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Can Sebastian Vettel be the Next Great One?

SAKIR, BAHRAIN - MARCH 13:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive during qualifying for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 13, 2010 in Sakir, Bahrain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
PastaContributor IMarch 18, 2010

The only exciting part about the Bahrain GP this past weekend was watching Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel is to Formula 1 what Lionel Messi is to soccer and Sidney Crosby is to hockey—he is making himself known as the next face of Formula 1. This isn't news to most as it's been said before by fans and professionals—Mr. Schumacher himself has mentioned he could be the future of the sport.

The rule changes that we've seen over the past few years have been chaotic to say the least, and along with that, there has been endless shuffling of drivers, teams, and systems.

Yet Vettel, at such a young age and with such little F1 experience, seems to adapt very quickly each and every time.

His Formula 1 history, although limited, speaks volumes: He certainly impressed everyone when given the shot to drive for BMW in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, he battled a tough group of drivers with a not-so-tough car and still managed to finish eighth in the driver standings, gaining some good experiences under his belt.

In 2009, Vettel, despite making some minor errors while still driving that not-so-tough car, finished second in the standings. He has accomplished all this in only two full seasons as a Formula 1 driver, thus taking many "youngest driver to..." records off Fernando Alonso.

It's not just about talent, though. He has a very good head on his shoulders. His attitude towards himself, the sport, and learning his craft is always very optimistic. Not all drivers are so composed, and, as we've seen in the past, they can often bring themselves and their entire team down.

Of course, only time will tell if he is to be considered an all-time great, but his future sure looks bright.

With the likes of Michael Schumacher making his return, it only makes things tougher. It's not a bad thing, though. If Vettel continues to get better and win a championship with Schumacher also in contention, his stock goes up.

After the Bahrain GP, it seems as though that pesky car is still with him, but in general, the Red Bull team has made improvements.

So, if improvements result in better points, 2010 could very well be the year that Vettel raises the drivers championship.

We'll soon find out if this is the year that jump starts it all.

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