Alain Prost believes that Sebastian Vettel has the potential to equal his tally of four World Championships as German will benefit from a "calmer" approach now that he has clinched his first title.
Vettel came from behind to snatch this year's crown at the final race, having never led the points before that point. Although he lost several results to mechanical failures, he also made several errors this year – something Prost thinks will not be the case in future campaigns.
Asked at the Race of Champions in Dusseldorf whether he felt Vettel could go on to win four or more titles, Prost replied: "I think so, because he was quite exceptional and, now he's got a title, he's going to see things differently. He's going to be a bit more quiet sometimes.
"In different races, maybe he'll get some more points. So I think he's going to be even stronger now."
Vettel will be paired with Michael Schumacher in Team Germany at this weekend's Race of Champions, while Prost represents France alongside World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb.
Prost added that he was not surprised that Schumacher had a low-key season with Mercedes in his return to Formula 1 this year, but does not think the German's reputation will be diminished if his comeback turns out to be unsuccessful.
"I was not expecting better, because I know it's difficult to come back after three years stopped," said Prost of Schumacher's 2010 form. "What he has done is already very good – almost exceptional. The target to be World Champion [in his comeback] was really impossible, also because the team and the car was not at the same level as Red Bull, McLaren or Ferrari.
"So, wait and see – but it's a very, very difficult challenge. It's part of life – sometimes you need to take a challenge that seems unbelievable.
"What he has done, I think only he could have done it. But maybe the target was a little bit too high."
For more information on the Race of Champions go to www.raceofchampions.com.