Fans want to see Vettel lose claims Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone with Sebastian Vettel

Bernie Ecclestone with Sebastian Vettel

Fans want to see four time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel lose to make Grand Prix races more appealing, the sport’s boss Bernie Ecclestone said in an interview on Wednesday.

“Many people want to see Vettel lose because it would finally make it (the World Drivers’ Championship) more exciting again,” the 83-year-old Ecclestone told Bild.

Vettel is looking to win his fifth straight world title when the season starts with the Australian Grand Prix on March 16.

The German was booed at some races last season when he won 13 of the 19 races.

Vettel endured a tough final testing session in Bahrain last weekend when there were problems with the new Red Bull car.

The German failed to complete a single lap in testing on Saturday due to electrical issues and problems with the car’s Renault engine.

Williams’ Felipe Massa posted the fastest time, clocking 1min 33.258secs, closely followed by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who was just 0.06 seconds behind, while Vettel came in 18th-fastest overall with teammate Daniel Ricciardo tenth.

Renault are being blamed for the woes afflicting the world champions, but Ecclestone refuted those suggestions, saying: “after all it allowed him to win the championship for the last four years.” (AFP)

Content on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • Matthias O’keeffe

    I want to see Nico Rosberg or Felipe Massa win the title this year.

  • ME

    I want to see Alonso or Massa win the title this year.

  • karlich

    I want to see Sebastian Vettel win the title this year.

  • RBC

    I want to see Alonso and Lewis fight for the title and I don’t care who wins out of them.

  • Krunksoft

    Thought I was the only one around here. I expect Seb to go even harder this year now that so many people acts like he’s a plague to F1. I hope he wins three more titles in a row. I don’t hate dominance and I don’t believe the FiA handed Red Bull 4 titles in a row just because they complained about a few things. Why would the FiAdo that? It only leads to people thinking the sport is boring as they do now, so it doesn’t make sense for the FiA to create some conspiracy to further help Vettel and Red Bull to 4 straight championships.

  • karlich

    I can only speak for myself here, but I don’t think Vettel’s dominance is the main reason for F1 being a snooze fest as so many say it has become. I think the inability of their competitors and the many new tracks are to blame for that. But like I said, I am just thinking out loud. Regardless, I’d love to see the Bull’s rebound and Vettel take his 5th – not only because I am a fan, but also because I’d enjoy seeing all those disgruntled faces among their competitors and the boo brigade 😀

  • MajorWebUser

    I’d like to see Vettel lose so that he may possibly become a more humble winner in the future. Of course, that assumes he would learn to be a gracious loser. He certainly hasn’t shown to be a gracious winner.

    Before everyone starts throwing shards of broken carbon fiber at me, I was thrilled when Vettel first climbed into the seat of a BMW. Young, talented, and aggressive — very cool! Over the years his talent has been blessed with the backing of a strong team and even stronger ride. It will be interesting to see how he copes this year as Red Bull doesn’t seem to have hit the sweet spot at the start of this season with its design. Will Vettel rise to show the incredible level of sheer driver skill Alonso has in taking a less than perfect Ferrari to the podium multiple times? We’ll see.

    My objection to Vettel winning a fifth straight title has nothing to do with his skill but with his “in your face” finger flipping attitude. Look through the gallery of photographs from years past and in many you honestly can’t tell which digit he’s holding up (videos show an overall gesture to further support this point-of-view). Childish, unsportsmanlike, and unnecessary.

    The only thing worse than a sore loser is an arrogant winner. I don’t believe I’m alone in not wanting to watch a fifth season of such immodesty. If Vettel had the respected personality of the likes of Webber or Barrichello (fill in your favorite name here), there would be throngs of fans hoping he would make history and bag his fifth title in a row. I don’t sense that is an attitude shared by many from those I speak with or articles that I’ve read. It should prove an interesting season.

  • Krunksoft

    karlich – You’re alright with me amigo! I love to see the frustration from other drivers and fans when Vettel wins. They call him arrogant, but if I’m a team owner I WANT an arrogant SOB in the cockpit. I didn’t like when he disobeyed the ‘Multi 21′ order last season but other than that I could care less that people are sick of him winning and that one-finger salute/celebration of his. He’s raised the bar and given F1 fans a real villain. I love it!!!

  • Paul

    BE what the fans want is close racing and not the processions we have seen for the past few years when one car gets in front and the cars finish in that order like 13 of the 19 races in 2013. Some overtaking would be nice as we have not seen too much of that in the last few years. Hopefully the technical changes in 2014 will make the playing field a little more interesting for the fans otherwise it will be a turn off and fans will cease their viewing of the races. Sponsors will then start to look elsewhere for their spend of their marketing dollars. That is of course the part that FOM is interested in hence the comments in this article.

  • MajorWebUser

    So Krunksoft, sportsmanship and character shouldn’t be of any consideration to a team owner? More importantly, to a sponsor?

    If I ran Red Bull, I’d be concerned that a major brand representative is getting booed by fans of F1. Is that really the kind of representation they want? He certainly wouldn’t get away with unseemly behavior — let alone disobeying team orders — at the likes of Ferrari.

    If Vettel were a man to be admired, I’d love to see him keep on winning. I think this will be an interesting year to watch him as a “team member” when his team can’t deliver the #1 design.

  • karlich

    While I won’t throw any shards of broken carbon fiber at ya, I might say that I’ve seen Alonso, Hamilton and Raikkonen throw 1 finger salutes with either one or both hands, on the podium or from the victory lap, upon winning. Sure, Vettel exaggerates the gesture a lot, but then again why shouldn’t he? Hamilton’s been in the game for 7 years, has won 1 championship and a total of 22 wins. Raikkonen has been in it for 11 years total, with 1 championship to show and 20 wins. Alonso has been hanging around for 13 years with 2 titles to his count and 32 wins. Vettel hasn’t even got a complete 7 years in F1 with 4 titles to his credit and 39 wins. Go figure, of course we’re going to see a whole lot of his victory gestures.

    Are victory antics so unlikeable? Remember Schumi’s jump? Look at Valentino Rossi’s era of dominance in MotoGP and his now famous, often tongue in cheek celebrations. Or Lorenzo’s attempt to better him in theatrics? I won’t even go in to football (or soccer depending on what side of the pond you reside) and the celebratory performances they indulge themselves over there.

    But I get it, Schumi wasn’t liked by many in his era of dominance. Neither was Hakkinen. Let’s face it, many of us just don’t like winners – or at least those who by some measure win too often.

    Of course, there are a dozen more arguments why not to like Vettel. I’ve heard them all. I mean, here’s a prototypical racer who has been bred in to success since he was 3 years old. He has gone from success to success, never tasting the bitter taste of loss and struggle. The way I see it, Vettel isn’t to blame for this peculiarity of the modern sports industry – and it is an industry. Look at any sport and the competitors are getting younger and younger and their paths are laid ahead of them, more or less, from the day they’re born.

    Then there’s the argument of him winning only because he’s had the best car. Well, that’s quite an amusing argument in my books. Of course the Red Bull has been among the best or by far the best in the past 5 seasons. But hasn’t every car of every former champion been the best or among the best? Isn’t every sportsman who is reliant on some sort of equipment equally dependent on that equipment’s superiority? Isn’t any team’s success a measure of that teams financial strength? I’d argue it is!

    Another point often mentioned is that despite Red Bull’s claims that both drivers receive equal treatment, Vettel is their number one, their golden boy, their unicorn. Well he may be now and why not, but it wasn’t always that way. His results got him there and in such a cut throat environment, results are everything. Let’s not forget the first result you want to measure yourself against is your teammate; while they are in the same team, they’re also the most fierce competitors to each other in the whole field. On that account, Vettel beat Webber from the get go.

    Which brings us to Webber. Oh the incidents between the two have been plentiful. Ranging from Turkey to Malaysia. Multi-21 has got to be a major trigger for the mass outburst of discontent against Vettel. And again, I can see why it is so for many people. For one he disobeyed team orders, put his own success ahead of the team’s success and betrayed his teammate in what would later turn out to have been a pointless move because he anyway won the championship by such a large margin. Some people dislike that. In fact, some hate it. I actually applaud it. I like Seb all the more for sticking team orders, going for the kill at all costs and intuitively not being apologetic about it. Webber was a second grade driver at that point and there’s nothing “nice” or “chivalrous” about gifting a subpar competitor a win (I know, others may and do disagree). Besides, all he’s ever been taught to do is be competitive and win. Which is what he did. And as another “besides”, there’s little indication that Webber did much to help him back in Brazil when Vettel could have used it to win his 3rd. The only thing I disliked about the whole Multi-21 affair was when he was coerced by PR goons to apologize for it though, as he again showed, didn’t in the least regret it.

    So he is a product of a fancy PR machinery instigated by a fizzy drink brand who couldn’t care less about F1 other than further promoting their own brand. Yeah, hear that one too. While Red Bull GesmbH most certainly has a huge interest in promoting their brand through F1 and all the other sports they sponsor, I also happen to know that Mateschitz, the owner of Red Bull, is a motorsports nut who just happens to have a few billion laying around for him to entertain his petrolhead enthusiasm. I don’t see nothing wrong with that. Russian billionaires buy football clubs as do far eastern royalty throw their inheritance at F1 racing teams and exquisite automotive companies. Where does that leave us with PR? Nowhere different than with any other sports or sportsman – a sterile bunch of carefully handcrafted, immaculately premeditated speeches to deliberately maximize targeted consumer segments while not stepping on anybodies toes. To be fair, Kimi might be the only exception within F1 who occasionally couldn’t care less.

    They are cheats! Okay, now this is where more than shrapnel starts flying. They’ve been caught cheating on some occasions. On some of those they’ve been punished for it. On others not. On most they’ve only been accused of cheating and despite further investigations haven’t been proven guilty. Speculations aside, they’ve also had legal innovations that garnered them such success that they were ultimately banned. And then they’ve also had “grey area” innovations which while not in the spirit or intent of the written rules, weren’t exactly illegal either. Is that a fairly fair assessment of Red Bull? I hope so. I tried my best. Now let us find one team in F1 who hasn’t been down the same path. It’s F1 for God’s sake :-)

    So what is it about Vettel? I don’t know. I like him. Nay, I really really like him. I mean I love him! And I love Red Bull and Red Bull Racing. I even like his character, his gestures, his speak, his humor. There’s ever so slight a difference between Vettel in English and Vettel in his native tongue German, but it’s small. Not enough to make a difference in his likeability. Others just hate him for any of above reasons or none at all.

    I think one of the big factors contributing towards his huge and very vocal crowd of haters is the fact that he is the first F1 driver to have dominated in such a way in an era of social networks a la Facebook, Twitter and a million of personal blogs. No other driver or team that have garnered such incredible success in successive order have had to stand the scrutiny of so many openly vocal bystanders. Add to that, that Vettel isn’t very open regarding his private life and you quickly get a snowballing effect of dislikes and thumbs down because he forgot to post the latest selfie on Facebook or tweet about where he is having his gelato.

    But it’s all good. It’s okay not to like someone. I don’t like Alonso and I can’t even tell you why exactly. I love his driving. I respect his persona. But heck, if I am honest, I just can’t stand his mug.

    Go Vettel ,|,,,

  • farizY

    I believe what fans want to see is a close fight between drivers. But in highly competitive environment such as F1, who ever translates the rules best (eg: manage to capitalise loopholes) with sound financial backing coupled with a skilled driver will dominate. Happened in the past, happened recently,and will continue in the future.

  • Krunksoft

    Well said sir. The only point I disagree with is about the Multi-21. Before he even sits his a** in the car a great many people had a hand in putting him in that position. This is a team sport and it is the team who gets the fat check for the constructors championship. There were engineers, designers, mechanics, software developers and hard working people there to bankroll and manage it all into the juggernaut that it is. During the race there were guys in the pits changing his tires so fast it makes our jaws drop in awe. He talks about how much he loves this team but that was a slap in all of their faces. When he can bankroll the team, design and engineer his own car, change his own tires and get his own telemetry….then and only then can he ignore “Multi-21″. To risk crashing both cars trying to race your teammate when you’ve been ordered not to is the type of thing nobody else on the TEAM can get away with. Out of respect he should be no different. I get it, he’s the quickest out there and he knows it so there’s no use risking the team losing points to further feed your ego. I don’t mind an arrogant driver just treat your own people with the respect they deserve for all the hard word they put into that beast you’re driving.

  • Krunksoft

    MajorWebUser – Did Seb kill or rape somebody? Does he have a long list of DUIs? Does he run over puppies in his spare time? Has he slapped any nuns lately? Did you catch him stealing change from a begger?

    Know what he is? He’s friendly with the media no matter what you think of him and that goes a long way with any driver. I personally have never heard him say a cross word about another driver and I’ve never heard another driver go off about how much they hate him. You see, Kimi will never be as marketable as Seb, for instance, and that’s why sponsors will stick around.

    I would imagine that the owner of Red Bull cares about one thing at the end of the day and that’s the Constructor’s Championship and the fat check that comes with it. More than anything, sponsors want to be associated with a WINNER. How many sponsors has Seb cost Red Bull?? Name one. Seems like they’re in pretty good shape sponsorwise to me.

    As I already said I didn’t like him disobeying team orders but he’s not a robot and I understand that. It was a majorly foul, selfish, unprofessional, and childish thing to do but he’s human. I don’t need him to be Jesus behind the wheel. Learn from it and move on. If the world wants to stay frozen in that moment even as the man speeds towards history, it’s the world that has the problem.

    If you have to convince yourself that he’s the Satan of F1 to keep things interesting for you then fine, but you must also realize that if the RB10 finds some reliability by the time they reach Monaco the devil will walk away with his 5th title in a row.

  • BK201

    Not this infantile crap again. Loads of drivers ignore team orders, including Mark Webber on several occasions. And the reaction is always to applaud those drivers, not attack them. The double standard applied to Vettel is disgusting.

  • Krunksoft

    It is infantile to assume that just because everyone seems to do something that that makes it right. THAT, sir, is how children think. And the reaction SHOULD BE to grow up and realize you are part of something bigger than yourself. Seb could die tomorrow and Red Bull would go on. It’s called PROFESSIONALISM and I’m saying this as a VETTEL FAN. In no other area of life would this be tolerated, especially when people’s lives and livelihoods are on the line. It’s not worth the risk. Can you ignore such orders at your job?