Horner: It has been convenient for Vettel’s rivals to treat him as the bad guy

Christian Horner with Sebastian Vettel

Christian Horner with Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has accused Fernando Alonso of encouraging his fans to boo world champion Sebastian Vettel on the podium this year, claiming that labeling the quadruple World Champion as a bad guy was part of the ploy to undermine his achievements.

Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz recently likened Spaniard Alonso’s tactics to those of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, saying the Ferrari driver is “the worst of all at the psychological warfare”.

Horner, the energy drink-owned team’s Formula 1 boss, has now directly accused Alonso of playing a role in the spate of post-race booing on the podiums in Belgium, Italy and Singapore this year.

He told BBC Five Live radio this week that Vettel’s portrayal as “the bad guy” was “convenient” for the his rivals.

Horner said, “It has been convenient for some of his rivals to treat him like that and they have encouraged it, whether that’s Fernando Alonso taking off his cap and throwing it in the crowd as soon as Sebastian talks on the podium to get a reaction.”

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel share the podium in Singapore

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel share the podium in Singapore

“The great thing about Sebastian is that he has not risen to it, but he has felt it and is hurt by it. Of course, there is this pantomime villain scenario with an X-Factor mentality.”

“The biggest thing about him is his strength of character. He doesn’t look at the internet or read newspapers about motorsport. So often he seems so uniformed, but he feels what is going on.”

“At 26 years of age, he’s hugely impressive with the way he carries himself and the way he has developed as a young man.”

“He is always under pressure, always under scrutiny. Of course, the more successful you are, the bigger the fall, and people are looking for that fall. But he has dealt with that outstandingly well,” added Horner.

Others, however, think Vettel brought his unpopularity on himself. Nico Rosberg was highly critical of the 26-year-old this year, when Vettel suggested that Red Bull is winning because the other teams don’t work as hard.

Sebastian Vettel versus Mark Webber in Malaysia

Sebastian Vettel versus Mark Webber in Malaysia

“It’s probably worthwhile talking to the fans to try to get their opinions [as to why they boo],” the Mercedes driver told Sport Bild this week.

“The more successful you are, the more people will let you know what their opinions are of you, which is why it’s important to focus on the positive people around you,” added Rosberg.

Many believe Vettel’s popularity took its sharpest dive in Malaysia this year, when he blatantly ignored a team order to the detriment of his teammate Mark Webber.

“I think after the race his initial reaction was correct,” Webber told the Daily Mail this week.

“I think he was shattered at what he had done, but his reaction two weeks later in China – when he said that he was not sorry at all – was probably not the best way to encourage people what to think of him,” he added. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • LotusFan

    Horner and Marko are one of the main reasons Vettel is unpopular. RBR and these guys lack grace. The more they talk about booing the worse it is going to get.

  • Butterfly

    Fernando is giving Mateschitz, Marko, Vettel, and Horner a very hard time. Here we are at the end of the season, both titles in RBR’s bag, and yet the team management takes time to talk about Alonso.

    I guess when you’re hit by a freight train, you have to bleed. Vettel is quiet, though, since he’s got the three musketeers to speak on his behalf.

    They hired a psychologist to tell him how to think, now they may hire a psychiatrist for Horner and Marko to cure them from Alonsofobia.


  • captain tortuga

    Pfftftftft .. when , oh when , does Horny stop licking Vettel’s rectum?? Every week he is sticking his tongue deeper inside the escape-cave of his little ‘star’ . This horner makes me wanna watch WWF-Wrestling… mennnnn

  • Spartacus

    I didn’t need Horner to tell me that Alonso is a bad sport; it’s common knowledge already.

    Really Alonso should concentrate on his own problems rather than creating some of others.

  • Red Bull Cheats

    @captail tortuga! Classic comment. Awesome.

  • Butterfly

    captain tortuga:

    +1 :-)

  • bobw

    You guys are a bunch of bridge trolls and haters.

  • Me

    RBR are just pathetic, they just won 4 world titles in a row and their main concern is Alonso WOW. They should look in their own yard and what the team and Vettel did to Webber and admit that the booing is because the Multi 21 affair and other things they did “against one of their own” and has nothing to do with Alonso and everything to do with them. They must be the most unpopular winning team in F1 history.

  • Me 2

    I couldn’t agree with you more Me. I love the way that Seb and RBR can’t figure out why they are so disliked.

  • Ankit


    And really you should concentrate on sucking on your milk bottle than being bothered to watch any form of sport! You do not know what filth you spill here. Dumb*ss troll. All you ever do is take so much time out to talk crap about Alonso. You need a life man. You’ve got problems.

  • jl

    let alonso have a smile with a win in psychologic war
    let Vettel have a big big smile with 4th title

    it think lose in a real war is bitter.

  • captain tortuga

    @Lotusfan : you might be right, because i don’t dislike Vettel like i disliked for example Prost or Schumacher. Vettel just really seems a little RedBull-minion.. The very best RB-Minion of course, but stil a minion.

    But for some reason, RedBull, (and Ferrari) are always in the spotlight of controversies.. namely bending spoilers, illigal TC, Illigal rideheight-systems, .. or in the case of Ferrari, special tyres for schumacher, where as the other 22 guys had to drive on b-spec tyres.. and so forth.

    It has to be said that as well MSC as VET both have very , very discussable titles on their name, For Vettel there are the 2 titles with Illigal ridheight-control. For schumacher.. menn where to start.. illigal TC, crashing people out of the races for the title (hill +couldhard) having an obvious unfair tyre-advantage..

  • Karlich


    Did you actually listen to the interview? Probably not. If the media prefer to procrastinate over all those little F1 squabbles and affairs, then of course all we will ever hear in interviews is Horner’s opinion on these matters. I am sure the last thing Horner has on his mind is Alonso and him firing back at Alonso in particular is nothing more than what we do here on this thread.

    You see anyone claiming @Butterfly and @Red Bull Cheats are “sticking their tongues deeper inside the escape-cave of their little ‘captain’” ( @captain tortuga) even though they’re constantly on it, whining, claiming, insulting?

    And please, please, I mean seriously, P L E A S E can we stop mentioning poor ol’ Webber and the terrible fate he has suffered under the reigns of RBR? The man got closer to a WDC than ever before, bagged a few 3rds and has done very well for himself with that team.

  • Karlich

    @captain tortuga

    Is there at least one F1 champion you consider worth of his title? All I ever read fro you is cheat this, cheat that, advantage hear, or there, unfair dirty lil’ scoundrel everywhere.

    Besides, the winning teams were always under more scrutiny. Ferrari, Brabham, Lotus, Williams, McLaren and now Red Bull. They eaither did cheat or they developed advantages by exploiting loopholes in regulations or by plain old innovation.

    And I can’t think of a single multiple F1 champion without dirt to his name. Those single champions maybe, but winning 1 championship can be as much as a fluke of coincidental circumstances as it could be a true display of skill (though if latter were true they’d be multiple champions and fall in to the category of those where I can always find some dirt to their name and titles).

  • Luka Anicic

    You all make me ashamed to be an F1 fan. Seriously, the childishness in some of your comments is just unbelievable. I have a preferred driver, but I’m not going to bash others because I like one more than the other.

  • Tinto

    Some comments are questionable, but that is it

  • fools

    Alonso is the best. That is why he is always mentioned. Always has articles and the most comments and is arguably a 4 x WDC. He was robbed 2 WDC. The world knows this fact and why he is loved by everyone in the paddock and across the world.

    As one mentioned…Alonso threw his ca at the crowd to cheer Vettel on more because the booing started as he was being interviewed. Horner makes it seem Alonso creates the booing when in fact he helped Vettel get cheers whilst throwing his cap into the crowd. Alonso is a true sportsman and WDC.

  • fools


  • captain tortuga

    @Karlich, yeah i consider Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Hamilton worthy of his title, the first one of Vettel was a nice one, Mansell, and because im a hypocrite as are all humans, Senna (talk about a dirty driver) is also worthy of his titles ;) Then we have Jack Brabham, and there some others, so yeah, most are worthy.
    And yes, i agree with you that for sure all multiple champs have some dirt. but as i said, i don’t really dislike Vettel (for example) but the way RedBull handles things. I will be the first to admit that i would do the same dirty stuff (or worse) would i be in a similar position given the opportunity. And in this case (these years) the emphasis is on RedBull, I am a massive Mercedes fan, but i also realize that Brawn&Co is just as clandestine as Newey&Co. Merc does an illegal test, RB drives an illegal ridehight system or whatever. And Ferrari also has a library full of debatable things, or McLaren or, or, all ‘innovations’ ;)

    I am by the way not against all those innovations, i like them, i am probably of the few here that is a fan of KERS and DRS, and things like that.
    Personally think there should be a hell of a lot less regulation concerning development, because i really dislike that teams are -indeed- always trying to find loopholes, and that usually the most money devouring outfits, find the most/best loopholes. that creates an unfair base. And ok, that’s F1, but then it also fair to say that f1 is not pure racing, but more a display of technique in which a driver plays an inferior role. And it also fair to say that a number of titles from a number of champs weren’t earned very sportsmanlike.

    And of course it will always be in times of dominance that fans will complain the most, and will start looking for things, because, even we know they all ‘cheat’ here and there, apparently they managed to gain greater advantages than others.

  • F1 Fan

    thats all just usual Redbull BS coming from love birds of Vettel namely Horner and Helmut. And One more thing I want to add the “Alonsoooo Alonsoooo” cheers of him during Vettel’s interviews started a long time ago.. I was lucky enough to be in the Indian 2012 GP and everyone one cheering Alonso even though vettel had won the race But people realize Alonso’s tenacity and great overtaking he did to come from a mediocore Qualifying position to P2…and More importantly no one likes it when someone rubs his success in their faces like what Vettel does with his “the finger” even after Qualifying! I bet he does the same even after Practice sessions.. and also the ease with which he wins bores the hell out of races.

  • Tinto

    Really stupid comment

  • Tinto

    @Butterfly: There is Alonsofobia as much as Vettelofobia. Love is blind. Your high five for one of guy’s rude comment proves that

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    Horner and Marko concentrate on marketing actions against Alonso, while Vettel does driving. Good division of tasks.

    Maybe Ferrari should also have a Nr 1 driver who does not excel in talking but rather does some driving, does not get outqualified by his Nr 2 teammate, and does not lose two title due to driving errors.

    Red bull seriously looks to be the right set-up.

  • Ukwhite

    F1 Fan: Mob’s behaviour has nothing with elitism, underdog is their love, booze and boos. Watch the stupid voting in USA eliminating the best of DWTS players, for the sake of some without any talent whatsoever. Read modern management manuals to understand people behaviour, don’t bet on that as a benchmark.

    Vettel is part of an elite contrary to an Alonso whose is part of …masses, to keep things …polite. Vettel’s finger is his brand and should be respected.

  • Me 2

    Vettelophobia? Na. I don’t fear him. I just can’t stand him. BTW – as well as Mark has been competitive at RBR, it doesn’t excuse the bad behaviour, dialogue and technical “issues” that he has endured from his “team”. Vettel, Horner and Marko support Mark as much as a 10A bra on a 22DDD woman.

  • F1 Fan

    Ukwhite, You sir just cracked me up, absolutely amazing