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Vettel names former teammate as 'biggest natural talent ever'

Sebastian Vettel raced with some illustrious names during his F1 career, but there was one driver in particular whose raw speed particularly impressed him.

Sebastian Vettel believes that Kimi Raikkonen was the "biggest natural talent" he ever came across during his F1 career. The four-time World Champion raced with some famous names in his 15 years as a Formula 1 driver, including the likes of Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. In terms of which driver was the fastest that he competed against, Vettel feels that he can only give a full take on this with his teammates, given that drivers in the same team have more knowledge of the car that they are racing. As such, the German thinks that Raikkonen – who he was partnered with at Ferrari from 2015 until 2018 – was the most impressive in regards to raw speed.

Vettel impressed by Raikkonen's 'natural talent'

"I think Kimi is actually the biggest natural talent I've come across, ever," Vettel told the Beyond The Grid podcast. "Just in terms of raw speed, I think. It shows in the car, obviously, but it shows also in any other form of car. "If there was a discipline of switching cars, every day, after 10 days Kimi will be lapping everybody else, just because he's just a natural. "It doesn't take time [for him] to adapt to the car, to what the car requires. You give him a steering wheel and he knows what to do. "Sometimes you feel it's unfair, you need to get used to [it] first and get an idea of the track or the conditions, and for him it's just [instant]."

Best teammate relationship with Raikkonen

Vettel insists that this ability of Raikkonen's did not have a negative impact on their relationship whilst teammates. "I think with him, I probably had the best relationship out of all the teammates I had, because he was just so straightforward," Vettel explained. "There was never an argument if we crashed into each other. We talked about it; [we discussed] what happened, maybe we laughed about it, it was my mistake, it was his mistake. "But then there was never a question that anything could sort of shake up or destabilise the... I don't want to say bond, but the relationship that we had. "When I came in [to the team], I remember he was so respectful. "From the day I walked in, [he was] looking into my eyes, where with other drivers I felt, 'Okay, I'm shaking hands and I'm saying hello, but actually the guy is not present, [he's] not here'. "So, with people, I think Kimi's pretty exceptional."

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