Mansell hails 'fantastic' F1 season

Former world champion Nigel Mansell has hailed the start of the 2011 season following the excitement of the first four races

Mansell hails 'fantastic' F1 season

"Absolutely fantastic," said Mansell of the season so far.

"I think Red Bull have come straight off the starting blocks, and Seb Vettel is defending his world championship brilliantly and has driven some fantastic races.

"Lewis did a great job with that one win, but McLaren has to find a bit more pace, but it is early days yet.

"We know lots of things can turn around. Ferrari every year seems to be slow starters, but I should imaging that they will start to bounce back. It will be a race again with development."

The Briton reckons world champion Sebastian Vettel is in a league apart at the moment, but he believes his main rivals have the skill to fight back as the season progresses.

"Sebastian is doing a much better job than any other drivers - his consistency, he is on a high as world champion, and he is in the best place he can be because he is with a team that is giving him the opportunity to defend the world title in a better way than he won it.

"It is up to other teams and other drivers to actually compete on the same level. Some of it is psychological, some of it is performance - but I am sure as the season goes on you will have some fantastic races.

"Lewis, Jenson and Alonso, they have all got the ability to bounce back, they will all push their teams and the drivers will push as well. I predict there will be a few winners this year that come out of nowhere - and you end up thinking, 'how did they win that?'"

Mansell also thinks Michael Schumacher should leave the sport at the end of the season unless he manages to be competitive again.

"A lot of people are having a go at Michael and I don't know really what is going on. We all expected Michael to do a lot better this year and there are moments where you think that is quick, that is a lot better, in the top four and then all of a sudden it goes wrong.

"By the time the end of the year comes and if things haven't improved then maybe what some people have been saying, he should take heed."

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