German's main rivals when the new
season starts in Australia on March 18 and Moss felt his money
was more on the former.
"Their problem is that they're against a better outfit. The
Red Bull is so good, it's enormously difficult to be as good as
that is and I don't think they are yet," said the octogenarian
who survived a three-storey plunge down a lift shaft in 2010 and
formally retired from racing only last June.
"Vettel is outstanding. They (the McLaren drivers) are up
there, but not as far as he is.
"Lewis does funny things, so one can't be sure," he said. "I
would put my money on Jenson. Yes I would. Lewis is terrific, he
really is exceptionally quick, but Jenson thinks about certain
things better than Lewis will," said Moss, who was always a real
racer living life to the full.
"Like when it's raining and whether or not to go in for a
change of tyres. For all those sorts of things he has a better
understanding of it, and experience is a lot of it."
In a year of 'ugly' new cars, Moss - looking forward to a
vacation cruise from Hong Kong to Dubai on a liner that he
hastened to say was not Italian - said the Ferrari was 'hideous'
and hoped it had a facelift over the course of the campaign.
"Can you think of an ugly car that ever won anything?," he
"There's the saying that if it looks right it probably is.
That's what worries me about the Ferrari because it doesn't look
very nice, but maybe it's particularly effective."
(Editing by Alison Wildey)