I suppose it was inevitable & the more it dragged on the more, to be frank, it got ridiculous. Vettel slotted in as the 8th Greatest Driver to date.
I can see some comprehension now compared to when I first saw his name in the list, as to why Vettel is there, mainly due to his impressive stats & facts & personality in such an early stage of his career with him having plenty seasons ahead of him to improve. BUT – In regards to competitiveness & comparing his achievements with his rivals’ achievements (Alonso & Hamilton), we always bare in mind that Vettel accomplished the majority, If not all, in a more notably dominant package in the form of the RB6 & RB7 along with the knowledge of making the Pirellis work & exploitation of the exhaust systems (both throttle & off-throttle), all working to great effect for him as well as having extraordinary luck on his side, not to say he hasn’t been unlucky himself & that Alonso hasn’t had luck (arguably he’s had more luck than Vettel, Hamilton himself hasn’t much honestly). In other words, the distinction of competition was all different for each of the ‘top 3′ drivers of this generation so comparisons are difficult to make on that aspect, unless you can somehow find similar kind of seasons where they were at a similar age with competitive cars, like I found with Vettel & Hamilton ( I won’t go into detail). If you’re looking to compare with different generations/eras of drivers, the distinction is even more different, to add, even greater.
Personally, the more I see Vettel slotted in at #8, the more I agree with some here in that there shouldn’t be any active drivers in that list, because of the distinction of competition like I said & there would be some imbalance with the active drivers having seasons ahead of them & anything can happen to them between now & the twilight of their careers whilst the majority of the drivers in that list have had careers complete. The only active driver you can well put in that list is Schumacher, mainly because theoretically he’s had two careers, one which is obviously still active, so the first should be solely judged with the 2nd ignored but mentioned, having said that, maybe this is something similar the BBC should’ve done with the other active drivers; by ignoring their active seasons but being mentioned as a way of looking ahead.
To finish this long comment, I’m beginning to feel that this is a ‘boredom’ project BBC have created to rival Sky in some way, possibly their Legends of F1 segment on their F1 channel. It is for us to maintain that there is a reason why it’s called & I quote ‘BBC Sport’s greatest of all time series’ as it’s a opinionated list rather than a concrete list, there may never be a concrete list of greats, as more will pile in & I’m sure as of now & the future, there will be many more speculations & debates with more drivers compared with active ones & previous.