Sebastian Vettel puts Schumacher in the shade
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It's all too easy to say he's had the fastest car because on numerous occasions this year he hasn't, said team principal Christian Horner.
He came back from the summer break almost 40 points behind the championship lead. He focused hard, he worked hard at it and he maximised his chances. I think he's driven superbly well this year, added the Briton.
A carpenter's son from Heppenheim, Vettel has given all his cars female names, progressing from 'Kate' to 'Kate's Dirty Sister', 'Luscious Liz', 'Randy Mandy' and last year's 'Kinky Kylie'.
This year's model was simply 'Abbey', a name Vettel insisted was not linked to his love of The Beatles album 'Abbey Road'. Abbey is also a familiar corner at Silverstone, the circuit nearest to Red Bull's Milton Keynes factory.
He is very much his own man, negotiating his own contracts, while enjoying a firm friendship with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, with whom he sometimes plays a relaxed game of backgammon.
Ecclestone, who managed and was particularly close to German-born Austrian champion Jochen Rindt up to his death in 1970, has seen parallels between the two.
He reminds me of Jochen, the 82-year-old said last year. Seb will always stay grounded, no matter how big the success. That is what makes real champions. That was also Jochen's strength. Plus both are lousy losers.
A marketing dream for Red Bull, with obvious youth appeal and a love of action sports, Vettel was born in 1987 - the same year that they sold their first can of energy drink - and started out with their young driver programme.
He made his debut with BMW-Sauber in 2007, scoring immediately, but swiftly moved back into the Red Bull fold.
Vettel has been partnered by Australian Mark Webber in all three of his championship years and the two get along well enough despite occasional moments of friction in 2010.
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