Sebastian Vettel's former team boss Franz Tost has ranked the German as being one of F1's greats following the news of his impending retirement from the sport.
Vettel confirmed ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix that the 2022 season will be his last, bringing his 15-year career in Formula 1 to an end.
The four-time World Champion achieved his first win with the then-called Toro Rosso outfit back at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, which also marked the debut victory for the squad led by Tost.
Vettel went on to achieve his consecutive titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, and Tost admits that he always expected him to achieve such success after being impressed by the young driver from the start.
"I observed him already in Formula BMW, and he won so many races," Tost told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"Afterwards, we met a couple of times, and he was very focused. The questions he asked were really good for a young driver.
"[One of] his big advantages [was], first of all, he was 100 per cent committed to Formula 1, or to motorsports in general in those days."
Tost was "convinced" Vettel would become World Champion
Tost feels that Vettel had a rejuvenating effect at Toro Rosso, and this left him convinced that the driver was a World Champion in the making.
"When he came to us, he brought in fresh blood, new ideas," Tost continued.
"He was very demanding and asking many questions. He went into details, which is very important, and he was always in a good mood, although we had at the beginning with the car some problems.
"But he pushed the team forward, and as a result, he won together with Scuderia Toro Rosso [as the team was called] in those days, the race in Monza. It was his first race [win], it was the first race win for Scuderia Toro Rosso.
"[With] his way of working, [it] was clear for me that he will become a real big driver. I was convinced that he [could] become a World Champion in Formula 1, if he's [at] the correct time [and] the correct team, and this was the case with Red Bull Racing.
"And then with Ferrari, he was very successful. He won many races also for Scuderia Ferrari."
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Vettel will be "missed" in Formula 1
Several names in F1 have paid tribute to Vettel since he announced his decision to leave the sport at the end of 2022, and Tost feels that the 35-year-old will be missed.
"We will miss him. I personally [will], of course," Tost said.
"He is a fantastic character, always open, and he was simply very, very successful.
"We will always keep him in mind because, with four World Champion titles, he is in the list on the top, behind Michael [Schumacher] and [Lewis] Hamilton. [Juan Manuel] Fangio has five, and then it's him and [Alain] Prost, and therefore he has place in history.
"At Scuderia AlphaTauri, there is one staircase, the Vettel, named to him, and therefore we will always remember him with fantastic pictures, with his overall, and [for] the victory of Monza.
"I wish him and his family all the best for the future."
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