I think this is probably a view that only people who don't fully understand F1 would have and I very much doubt it's something that keeps him awake at night
Sorry, should have highlighted the bit I meant, which was regardless of what happens in the rest of his career, that one season will always cast doubts over his true level, unless he matches Alonso or Hamilton in the same car. People have very short memories indeed in F1 and if he starts winning titles again it won't be an issue.
But having said that, I'd challenge Brundle too if he thinks Vettel leaving Red Bull was because he wouldn't want to be exposed in a second year. It's funny how almost everybody, Brundle included, have been saying that a Works team is the only way forward with the new PUs, yet Vettel joining Ferrari is because he's scared? If Brundle claims that I think he's smoking something
That was an exaggeration obviously on my part. But obviously it depends on whether you rate him or not. Realistically, I don't think it is very likely Vettel will even win another title in his career though let alone beat Hamilton, Alonso or Ricciardo. I'm not an expert but that's only my opinion. I believe there will always be question marks over his true level, whether those opinions come from people who know much about F1 or not, it doesn't matter. That was somewhat the point I was trying to make, that not everyone is gonna take into account all the factors needed to make a conclusion on that season thus it will be inevitable there will be doubters and discussions like we are having now.
True level is pretty hard to define at the best of times, though. Things change so much in F1. It's clear - at least, it is to me - that drivers like Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel are among the elite of their generation. To them I'd add Ricciardo and Verstappen (not saying the latter's the finished article yet, but I think it's plain he's very talented already). People will always argue where each sits relative to the other, but it's be hard to deny that each of them is a driver any team would be more than happy to have. Any question marks, such as there are, are really just about fine degree, not raw talent, as it should be obvious all of the above have that in spades