Nooo, Vettel is not the new Mansell, because Mansell was a lazy loon, with balls of carbon fibre coated titanium. Vettel even if he ends up a better driver and champion probably won’t have half the charisma Mansell had in his appendix. Following on from Nico’s point, Mansell could always be relied upon to do something completely insane, daring, fantastic when he pulled it off, damn silly the rest of the time, Vettel not really. Mansell was sly as well, Vettel might develop that but Mansell was the consumate passer, dummies, walls of death, late braking you name it, he could do it.
None of the current crop live up to the characters of the 80′s and 90′s. Last true maverick was probably Montoya, Schumacher really counts as one of the intense characters of old, even in the way he’s mellowed today, Haikkenen was more interesting than Alonso, Villenureve was even more annoying than Hamilton, Hill was a better underdog than Button, who is one of the more fleshed out personalities at least, on the other hand, Buttons always seemed too priveleged to be a true underdog, even if the reverse might have been true, Damon just looked more hard done by (not since he’s gone all silverfox and dashing though). The personalities are just flat these days, an Rubens counts as one from three crops ago as well.