Sebastian Vettel can win fourth F1 title - David Coulthard

Formula 1 is enjoying one of its greatest eras, according to BBC pundit and former driver David Coulthard.

And the Scot thinks three-time champion Sebastian Vettel's achievements should be better recognised.

Coulthard believes the German can win a fourth title in 2013 despite challenges from the likes of Lewis Hamilton.

2012 Drivers' Championship

1. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull 281 points

2. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari 278

3. Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus 207

4. Lewis Hamilton - McLaren 190

5. Jenson Button - McLaren 188

6. Mark Webber - Red Bull 179

7. Felipe Massa - Ferrari 122

8. Romain Grosjean - Lotus 96

9. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes 93

10 Sergio Perez - Sauber 66

He told BBC Radio 5 live: "I think in this modern era of drivers, we have got incredible talent. I think we will look back on this period."

The 2001 runner-up said: "You have got Jenson [Button], Lewis, Fernando [Alonso], Kimi [Raikkonen], Michael [Schumacher] when he was there - who are incredibly fast racing drivers. So this is a great period.

"For Sebastian to have won three titles in a Red Bull in this era, in a championship which has been quite stable in terms of the technical regulations, you cannot take away from him his great talent."

Asked whether Vettel could win a fourth drivers' title, Coulthard said: "It won't be any more difficult to make it four than it was to make it one."

Britain's Lewis Hamilton could be one of the drivers standing in Vettel's way.

He ended his 13-year association with McLaren to join Mercedes prior to the 2013 season and Coulthard feels the change may do the 2008 champion some good.

Since becoming world champion at the age of 23, Hamilton has failed to finish higher than fourth. Last season he was 91 points adrift of Vettel.

But Coulthard believes four victories in 2012 suggests that Hamilton, who has already impressed at Mercedes this year, setting a lap of one minute 20.558 seconds on the penultimate day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, still has a big future.

"We saw the old Lewis back last year. That's why he was able to make a decision based on what he wants for the future," the BBC Sport analyst continued.

"We saw him struggle at McLaren a couple of seasons ago. He's always had great speed - that's just the natural talent he has - but he hasn't always had the mind-management skills off-track and on-track to really keep an even keel, race by race, season to season.

"He's done his time at McLaren. He did 13 years and sometimes you need to move on."