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Senna-Mansell style rivalry with Hamilton ‘would be fun’ - Vettel

14 Oct 2015

With Ferrari’s performance seemingly moving ever closer to that of Mercedes, Sebastian Vettel believes his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton could eventually develop into one as intense as that of Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell.

“It would be fun, yes, as he [Hamilton] is one of the best drivers out there,” said Vettel in Russia. “And the fans would love it too, like they did in the times of Senna and Mansell.

“Lewis has still a bit of a margin right now, but we are trying very hard and hopefully in the future we will be able to offer him this scenario!”

Hamilton’s victory in Sochi was the 42nd of his Formula One career, matching Vettel’s tally and putting the pair joint third in the all-time winners list behind only Michael Schumacher (91) and Alain Prost (51).

And though Hamilton has some way to go to match Vettel’s four world championship crowns, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff also believes competition between the two men could be set to reach Senna-Mansell levels.

“Yes, it could well be,” said Wolff. “They are both in cars that are performing well and it could very well develop into one of the legendary rivalries of the sport. But Lewis also has a rivalry in his own team that should not to be underestimated!”

In 1984 - the first F1 championship in which they competed against each other - Senna and Mansell scored an identical 13 points. Over subsequent seasons their rivalry escalated, culminating in their battle for the ’91 title, which ultimately went Senna’s way, with Mansell securing his sole drivers’ crown the following year.