To boo or not to boo? Why are fans not giving Vettel the respect he deserves?

Sebastian Vettel on the Singapore podium

Sebastian Vettel on the Singapore podium

To boo or not to boo? That was the question facing Formula 1 fans after Sebastian Vettel’s runaway Singapore Grand Prix victory was greeted with jeers although there were some cheers in among the boo-brigade.

For the third race weekend in a row, Red Bull‘s triple champion heard rejection as well as acclaim as he stood sweaty and triumphant on the podium ready to spray the winner’s champagne.

Why the fans were booing, and whether they should be condoned or condemned for doing so, triggered debate after the race but paddock insiders agree that the German is not being given his dues.

Singapore showed the world a champion and a team at their most dominant, working as one and to the best of their abilities in a sport that has always mixed fierce rivalry with mutual respect.

Martin Brundle interviews Sebastian Vettel on the Marina Bay podium

Martin Brundle interviews Sebastian Vettel on the Marina Bay podium

Former grand prix racer Martin Brundle, who carried out the post-race podium interviews and turned to the crowd to quieten them when he heard the booing, felt that Vettel had suffered an injustice.

“I was really amazed to hear some of that booing going on, it has become the default and it’s wrong because the guy has just put in a stunning sporting performance,” the Briton told Sky Sports television.

Mercedes‘s Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 champion who has suffered boos and racist abuse in the past, agreed: “He’s on his way to his fourth World Championship and he needs all the credit he deserves”, he told reporters.

Vettel and team principal Christian Horner blamed Ferrari fans who had also booed the driver on the Monza podium two weeks earlier and had wanted to see the Italian team’s Fernando Alonso in first place.

Sebastian Vettel crosses the line to take win number seven of the season at the Singapore GP

Sebastian Vettel crosses the line to take win number seven of the season at the Singapore GP

That may have been the case but there were other explanations.

“Different people have got different issues but the feedback I’m getting is they don’t like seeing one driver dominating. They see Michael Schumacher II going on,” said Brundle.

“But what can you do? He’s just absolutely in a groove, in a class of his own. We should be celebrating that brilliance and hoping somebody else can start to match it.

“It’s about excellence and delivering something [at] the highest level in sport. That’s why people travel across the world to come and see this race…they’re looking for excellence and he’s giving that to us. What he’s not getting is any competition,” added Brundle.

Vettel has won the last three world championships and, still only 26 years old, looks certain to become the youngest driver to win four – probably as early as next month.

Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher have both been victims of the F1 boo-brigade

Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher have both been victims of the F1 boo-brigade

His dominance, in a car that is the pick of the field, has been crushing since the end of the European summer break and he has now won seven of the 13 races.

For some it is too much, a return to the days when seven- time champion Schumacher set record after record and racked up five titles in a row for Ferrari between 2000 and 2004.

Fellow German Schumacher was also subjected to booing during his career, most notably in Austria in 2002 and Indianapolis in 2005, but on both those occasions the fans felt cheated of a real race thanks to team orders or a mass boycott.

There may be those who cannot forgive Vettel for ignoring team orders in Malaysia and depriving Australian team mate Mark Webber of what might well have been his last F1 victory.

New breed of F1 fans

New breed of F1 fans

It could equally be that, at new destinations lacking an established motor racing culture, F1 is drawing a crowd more familiar with football and its tribal alliances.

Ferrari, the most glamorous and successful team down the decades, inevitably draws strong support – particularly in cultures where red is the colour of good luck.

But F1, a sport where drivers risk their lives – even if there has not been a fatality among their number since 1994, prides itself on having a more sophisticated audience.

“These people don’t understand what this sport is about. You have to have respect for what he is doing,” was the reaction of Austria’s triple champion Niki Lauda, now non-executive chairman of the Mercedes team.

Sebastian Vettel heading to his fourth F1 world title in as many years

Sebastian Vettel heading to his fourth F1 world title in as many years

“It is quite wrong to jeer an athlete for winning unless it has been proven that he or she is cheating. The other teams have to do better,” said ex-Williams chairman Adam Parr on Twitter.

Horner also criticised the crowd and said it was particularly unfair on a driver who had led from start to finish.

“Of course [Vettel] says it doesn’t affect him and he doesn’t feel it but he is a human being at the end of the day,” he told reporters. “When you have driven your heart out and got that reaction up there, to me it is not fair.

“To me it is not sporting. I don’t think it is deserved in any way. He has got a broad set of shoulders but like anyone he has feelings and I don’t think it is right.” (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.

  • stings

    Brit and Italian media brainwashed booing cattle.

  • Imad

    Racism… the main reason is only the british media behind F1, and this media wants to polish Lewis above every one else as a priority with all his compatriots in F1. Vettel is German and not british (all time nemesis), now its the time the media will play the propaganda game same how they did to Michael, specially during his comeback stint.

    FIA and Eccelstone, must are unfair to give broadcasting rights to british media only.

    one of the main reasons i do not watch F1 after Micahel left is this very reason, that you sense the grudge starting from commentators during the race until the follow up articles all over the mainstream F1 media coverage.

    disgusting racism in every sense.

  • stings

    “Why are fans not giving Vettel the respect he deserves?”

    Fans who? What fans are you talking about?
    Those booing were drunk gorillas!

  • =El Presidente=

    Ok, as a fan of the sport in general, i’d say we should keep booing, it might distabilize him a bit, and thus give oppertunity to other drivers xD

  • stings

    @=El Presidente=

    Yes. You should!
    We know that this is the only way you can express yourself.
    In the same time, I feel a lot of compassion with the one who writes here those posts in your name.
    It can not be easy to understand what you are booing!

  • gilgen

    There are now very strong rumours that the booing is being orchestrated by supporters of a particular driver. The persons leading the booing were not locals.

  • =El Presidente=

    @strings, maybe you should take a crash-course in sarcasm.. although it requires some intelligence to recognize it.

    also i suggest you don’t attack others on their persons just because the ventilate an opinion (be it sarcastic or not) that does not suit your reality.

    Maybe you don’t understand the concept of an open forum, in that case i can recommend wiki, i’m pretty sure you can find some relevant info regarding that topic there. xD

  • Glen_M

    @=El Presidente=
    ”as a fan of the sports in general… Keep booing?.
    NO WAY Man!
    Unless I am greater than Vettel…

  • NanoF1

    People are not idiot and can see clearly what happend this year with tires. In the begining of the season RB can not manage it well, they began to cry and critisize it and at the end they got what they demanded since Australia, 2012 tires came back.
    After this change nobody can fight against them.
    That is a fact that eveerybody can saw and in a way a maner to maipulate the 2013 WDC giving them an advantage that they could not get this year in the begining (do not forget that RB put a lot of money in motor sport not only in F1, they put the money to save the WRC too).
    Multi 21 is another point against Vettel.
    He was booed not only in Monza and Singapur that happends to in Canada, Silverstone and Spa but media did not said anithing about it.

  • Glen_M

    What is the expectation of booeing him.
    To attack/kill him psychologically mentally? Or to make him loose? Or to make him draw back from the race?
    I don’t get this booeing to such a young tallented man

  • Moonlight


  • stings

    Do you try finding excuses for those gorillas?
    Not very successful.

  • stings

    @=El Presidente=

    Please don’t try to make me believe that you have something in common with the intelligence.

  • Hugo

    He deserves it. Spoiled little brat gets some payback for Malaysia. Serves him right for being a douche, and robbing his teammate of a win.

  • Rey Rodrigo Sanchez

    First of all, RB Car is great not Sebastian, if SEB is a great driver on the grid, he should start from the middle of the grid and win the podium.

    Alonso always starts from the third row and snatching the 2nd or 3rd place…this is great driver, and talented.

    Second, he got the 3rd driver’s championship becuase Alonso suffered too many DNF cause by other drivers last year.

    Third, 60 points is a big gap, but don’t forget the word “MIRACLE”….or, what happened to Alonso might happened to him also…cheers!

  • Speedo-Reido

    I completely lost respect for Vettle and the Red Bull Team after the incident two years ago when Vettle collided with Webber while they were fighting for the lead. It was clearly Vettle’s fault. I watched SB twirl his finger at his temple, inferring Webber was crazy, then gets a cuddle from Horner, Newey and Helmut at the pit box. They have shown no respect for Webber since.

    After the Multi21 scene, the disrespect for Webber from SB sealed my poor opinion of SB, Christian Horner and that slimy Helmut. In my opinion, it’s not just Vettle they’re booing, it’s that trio. I can’t stand the sight of they’re arrogant faces either.

    And finally, there’s no way in the world Webber has an equal car. What a load of BS. I understand the concept of a #1 driver on a team, but don’t try to hood-wink the fans by saying they are in equal machinery. People recognize a BS’er when they see one. Those guys are such. I’m glad Webber can tell them to stuff it when he goes to Porsche. It’s been a long time coming.

  • Speedo-Reido

    One last thought.

    Arrogance is not Confidence. Greed is not Ambition.

    The RB crew has this backwards.

  • Mats Jacobson

    Thank you fans who booed Vettel!!! You Booed him, then he drove faster, you booed him in Monza and then he totally kicked ass in Singapore, please boo him some more, it can only help him kick your drivers ass more!!! Thanks again, keep up the good work, I can’t wait until Korea now and see how he dominates there!!
    All the great ones get booed, it seems to make them better!!

  • PEr

    After the Multi21 i dont like Vettel anymore !!

    Arrogant mf !

  • F1 Neutral

    A lot of this could be avoided if they got rid of the awful “podium interviews”. If they’re not done by Brundle or Coulthard they’re absolutely awful. Alesi and Lauda are not good up there.

    If there’s tension in football between 2 players they just got rid of the handshakes at the beginning of the match. Problem solved. Let’s go back to the press conference room, so the drivers and interviewer can do it properly.

    As to why Seb is booed – so many reasons. People need to see him struggling with a car. The crowd just thinks it’s too easy for him. Also, the established teams don’t get booed when they’re dominant. Redbull are relatively new and maybe people don’t like that. Then there’s Multi-21 (I believe that what Seb did was right – those points could have proven to be critical), and people HATE the finger.
    Personally I think Seb is an amazing driver with a great personality (see Top Gear) and should not be booed.

  • MightyK

    Vettel is outstanding, but the fans simply don’t like him.

  • jl

    @Rey Rodrigo
    I found so funny reading your opinion, it make me laugh for 5 minutes. Thank you.

    1st : F1 competition start from qualification, that will always like that. alonso not capable to build speed in qualification, he did not win, he deserves 2nd or 3rd, not a win. enjoy that.

    2nd: well, so James Hunt did not deserve 1976 championship, Hakkinen did not deserve 1999 championsip due schumacher injury, Kimi also did not deserve 2007 championship, even alonso did not deserve 2006 championship due to schumacher failure in Suzuka.

    in 2013 alonso made crucial mistake, accepet that.
    Luck is part of this sport, accept that.

    3rd. well you may hope that “miracle”, your miracle is based on other person luckyless, not based on alonso hardwork.
    mama mia,… this alonso is so idiot.

    do like Vettel do, hardwork made great result, like Vettel do.

  • JR

    I wonder what would happen if ‘fans’ started booing Hamilton.

  • Red Bull Cheats

    People boo the man, not his sporting achievements. He is a douche and a cheat.

  • Ukwhite

    @MightyK: Ferrari fans mainly, there are blue color fans that like him plenty.

    Blue means decent people, easily they can boo Alonso, Mark that have a contribution to this saga as a revenge, but seems to be a different quality people indeed.

    If Vettel survives it, he will be an even better driver, but personally I think he will take a blow that can shatter him in pieces. Fighting with Gorillas has never been easy.

  • KC

    This isn’t that complicated. The people in question are “fans” of other drivers and are upset that Vettel keeps beating Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen and the rest. Of course that’s s still a stupid reason to boo a sportsman for the crime of winning, but the people in question ARE stupid. Just read the comments they leave on F1 web sites.

  • KC

    I’d add that a lot of members of the press do not give Vettel the respect he deserves either. Many in the British press are big backers of Hamilton and are upset that Vettel is crushing their favorite. So certain fans read the lack of respect in the press and repeat it.

  • KC

    “I completely lost respect for Vettle and the Red Bull Team after the incident two years ago when Vettle collided with Webber while they were fighting for the lead. It was clearly Vettle’s fault.”

    I completely lost respect for Hamilton and the McLaren team after the incident two years ago when Hamilton collided with Button. It was clearly Hamilton’s fault.

    No, I didn’t really. But then, I’m not a dim-witted child like the Vettel haters.

  • Dan

    Although undoubtedly the boos were for vettel, its actually more than that. Those boos were actually for the sport in general. The FIA has essentially killed the sport. Putting in regulations here and there, that races are now won off the track instead of in it. The ban of in-season testing has virtually taken out any team that is behind the first 4 races to ever catch up. Red bull the past 3 years, and Brawn gp, the year before that. And since its impossible to catch up anyway, you have teams planning for the year after even if the season is only halfway done.

  • Tamburello_1994

    The record books do not reflect the fact Vettel gets booed so I’m not sure how relevant all this is.

    At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter a whole hell of a lot. If anything it serves as motivation to Vettel and Red Bull.

  • Djembar K.

    Yes, Seb is a good driver but not a great one at that..
    Without so much the help of Newey and slimy Helmut and of course tough guy Horner, he would be fighting in the middle of the pack.
    Yes, he’s good but not exciting, no soulful existence.. unlike other World Champs of the past. More ‘robot like’ and a ‘product’ of the trio.
    Same machinery? Bullshit! What was the finger all about? unbeatable Superhuman? Pleaaaaseee…
    Multi 21 debacle.. ahh, it is now proven he doesn’t need it!
    Greed is NOT good!!!

  • Izham

    ferrari freaks were booing at the future driver for ferrari in 2015

  • Speedo-Reido

    Hey KC,

    Your stupid comment might make sense if this article was about Hamilton.

    And I didn’t say I hated Vettle, I said he lost my respect. Big difference. Respect is earned. Simply because a racer comes in first or wins the championship doesn’t make him respectable, just awardable. Respect comes from the WAY you win the championship. Respect is a personal opinion. Arrogance and being greedy isn’t respectable in my book. Sorry.

  • fools


    Alonso NEVER gets “boos”!


  • aberracus

    Why he DESERVES respect?

    he is good, he is fast… respect? why?

  • aberracus

    I dont respect him, but not boo him either.

  • F1 Neutral

    I think Dan makes a very valid point. The boos reflect the current state of F1 in general. The tyres, the dull, predictable races, the new circuits with no character or history etc etc.
    Vettel just happens to be unbeatable in the Redbull and that makes the races very predictable. Compared to Schumacher, the Multi-21 and the collision with Webber in Turkey are nothing.
    Vettel hasn’t deliberately taken out a British driver to win the world championship, yet receives more boos than any driver I’ve ever known.

  • Dan

    Thanks f1neutral!

    Win the races ON the track

    Win with overtaking skill

    Lose with miscalculations

    Lose with fuel misstrategies

    Lose with dumb luck

    Bring back excitement in f1

  • McLarenfan

    Vettel irritated fans with the finger.
    Vettel Fuji 2007 irated fans along with that pompous moron Marko.
    Multi 21 just pushed some too far.
    Also the cheating accusations like flexi wings hand adjustable ride height adjustment mechanism in Canada 2012.
    And also you have “RED BULL CHEATING BY USING BANNED TRACTION CONTROL – REPORT”. This was published on f1pulse who are quoting Italian publication Autosprint.
    This is just some of the things flying around making people to assume they are CHEATS and Vettel who is the main face on the podium gets all the Booing it is wrong and unsportsmanlike and I think it taints the end of the race but hey I am British and a fan of Nigel Mansell, Johnny Herbert,Martin Brundle, Damon Hill, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button

  • Serpo

    it seems that a lot of the journalism around at the moment is just trash trying to stir up fans a start arguments that I think have resulted in situations like Vettle being booed on podiums around the world. As a Webber fan I didn’t agree with the multi 21 situation but I also don’t agree with people booing him either, let’s lighten up guys don’t get lured into these trashy situations, enjoy the fact that these guys are out there busting a nut to win a race and entertain us. Enjoy it while you can because the way the sport is being run it won’t be long before we are watching a grid full of pay drivers run around in cars that can hardly be called the pinnacle of moter sports

  • farizY

    Blah blah blah, boo boo boo, in the end, Vettel still on his way to his fourth title. Instead of blaming RB and Vettel, what don’t other teams catch them up? Sore losers.

  • Serpo

    @ Dan&@F1Neutral

    Very well put but lets not forget also the amount of trashy journalism that is plaguing the sport at the moment, stories written just to stir up the narrow minded few, lighten up guys argue for the sport to be resurrected from the state it is in before we are watching a bunch of pay drivers run around in elastic band powered cars.

  • lawl


    “Fact: Alonso never gets boos!”

    You are right, he doesnt. Thats because RB/Vettel fans appear to be better educated, Alo and Ferrari fans are spaniards, italians. As a frenchman myself I can assure you after attending to many, many races over the years, a lot of them behave like wild animals.

    What can you expect from the people who are ruining the European Union?

  • lawl

    I would boo those teams with tons of money and 0 results, its not fare for Vettel and RB because they are doing a great job, they are doing their homework, they spend time developing, they dont even have a wind tunnel!

    Who on earth would boo Jamaican athletes like Usain Bolt for example?

    Ferrari kicked a good racer for money and now they are bringing him back, Ferrari has tons of money, buildings, workshops, Ferrari has a wind tunnel, Ferrari has a supposed “best driver” and he with that team has done nothing. They deserve more booes than any other team/driver else.

  • Adriana

    @ KING Rodrigo . Vettel had start couple times from the back of the grid and he had earned the podium , plus take a look on Webber same car 100+ points behind him , the ones that should been booo , has to be the other teams , because even if they expend millions of dollars , they still can’t match RBR , real F1 people appreciate what Vettel and RBR are doing , that’s a real TEAM , every body is doing their best effort and it reflects that in the G.C. isn’t ?

  • Adriana

    @ lawl , you just hit the nail on the head , I’m with you

  • Ward Paterson

    A lot of the booos came from Aussies in the crowd. We have a true hate for the 1 fingered wookie since Malaysia.

    May he crash and burn his RB9.

  • stings

    @Ward Paterson

    I bet you have better sportsmen to cheer for down under then this big mouthed loser.
    His middle name is number 2….. even more, that number is not thank to him …so….may he retire faster from his crashed and burnt RB9 :)

  • McLarenfan

    This alone may bee the reason “RED BULL CHEATING BY USING BANNED TRACTION CONTROL – REPORT”. This was published on f1pulse who are quoting Italian publication Autosprint.

  • gilgen

    McLaren fan. no there is no tc. otherwise wouldn’t webber also be winning? and do you remember the McLaren illegal tc?

    the booing rabble have been identified as webber supporters and resulted from some comments he made about vettel in an interview about 7-10 days ago.

  • MacStar

    Should Vettel be booed at Monza? YES. Should Vettel be booed in Singapore? NO.

  • Hawk

    Wind tunnel my foot, maybe they have better tech. And get your facts right, RB have the biggest budget. RB doesn’t want to listen to anything to do with cost limitations

  • Ukwhite

    @McLarenfan: Honest, I don’t think RBs are so imbecile to show off so massivelly in Singapore knowing they had illegale traction control. The title is in their bag, why should take inutile risks at the end of championship? That is rather a Red Herring of the Red side of F1.

  • Ukwhite

    @Ward Peterson: Watch out what you wish for… Vettel’s results is not only his merit but the Big Guy ones, when somebody get so much for sure The Somebody loves him. Don’t mess with that, still time to retract your words (learned this lesson from an East Indian)

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    I think it is even more juicy when fans like Butterfly and Fool are booing and Vettel stil wins.

  • fools


    your right…and wrong. RB has a wind tunnel. How the heck would they win if they could conduct testing then? Also, Yes I agree Ferrari should get boos too although I do not support it. Im saying this because they need to start winning again. They have the driver already and Alonso does not need nor will ever get bood because he does bring results! Unlike everyone else who never competes up to Vettel pace and form in the races.

    Dont fool yourself with this booing brigade… You cant honestly say the Italians and Spaniards are always booing! WTF? so they travel every just to boo Vettel?? GTFH… It obvious why Vettel gets boo’s…enough people have mentioned it here and other forums and sites and so has the paddock for bird shit sakes!

    Its not secret its obvious. Get your head out your arse. Alonso will never be bood! Point blank simple.

  • Red Bull Rules

    Wow, when RB entered F1 they were laughed at and made fun of. Now they are kicking butt and taking names so naturally everyone is upset. While Vettel is not my favorite racer, he is still a good racer. Afterall, how many other Torro Rosso drivers have won a race?
    So all you haters just need to STFU and encourage your teams and drivers to be the best they can instead of slagging those who are the best: RED BULL RULES!!!!

  • F1 Neutral

    It’s a shame that it will now become the ‘trend’ to boo Vettel every time he is on the podium.

    Definitely get rid of those podium interviews and go back to the post-race press conference. The boos are mostly when Vettel is answering questions on the podium. The podium interviews are awful when Lauda and Alesi do them anyway.

  • McLarenfan

    Quite possibly true as I have looked deeper in to it It started in Canada and it is down to skipping burn out marks and as you more than likely know that is not how traction control works I would say yes another false claim!

  • Df

    2010: Mansell 1992
    2011: Mansell 1992
    2012: Mansell 1992
    2013: Mansell 1992

    Everyone knows Mansell was a very good driver but not the best.

    We’ve just had four 1992’s in a row with a very dominant car.

  • A41202813GMAIL


    2011 And 2013, Yes,

    2010 And 2012, No.

    Respect Where Respect Is Due.

    Go, HAMILTON !

  • F1

    Its not Vettels fault the RB car is so superior to the others but he will never get the respect he yearns for until he has to race for his place on the podium, if they were all in identical cars I have serious doubts he would ever get to hold that finger up again though he may squeeze 3rd the podium once or twice.
    I’m afraid the Multi21 incident will be with him for the rest of his career, I hope he learns from it and doesn’t behave like a spoilt brat again.
    We all want to see great racing, lets hope this dominance by the RB car soon fades and we get to see the drivers battle it out in a more equal race, if Seb wins fair and square then the fans must leave him alone and respect his achievement.
    In the mean time he should keep that finger down and appreciate the fact he has a vastly superior car.

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