By Jonathan McEvoy for the Daily Mail
Published: 12:13 BST, 1 April 2019 | Updated: 12:13 BST, 1 April 2019
It may be that Sebastian Vettel will rediscover his poise and confidence and put a stop to the kind of mistakes that cost him places and points in Bahrain on Sunday. Or perhaps he is so wounded, despite denials last week, by Lewis Hamilton's sustained beating of him that we have already seen the last of his best days.
Either way we can say without doubt that he will rank below the Briton in any consideration of the finest drivers of the post-Schumacher era.
In fact, Vettel would in my estimation also be placed lower than Fernando Alonso despite having won twice the number of world titles, 4-2.
Sebastian Vettel appears permanently wounded by repeated defeats to Lewis Hamilton
Vettel spun in the Bahrain Grand Prix before spectacularly losing his front wing amid sparks
Vettel ended up in a second successive fifth placed finish and is well off the title pace
A point to be made for Alonso is that even if one ransacks the memory it is hard to think of him having a bad day, even when driving the hopeless case of last year's McLaren.
Even if the Spaniard's one-lap pace was not world leading, his consistency was. His race craft and tenacity were also remarkable. His debut at the Indianapolis 500 was also a performance never to be forgotten. Other than for a late engine failure I believe he would have won the race. So does he.
Yes, he could be truculent and destructive. He also chose his teams unwisely in terms of winning more titles - but not unwisely for his accountants, or indeed his manager, one Flavio Briatore.
As for Hamilton