Why all the hate?

Written by Mathew Shaw

Unless something out of the ordinary happens tomorrow, Sebastian Vettel will pick up his fourth Formula One world championship.

Sebastian Vettel to win the World Championship yet again. Photo: exit1979 (via Flickr)

However, when the German driver goes to hoist up his trophy in front of the New Delhi crowd, his mood could quickly dampen because of booing fans.

Despite enjoying his greatest season in Formula 1, Vettel’s campaign has been marred by the massive negative reception he has received from crowds. Many F1 pundits put this down to his arrogant behaviour on and off the track, but is this lack of respect fully deserved?

Sebastian Vettel has never been shy to proclaim his brilliance. Consistently showing his belief that he is the best with his trademark one finger celebration.

There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and fellow drivers feel the defending champion is regularly overstepping the mark. Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button recently chastised Vettel over post-race comments in Singapore.

The pair was frustrated with Vettel’s insinuation that while he was working hard, trying to get every bit of performance from the car other drivers were happy sipping cocktails by the pool. Rosberg said that it is comments like these that are causing his rival to bring the boos on himself.

Another reason for the public’s lowered opinion is ‘baby Schuey’s’ one-sided racing relationship with Mark Webber. Whilst Webber’s history shows that he is willing to put the team’s needs over his own, the same cannot be said for Vettel.

The German’s decision to disobey team orders in Malaysia and overtake his teammate showed a lack of respect. Webber is a stalwart of F1, who through years of dedication has become a fan favourite. Vettel’s selfish actions caused him to garner a lot of criticism.

However the boo boys are not all of Sebastian Vettel’s own making.

Over the last ten years, F1 has been shrouded in a debate, about whether it’s the most skilled driver who wins the championship, or the person with the fastest car.

Vettel’s consistent ability to win by leading for the entire race has caused many to believe it’s the latter. Critics of the German play down his ability by believing that he is only champion because he drives a Red Bull. Although teammate Mark Webber’s unreliable performances with what logically should be a similar set-up, shows Vettel’s talent.

The 26 year old being booed on the winning podium is also an unfortunate result of his success. Vettel’s domination has the unintended effect of alienating fans, for it has turned a lot of race weekends into a procession.

Supporters want to see great races with lots of fast-paced action. But the defending champion’s clinical, yet unexciting victories cause fans to vent their frustrations. They feel that they are watching a Michael Schumacher mark II, another outspoken German who experienced total supremacy over other drivers.

But Vettel cannot be blamed for how he chooses to win races. If he took more risks he would receive the wrath of his Red Bull superiors. It’s unfortunate that a by-product of regular success in sport can be supporters’ boredom and annoyance.  `

Sebastian Vettel has received a large amount of negative attention over the 2013 F1 season, some of it justified and some not. However, if he were to win the title on Sunday, booing would be outrageous. He may not be liked but all champions deserve their moment to celebrate their success.

One Response to Why all the hate?

  1. Kelly Pyart says:

    Love this article!! Sebastian Vettel doesn’t deserve all the bad comments, he’s a born champion! Nowadays F1 could be considered ridiculous with it’s rules… Vettel just wants to win, and who can blame him??!? However he does bring some of the boos on himself as you’ve said.