When I was asked why Sebastian Vettel won the championship this year I had a simple answer: Speed. He's had plenty of bad luck and made a few silly mistakes, but there is no doubt in my mind that he is the fastest driver in Formula One at the moment.
I think he's got huge reserves of natural talent and when you combine that with a very good car you have a formidable combination. I can see parallels between Vettel's career and Jimmy Clark's. Clark came in at Lotus and didn't have to try that hard because he was so talented and Colin Chapman was delivering very fast cars. I think the Vettel/Red Bull combination is similar.
Jimmy was a very pure natural talent and would always get the best out of his car and Vettel drives in the same way. On a personal level, Vettel is much more outgoing, whereas Jimmy kept himself to himself, but that's another strength Vettel has and another reason why he will be a very good world champion for the sport.
When you meet Vettel you come away thinking he's got a lot more to him than just being a driver. I've met him away from racing and he handles himself well and has a very good sense of humour. In contrast, Fernando Alonso is a good role model, but goes about it in a less human way. I have great respect for what Alonso has done and how good he is - and I believe Ferrari let him down in Abu Dhabi - but a fresh, young face is something the sport needs and Vettel is exactly that.
To read the rest of Stirling's thoughts on Vettel winning this years Formula One World Drivers Championship, click here for his ESPN F1 column