Oh, those poor group of drivers. Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher, Giancarlo Fisichella, and Jarno Trulli. Poor because they were never given a championship shot. At the end of 2000, these drivers were right behind Schumacher and Hakkinen in the pecking order.
However, for one reason or another, they never became world champion. Schumacher went on to dominate the next 5 years, and once Michael and Mika were finished (Well, Hakkinen was sort of finished in 2000 anyway), a new young force of Alonso and Raikkonen would dominate the next 3-4 years, and eventually all these men would sink into insignificance.
This has me thinking that a large portion of the current crop, such as Perez, Hulkenburg, Grosjean, Rosberg, Maldonado and Di Resta; who are today seen as logical choices for future champions, will for one reason or another never reach their full potential anyway.
Meantime perhaps, a young lad who is currently charging his way through the ranks will eventually follow the Vettel and Hamilton generation in their footsteps. Who knows, 13 years ago (in 2000), the next future new champion (Alonso) was still in Formula 3.