Formula One, like all sports, is ripe with records. While Michael Schumacher broke almost all the records and Ayrton Senna broke the rest, Alain Prost has set a few himself. As a 4-time world champion, the Frenchman says he sees another record-breaker on the horizon.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has already broken a few records but Prost figures the young German will eclipse his four titles:
“Oh yes, although I hope he doesn’t have a start to the season like he did two years ago when he won four or five races in a row,” Prost said.
“He is still the favourite. Behind him, it’s hard to say,”.
The season is shaping up to be an interesting battle between Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus and the Prost feels the current world champions are the team to beat:
“Will losing (Lewis) Hamilton and having a young driver in his place be destabilising (for McLaren)? Mercedes will not be challenging for the title, I don’t think so. Alonso could be the most dangerous behind Vettel and why not an outsider like (Lotus’s Kimi) Raikkonen or (Romain) Grosjean?”
“Red Bull are still there and certainly better than last year at the same time,” he said. “Ferrari are also good. McLaren will be certainly among the top three and Lotus also up there.
“There’s a little question mark over Mercedes, we still don’t know their level. They were a long way away at the end of last season so I don’t see them suddenly returning to the front. But they will be up there at certain tracks.
“It could be a very even field, we’ll see some good races.”
Red Bull, with Vettel, are systematically re-writing history as we speak and they are in rare company with their third consecutive world championship. If Red Bull are the team to beat this year, Vettel could pull even with Prosts record but with the massive regulation changes in 2014, could the energy drink team find all-new competition?
If Red Bull have perfected this current form of chassis development, the changes for 2014 could bring a level playing field back to the sport. A brand new engine format in the form of a V6 turbo will challenge teams for reliability and the chassis regulations will give teams a different set of rules in which to work with. Teams such as Williams, Ferrari, McLaren and even Mercedes as well as Lotus could become real players and threaten Red Bull’s dominance… But with Adrian Newey at the helm at Red Bull, I’m not holding my breath.