Sebastian Vettel is "better in some ways" even than F1's most successful driver of all time. That is the claim of Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene, who contrasted Germans Vettel and Schumacher - the long-time Ferrari driver and F1 legend - in the pages of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
"Many said that Seb only wins because he has the best car and at times I thought so too," Arrivabene said. "Now that I work with him, I can say that, in some respects, he is even better than Michael. Especially his character, because Michael was an introvert who opened up to only a small group of people, while Seb is regarded by the guys as one of them."
In other matters, on Tuesday, the new Ferrari-aligned team Haas will make a driver announcement for 2016. It is expected that two men with Ferrari links will get the nod: Maranello's official reserve Esteban Gutierrez, and Romain Grosjean, who might then stand a chance of stepping into a scarlet car for 2017.
"I don't know," Arrivabene insisted. "Haas did not inform us of their plans. Obviously if they were to ask us we would be ready to help them, perhaps creating a partnership similar to the one between Red Bull and Toro Rosso."
And as Mercedes returned to its position of dominance in Japan with a one-two after the Singapore blip, Arrivabene played down Ferrari's chances of winning the world championship this year. "No. The arithmetic says yes, but Mercedes is still strong," he said. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing