Vettel the Underappreciated*.

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Hungaroring: Where the hungry takes the win in roaring fashion. Here are the facts after the dance of the chequered flag in this year’s Hungarian GP:

Sebastian Vettel has registered his 2nd win with Scuderia Ferrari.

It hasn’t always been easy, but somehow, he’s made it work.

He’s the only driver so far in 2015 who has finished within the top 5.

And he doesn’t even have a so-called “dominant” car.

He now has a total of 41 wins, equaling Ayrton Senna and moving into the top 3 of the all-time race wins list (only Prost and Schumacher are now ahead).

Third on the list. Just let that sink in. He’s not even close to 30 years old! His best racing years are still ahead of him. And he seems to have plenty of time to rewrite history, still.

Also, he’s now tied with Fernando Alonso as the driver with most total points scored with 1778 points (so far).

Won’t be long until he pulls away and takes the lead.

He beat pole-sitter, WDC leader and bookies’ favourite Lewis Hamilton.

Prior to the race, pundits were salivating at the thought of Lewis Hamilton finally taking sole ownership of “The most successful driver in Hungaroring”, a record which he currently shares with Michael Schumacher. When he took pole position in his dominant Mercedes, practically everyone thought that it was all but a done deal. Well, well. Isn’t it quite fitting that it was Vettel—Schumacher’s protégé—who spoiled the party, in a Ferrari at that, and effectively preserved Schumi’s Hungaroring joint-record (at least for now)?        

He dedicated his victory to the recently-passed on Manor GP driver Jules Bianchi.

Who says he’s ruthless/heartless/selfish? His spontaneous and earnest message to the team post-race, especially the part about Jules Bianchi was nothing short of heart-wrenching. Pass me a tissue, please.

 

All of that and yet, Sebastian Vettel is still obviously, massively underappreciated.

Here is a driver that is the only one even remotely close to challenging, and possibly reaching Michael Schumacher’s daunting F1 records, and yet he is still mainly associated with trivial things such as “The Finger” and “Multi 21-gate”.

I don’t understand why some people still choose to see the Darth Vader and not the Anakin Skywalker in him.

Denial? Crab mentality? Or is it ultimately fear of the genius/potential in him that he is yet to unleash?

My take is that this season has been a gamechanger for Sebastian. We’re now seeing a more mature, humbler, generally-better iteration of him. Adversity has become his friend. Vettel is in a middle of a…metamorphosis. It may not be such good news to his rivals but it certainly is a fascinating watch for us fans.

Luckily, his supporters are the Ride Or Die-kind. He doesn’t need to become Mr. Popular to prove his mettle. He is here to stay and fight. Deal with it, haters. At the end of the day, history will decide what sort of driver he is, and he will only fit between two categories: One of the Greats, or The Best There Ever Was.

So just do you, Seb. The rest shall fall into place.

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 *Yes, I am well aware that “underappreciated” is not in the dictionary. It was a conscious choice to use the word as it best fits and gives the most emphasis to the context of the article.

 

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