Lauda and Marko defend Vettel after his crude criticism of rivals

Sebastian Vettel listens to Niki Lauda during a TV show

Sebastian Vettel listens to Niki Lauda during a TV show

Niki Lauda and Helmut Marko have come out in defence of Sebastian Vettel, after the reigning World Champion made a somewhat crass observation about his rivals.

After getting booed on the podium yet again in Singapore, the Red Bull driver surmised that the detractors are “jealous”, and implied that his rivals are not beating him because they are lazy.

“Whilst there’s a lot of people hanging their balls in the pool very early on Fridays, we’re still here working very hard and pushing very hard,” Vettel had said.

Team consultant, Marko, said that Vettel’s comment was “great and pithy, and anyway it’s true”.

“Seb wants to keep the workload just as high in the team as it has been,” said the Austrian.

But even a rival team figure has defended Vettel’s crass comment.

Sebastian Vettel with Helmut Marko and Christian Horner

Sebastian Vettel with Helmut Marko and Christian Horner

“I liked what he said,” triple World Champion and Formula 1 legend Lauda told Bild newspaper.

“Plain speaking is always good, even if I think that we work just as hard at Mercedes. But there is some truth to it; Vettel has a huge ambition and it rubs off on his team,” he added.

Lauda also weighed into the debate about Vettel’s unpopularity among the fans, recalling that he was also booed during his successful Formula 1 career.

“I was booed brutally in 1977 at Hockenheim,” he said, “because the fans saw me as the gravedigger of the Nurburgring because of my accident the year before.

“The fans were outraged even though I couldn’t do anything about [the Nurburgring’s fate],” Lauda explained. “But they whistled like crazy anyway.”

However, he said the crowd often has a very short memory.

“Then I won the race for Ferrari,” said Lauda, “and those who previously booed were cheering just as loudly.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Thor

    If Vettel had given Webber the Multiple 21 Victory, Vettel would now have 240 points (instead of 247) and a satisfied teammate. Vettel doesnt want a top driver at his side because he fears he will get beaten. These facts shows Vettel is a weak leader. People dont like weak leaders of the pack. When Vettel sais Things like “we Work our biiips off & the others dont” he will only seem like a more weak leader than he already did. Because many thinks its A. Newey that delivers the hard Work not Vettel. If Vettel had the guts to have a Raikkonen, Hamilton or Alonso as teammate i dont think anyone would be boo’ing at Vettel. If Vettel was a strong leader he wouldnt find himself in this mess. Even though he quali the car on pole race after race those haters still believe its all Down to Newey and Theres nothing to prove them wrong.

  • Barlow

    Seb is a good driver but so is Hamilton, Kimi, Alonso, and others, it’s the car that makes Seb such a winner. You switch his car with the other top drivers and they will come out first, barring car trouble. For three years the Red Bull car has been number 1, and would be regardless of whichever top driver drove it!! If your car is 3 or 4 tenths faster per lap, at the end of a 50 lap race, that’s 30 of 40 seconds ahead, it’s simple.

  • pfft

    Two accurate comments

  • jl

    @barlow, that’s right simple! As you are the only 18 times F1 world champion. :D

  • batloun_76

    Adrian Newey Joined Red Bull at the end of 2005 and start working at the car in 2006, red bull dominate in 2011, they won in 2010 but not by that extreme dominance as the year later, so stop putting all the credit to Adrian only, it’s a team work and sure Sebastian Vettel deserve fully respect.

  • farizY

    Vettel haters always say, he won because of the car, well duhhh, most of the world champions won the title because the had a far superior package compared to others; coupled with their driving talent, we get a winning formula.

  • LOL

    @Thor you made my day. I never laughed so hard.
    Hamilton whines every time he doesn’t get a good result that it’s the car, it’s the team blah blah blah.
    Alonso needs Piquet to crash or Massa to slow down to be able to get points. Forget the current Massa that gave up.
    Raikkonen doesn’t give a damn, of the pick he might be the real driver that is there just to DRIVE.
    Webber is just a “Massa” in RedBull overalls. He has horrible starts and when for once he was in front Vettel raced him for the top spot. Multi21 is no different than the “Alonso is faster than you”
    Vettel is a champion that achieved more than Kimi/Lewis/Alonso at a younger age and that burns the teams/drivers/fans. If he wins this year he will have the equivalent number of titles as the 3 you mentioned together.
    He is far from weak or nothing less than any other true champion who puts his interests and ambitions 1st.

  • gingerbreadman

    there are facts that show vettel is having just as hard a time as the others when it comes to car trouble, he just manages it better from time to time.
    torrorossa has only had 1 win, and that was with Vettel.
    Redbull had mark Webber long before the had Vettel and only started wining when vettel joined the team.
    I am not saying he is the best on the grid, but he does have talent, and to be 1st you need to beat your teammate.
    Newey worked on the mclaren and williams in times where they won the championships, but also at times when they lost.
    Newey is one of the best out there, but without a good team and support, nothing will happen. same with drivers.
    Vettel is doing a good job, but it does take a team effort to do that good job, otherwise Alonso would have won the championship in 2008.
    you need a package, not just a driver or a Newey.
    there is a lot of history to prove that, non of the comments or boos is going to change the way it works. and if Vettel wins 4 5 6 dwc then they did a good job..

  • Eevel

    After not taking the blame for what I feel was his fault in Turkey 2010 I was not a Vettel fan.
    However Vettel has been winning me over slowly.
    This guy has his head screwed on right, he’s worked hard for his success and he deserves it.
    I’m not so convinced it’s only because of the car anymore, this guy clearly has talent by the bucket loads.
    He is so consistent it’s just not funny.
    If the car is so dominant why is Webber not winning or even on the podium more often.
    Some may not have liked his comments but there’s obviously some truth to it.
    How does anyone even know that Vettel didn’t want Kimi as his team mate?
    Red Bull probably weren’t prepared to meet his salary demands and so Kimi chose Ferrari.
    I don’t think anyone would beat Vettel with the form he’s showing anyway.
    As for Alonso why would anyone want that poisonous human being in their team demanding no. 1 status when you have a better driver and team player in Vettel in any case.
    The more Vettel and Red Bull win, the louder the detractors get – its starting to be a bit pathetic

  • Eevel

    This just in – the Red Bull RB9 confirmed as having traction control ……… It’s called Vettel’s right foot!

  • Tamburello_1994

    Senna made similar comments about his direct rivals back in the day so I don’t understand what’s so earth shattering about these particular comments. He didn’t have a go at someone directly so what’s the big deal? Sounds to me like he’s naming names without actually doing so – Quite clever I might add.

    All in all, pretty f-ing harmless.

    Vettel is a reigning three times, forth one on the way, world champion so I’m gonna give him wide latitude because he’s proven he can certainly walk the walk. If that’s his opinion – maybe some of those “rivals” can put him in his place and beat him once in a while. That would go a long way to clear up any misunderstandings. The only way to shut him up is to beat him. So get about doing that.

    You know what? I’ve seen many a good driver in an Adrian Newey penned car but nobody has ever driven one like Sebastian Vettel can.


  • bmendon

    I like that expression – “hanging their balls in the pool”. That’s funnier than a rubber crutch!

  • MacStar

    Haters can hate and boo, Vettel will keep on winning. Red Bull could never have achieved what they have with 2 Webber’s in their team. You need a Vettel to achieve so much.

  • sabdopalon noyogenggong

    if vettel switch team and leave Newey behind, maybe this booing problem will solve by itself.

  • Einride

    @Thor. Maybe you should look at how many points the championship was decided by last year. Giving points away to someone that doesn’t stand a chance of winning the championship is just stupid.

    Red Bull should have ditched Webber before 2010.. and ran with a defined and public #1 #2 driver constellation.

  • Boycottthebull

    I see the Fingerboy fans are out in force. Just yesterday there were questions why he isnt liked very much. This is your answer. He is rude, ego centric a liar and unsportsmanlike. He says the others arent working as hard as him? How would he know? And naturally the 2 outspoken old loud mouths of F1 (one of the Vettels personal daddy) are out defending another loud mouth? Who would have predicted that? Vettel can only win if he doesnt race side by side and have to work his way through the grid. He has never won when he was placed any lower then third on the grid which means he cannot really engage other drivers. He is a lap timer you let him get on pole and that it hes away. Get a few people in front of him and he is forced to race then he is done for. There is a certain skill in that sure but it doesnt make for a complete driver by any means. Even Webber is better than cutting his way through the field when he has to. Although I would have to agree Kimi could do with a few less Friday night beer drinking parties but I think all the other drivers are pretty professional.

  • Joe

    This for all those so called F1 fans that think Vettels success is solely due to the car. If this were true why didn’t Webber finish second in any of the past three years or this year, which Vettel will win again unless something catastrophic happens. If you look back throughout F1 history you will realise the facts will speak for themselves. When the car is dominant the team mates finish first and second. This is not the case with Vettel. The kid is a prodigy and people resent that. Get over it! that is modern F1 the car plays a very large part of winning a championship. its not the 70’s.

  • batloun_76

    You’re so damn right…

  • Don

    When the car is dominant!!!!, there’s a statement by someone who’s been following F1 for ever, F1 is not just a drivers sport like it was in the 50’s and 60’s, it’s a team sport, with engineers, trainers,etc., anything can take away from that success from a pit crew mistake to a personel life issue all of which feeds the confidence of an individual who puts his life in the hands of his team, and if you want to win against the best, well as James Hunt says “the closer you are to death, the more alive you feel”, and lets not forget LUCK because she can bring great reward and gut wrenching defeat, So be mindful of were you are now because that can change for the worst and those lazy competitors will accept your bad luck just as you would theirs.

  • Max

    Says it all rearly listen to vettle and button before they go up on to the podium then on the podium listen to vettle.

  • Max

    2012 German GP Podium & Press Conference

  • Long

    The car does not make the driver, the driver makes the car. Do you think the car would be as good as it is if it weren’t for Seb’s input. Some drivers have the ability to communicate their needs better than others. Seb is masterful. I’m not a fan, nor do I subscribe to his comments about lazyness of other drivers. I don’t believe that to be true. I think Seb made those comments because he’s offended that he’s not the superstar of the sport. He’s young, and immature.. and that’s ok too. Right now he’s being boo’d because he’s not really human. RedBull should make him human by connecting the fans to him in a deeper way, then they will respect him. Think about Senna for a moment, he dominated, similarly to how Seb is dominating now.. but Senna was human. He illustrated this by establishing himself as a leader. He stood up to “the man” at the time. He stood for justice, fairness, and dignity. Seb has those qualities, we just haven’t seen them. And we may not ever see them in this contemporary version of F1, as witnessed by their inability to differentiate themselves to the media. They all say the same $shit, “Thanks to the team, the car was fantastic, we go to next weekend to win”. BORING! Seb could easily separate himself from the field by being a leader to them in some regard. Maybe it’s a safety proclamation. Lastly, this era of F1 is a hell of a lot more exciting than when MS was dominating the field.

  • Taskmaster

    You have to love it when the detractors resort to attacking by assigned character flaws, or small irrelevant offenses, and using those as a reason he/she should not be considered deserving. It’s like grammar school all over again (gag). Great car or not, aggressive competitive spirit or no, youth or aged, charismatic or not – winning as consistently as this Vettel character is indicative of a great driving talent, whether or not anyone likes him for it or not. As the old saying goes – “The one that thinks about it the most, rubs on it the most, wins the most.” Red Bull and Vettel dominate because they are at the top of the list of hardest working teams and drivers. They are not alone, but they are in rare company. Balls in the pool has been put in my quote library for future use… it’s priceless.

  • ukwhite

    Time to listen to experts, here you go a quote of Gary Anderson of BBC, one of the most knowledgeable person in F1:

    “…Vettel is part of that team and he has worked with them to develop the car in the way he wants. All drivers say they would like the car to behave in a certain way, but if you fix it for them, you rarely get that much lap time out of it. With Vettel, if Red Bull build the car to suit what he wants, they do get lap time out of it. That gives a team so much confidence to go forward and continue with a development route because they know it will be worth the effort. Vettel is getting stronger and you have to respect that. There is no luck involved…”

    On the same note with Gary, a humble question to the same anti-Vettel “warriors”: What if Vettel was not part of RBs and Mark would have been the team lead with another partner? Could we say that RB Newey’s car would have been the fastest?

  • ukwhite

    To those complaining Vettel is not nice, has no charisma, etc…

    I lived and worked with Germans for many years and can say that rarely you see charisma in Germans. Think about their chancellor Merkel. But man, rarely you see seriousness, work ethics and dedication like them. It is no luck they are between the best in the world as a nation.

    I closely worked with high school grade youngsters that impressed me with their natural engineering knowledge despite the fact they had no university degrees. Very dependable and dedicated people, always there for you.

    Those are the things that really matter when judging people.

  • bmendon

    Boycottthebull-Asserting that Vettel can’t work his way through the pack shows your ignorance. He took a damaged car from dead last to 6th place in Brazil last year to win the WDC. He worked his way through the ranks driving driving a crappy BMW Sauber and later Toro Rosso. I think you need to crawl back under the bridge you live under.

  • Haitham HTN

    I don’t like Vettel , but during this year i just feel its very difficult for some one who can do everything to win and by the end just all the world stand against him , the truth he deserve all this fame , he deserve to be world champion in the last race i saw a fantastic race from 2005 untill now , i never saw perfect race like this , congratulation Vettel , do your best you deserve more .

  • gilgen

    boycottthebull. well if we were to do that, we would be boycotting you!

    I don’t understand how grandprix247 can allow potentially libellous comments such as yours to remain. do they not have a moderator? their contact address does not allow messages to be sent. does somebody know how to report nasty posts?

  • Ahmed

    I agree with Barlow!

  • Izham

    When Vettel was with crappy BMW F1 team, he did set several fastest practice times, with Toro Rosso he did get a pole and a victory and several top 8 results which I fail to see current and previous Toro Rosso drivers do consistently after Vettel left the team. I believe Vettel is the best out there if you know his F1 history and results before he joined Red Bull Racing and I would be surprised if he fails to get his 4th WDC this year. I am not his fan anyway, I am with Mercedes GP.

  • KC

    Crass comment? There are some real old ladies working in the F1 press room.

    You know what’s a crass comment? Hamilton’s endless crying that “Seb’s car is better than mine!”

  • Charles

    While I’m sure Vettel works very hard, I don’t think his rivals are working less. In fact, given the gap, probably harder than him.
    However, I’d just like to remind Vettel that the boos came from the public that paid to go to the even, not a rival team or driver. It still isn’t a very classy gesture to boo the winner of the event, but if according to Lauda it is o.k. for him to speak his mind, then so can the disgruntled fans. Both lack class IMO.

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    Vettel is the most concincing Nr 1 driver. 13-0 in qualifying, finished ahead of his teammate in all races. He is the one who has broken all records so far, and has beaten all his teammates. Vettel does not need to prove anything anymore.

    Compare this with with Alonso getting beaten in series in qualifying by his teammates, and beaten by a rookee in the same car. Alonso is a nobody compared to Vettel.


  • gilgen

    Charles. the boos have been identified as coming from webber fans! it was not “the public”. the critics were located in the area below the rostrum, where the general public were not allowed.

    but why shouldn’t vettel speak his mind? Alonso does it, Hamilton does it, webber does it etc so why shouldn’t vettel?

  • KC

    ” If your car is 3 or 4 tenths faster per lap, at the end of a 50 lap race, that’s 30 of 40 seconds ahead, it’s simple.”

    Right, that explains why Webber consistently finishes 30 or 40 seconds ahead of Alonso and Hamilton. Oh, wait … it’s almost like the extra few tenths come from the driver and not the car, isn’t it?

  • Charles

    sorry, didn’t know they were identified as Webber fans, however, I don’t disagree with you on his right to speak his mind.

  • benramses

    vettel was booed so many times not because he dominating he was booed because of what happened at the malaysian grand percieved him now as greedy as hell.l,and self centered which is true.

  • Fg

    Vettel looks and talks like Justin Bieber.

    He is not a man but a goofy boy.

    That is why he has no charisma like a real man.

    I guess boys like him would look upto him though.

  • 9 DF

    Haha, great comment by Vettel & its very true. You want got to work hard for results.

  • Tamburello_1994


    Michael Schumacher is that much less of a champion because Juan Pablo Montoya was never his teammate.

    That’s completely absurd.

    The idiotic lengths some will go – to try and straighten out their pretzel logic never ceases to amaze me.

  • realf1fan

    Vettel should be thankful he is in a team like Red Bull because he would just be an also ran in any other car.

    Nico is the best Germanic driver on the grid right now and if he had a car to equal Vettel’s he would piss all over the arrogant prick.

  • Rockie

    When the record books are being read, 5 yrs from now Alonso would be in the footnote as just another driver who challenged the G.O.A.T and failed, charisma or flair wouldnt even come into it, what is painful for most of Vettel’s detractors is not about him dominating now, but its about the future as they know he’s not even at the peak of his powers now, for argument sake lets say Alonso is better than Vettel (which I personally dont believe as I believe Vettel to be the better driver) he’s just only a little better imagine what Vettel would be driving like in 5 years a lot of people are gonna seeth for long I would suggest people change thier username and start supporting Vettel there is gonna be a lot of painful and hurtful years ahead as Alonso can’t drive better than he’s currently doing as an example compare the 2010 Seb to 2013 Seb am sure you can see the difference it’s like daylight and night in 2010 bus stop at spa was where he t-boned button in 2012/13 it was his favourite passing spot it should be named after him.
    People never appreciate greatness while its happening what is most compelling here with different posters is the different soundbites that flood internet forums while Vettel is re-writing F1 record books, even the great MSC would not be sleeping easy at night.
    The late Senna up above would be clapping in awe looking at what this kid is achieving it is phenomenal.
    Keep the boos coming, name your pick multi 21 turkey 2010 front wing debacle, get him out of the way Mark is too slow, the finger, have I missed out any other excuse, oh the most important one its Newey winning the WDC.
    What doesn’t kill you can only make yo stronger, and my isn’t he getting stronger every race.

  • LotusFan

    Probably one of the drivers who jumps into the pool early on Friday is Seb’s dear friend Kimi. Thank God for Seb kimi does not read much. Otherwise he might sock him the face, friend and all :-)

  • gilgen

    realf1fan. What a stupid and childish remark! Does your mom know that you are playing with her iPad?

  • Joel Matherson

    Gilgen, I think you need to take some chill pills or learn about dry ironic humour. Goodness me! A crass sarcastic rebuttal in a comments section to a drivers own crass sarcastic comment is hardly libel. If anything Vettel making out that the other drivers are lazy and that’s why they dont win in a well publicised interview is probably more libel! Furthermore if that same comment was made by a poster here that Seb always wins because every other driver were hanging there balls out in a pool on Fridays while he is hard at work they would be definitely labelled a troll LOL. Think about it! Personally the finger thing was getting up my nose if you excuse the pun LOL but after reading the nickname Fingerboy just made me laugh and it doesn’t bother me as much. We may not be able to laugh at ourselves but I think its fair to laugh at the silly things F1 drivers and team principles say and do. Maybe its a British thing but I quite like reading the humorous posts of real F1fan and BCTB, lighten up a bit its all good fun.

  • Ukwhite

    @RealF1fan: Nico, the Man? That cannot be true, there should be more to becoming a champion than what Nico does. …Let me pass Lewis, I am faster than him…

  • gilgen

    Yes it must be a British thing to dislike a German driver who has shown up a British driver as being mediocre. Vettle is 100% right. He is in the garage studying times etc, when others have left the circuit. That is what makes the difference between winning and losing.

  • realf1fan

    Is the Carrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Its Neweyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    Its Rob Marshallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

  • Ukwhite

    Let’s quote again BBC F1 guru….

    “…Vettel is part of that team and he has worked with them to develop the car in the way he wants.
    All drivers say they would like the car to behave in a certain way, but if you fix it for them, you rarely get that much lap time out of it.
    With Vettel, if Red Bull build the car to suit what he wants, they do get lap time out of it. That gives a team so much confidence to go forward and continue with a development route because they know it will be worth the effort.
    Vettel is getting stronger and you have to respect that. There is no luck involved….”

  • KC

    “.. reading the humorous posts of real F1fan …”

    You mean “humorous posts” like “Nico is the best Germanic driver on the grid right now and if he had a car to equal Vettel’s he would piss all over the arrogant prick”?

    Yeah, that “realF1fan” should do stand up comedy for a living, he’s a laff sensation.

  • Ukwhite

    @Alonso_is_slow: Mate, you should win the trophy for Alonso abominator, no matter Fernando does, you hammer him heavily. Have given a thought to follow him on twitter, that will be really ballsy.

    Have get ever tired? Just for the fun om comments, what triggered that and what fires is so relentessly

  • gilgen

    @RealF1fan. Still playing with your mom’s iPad?

    Come back when you reach 13 y.o.

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    It is not me who hammers Alonso, but his low performance and arrogant childilsh behaviour.

  • realf1fan

    @ KC, I’m a bit perturbed that you seem to find my concise and credible comments amusing as they have been deduce from facts and logic and being able to digest what is happening in F1, ie just because a driver finishes 30 sec in-front of another does not mean that driver is the best on the grid as there are more likely other factors to consider.

    gilgen, bringing my mother into the conversation, that’s just not cricket old boy.

  • gilgen

    @RealF1fan. Is mommas boy upset? Hopefully she will take back her iPad from you.