As I had hinted at earlier in this thread (which was last year!), this is precisely what happened.
Also, if the similarities between Schumacher and Vettel continue in future seasons, will Sebastian ever win another world title?
It depends how you see it. I think Vettel is now aiming for a Schumacher 1996 rather than a Schumacher 2006 type of year. After all, Vettel in 2015 is entering Ferrari at the same time Schumacher did in 1996 – age 27.
I think so, Montoya 2003 is like Hamilton 2012 and Raikkonen 2003 is also like Alonso 2012, although Montoya is much more closer to Schumacher than Hamilton to Vettel, pretty unique 2003 is also a very competitive season like 2012
Mind you, I think that Schumacher drove a lot better in 2005 than Vettel did in 2014. The Ferrari F2005 was a bit more of a disastrous car than the Red Bull RB10, yet Schumacher finished 3rd in the championship while Vettel could only manage 5th in 2014. That’s quite telling.
Yes, Schumi got 10 free bonus points in Indianapolis, but even so, he was WAY closer to Fisichella and Montoya in the championship than his car should have allowed him to do. Schumi was regularly fighting with the Renaults and McLarens in 2005 with a car that should’ve been fighting with Toyota, BAR, and Williams.
By contrast, Vettel got trashed by his own teammate who drove identical equipment, Bottas who drove a different car that appeared to be fairly equal, and was almost matched by Alonso, who drove a far worse car than he did.
The Alonso part could describe multiple years, if not every one..
2005 predictions that came off – Mercedes backed team has an advantage, a new title protagonist (Alonso; Rosberg), barely a win for the incumbent champion (RBR), arguably two different teams fighting for the title (Williams were second on pace).
2009 predictions that might come off – Mercedes are then hauled back in by the big spenders of the sport, Red Bull, over the next few years, in another instance of the Newey car catching up with the innovations of the Brawn car. Ferrari come close but no cigar, same for McLaren.
Next question – how long will the next era of dominance be allowed to last (Ferrari, Red Bull; Mercedes)? Engine unfreeze talk is to resolve this.
Maybe if Honda, Ferrari and Renault can match Mercedes’ R&D engine spend in the next few years, they can converge roughly on its performance, while Mercedes still get the positive PR of at least two titles in a row, most likely for Hamilton, for spending it first.