Ascanelli says Vettel in Senna’s league

21 April, 2011

Ayrton Senna (BRA) Williams (Left) and Michael Schumacher (GER) Benetton (Right) are quizzed on the reformation of the GPDA following the previous dayÕs fatal accident. Tragically Senna would not see out the day. San Marino Grand Prix, Rd 3, Imola, Italy, 1 May 1994.

Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher pictured in 1994

Apr.21 (GMM) World champion Sebastian Vettel is in Ayrton Senna’s league, but Michael Schumacher is not.

This is the sensational claim of Giorgio Ascanelli, the highly respected engineer who worked closely not only with Vettel at Toro Rosso, but also with the great Senna at McLaren.

“I am very lucky,” the Italian told Sport Bild. “Twice in my life I have experienced perfection; once with Senna, again with Vettel.”

But Ascanelli also worked with Schumacher, the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time, at Ferrari.

“In one respect Michael was different because he had to work harder for his success than did Senna and Vettel. With those two it was something else,” he insisted.

Former Toro Rosso boss Gerhard Berger has gone on record saying, “Before the season began I thought Alonso was the best driver, but maybe now it’s Sebastian.”


  • Dread

    Shumi not on Senna’s Level…but Vettel is…..wotta load of CRAP….who are these idiots with NO idea…..i presume Shumi paid for his titles, anyone else close

  • krish

    Vettel is talented no doubt but equating him with senna or shumi the two all time greats so early in his career isnt right.

  • Barghest

    So because Shumacher had to work harder for his titles makes him less of a champion? If anything it makes him a better one as he has to overcome more obstacles to reach the same goal. There is no doubt that Vettel is a superb driver as was Senna, but I do believe that the only way to perform a reasonable comparison is to do so at the end of his career, not at the beginning. And what is perfection? Perfection in anyone’s book would be without error. From what I can tell all three drivers have committed some error or another and therefore it stands to reason that none are perfect.

  • michael carmichael

    I am no fan of either Senna or Schumi – Vettel is in a league of his own, and others are not that far away from him – in fact, we do not know whether he is the best driver in F1 – or more likely, the best driver for Red Bull.

  • robert delpino

    come on senna was in other dimension i dont know how dare to conpare this punk with senna if vettel back to the time he had nothing to do with this monster with almost no aids like kers just pure talented in fact nothing equal senna

  • h.wilsn

    we will see…

  • Chris

    I think what Ascanelli meant by “being in the same league” is in terms of natural gifted ability to drive a car very fast. Schumacher probably, in Ascanelli’s eyes, did not initially arrive on the scene with such raw natural talent, but had a talent in developing and improving his craft very quickly.

    Or that Ascanelli is just THAT disappointed in Schumi’s return LOL

  • Twiinz

    Rediculous. Vettel is fast but to say he is a Senna or better than Schumi makes zero sense. Vettel only looks great because of Adrian Newey. Lets ask this of him once there is a competitors car equal to the Rbr chassis.

  • Tamburello_1994

    A wee bit early to be comparing Vettel with two of the all-time greatest…. Get real. I don’t care who this guy is or who he worked with

    Senna would of never anybody overtake him like Hamilton got Vettel in the closing laps in China.

  • Appleby

    Both Schumacher and Senna got quite a long ways in their career by deals behind the scene, and of course by blatant cheating and then lying about it — more so in the case of Schumacher, but both insisted that the video evidence of their cheating was the lie, not their own insistence that they personally had cheated. Senna was the Kyle Busch of F1. Its too soon to talk about Vettel, and anyway nobody will ever allow him to cheat the way Schumacher did unless he signs with Ferrari.

  • Jim

    He’s only the guy who was their race engineer and worked with them day in day out to try and win championships. If any one can speak about all three it’s Ascanelli.

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