Sebastin Vettel’s surprise win at the Malaysian Grand Prix raised prospects that the ongoing Formula One season will not be as one-sided in the favour of Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as was earlier thought.
Sebastian Vettel and David Coulthard
However, former Formula One driver David Coulthard believes that four-time champion Vettel will only have an outside chance this season.
“I think Lewis could retain his title because he has momentum behind him. But equally, I think that Nico could win the title. If Sebastian continues his form, he has an outside chance.
“But Lewis has to be the favourite,” said Coulthard, who is an expert pundit with BBC apart from being a consultant for Red Bull Racing.
Coulthard admitted that Vettel’s win at Malaysia on March 29 surprised him. “I didn’t think he would win in such a strong manner. What that shows is F1 teams can evolve very quickly once they find the right direction.
“There were calls after Australian GP that big changes had to be made otherwise it was just going to be runaway (season) for Mercedes. But we’ve already got the answer. Ferrari are back. Now, you have to watch out for Williams, Red Bull and McLaren — eventually all of those teams will be back as well,” he told mid-day.
The British driver, who was in India for the Red Bull F1 Showrun at Hyderabad yesterday, predicted that Ferrari could be on the podium again at next Sunday’s Chinese GP.
“The track at Shanghai is in many ways very similar to Malaysia, except for the heat. In straight-line speed, Ferrari have a good advantage. It might be a little difficult for Red Bull,” he added.