F1: To boo, or not to boo? Opinion roundup
Singapore was the third race weekend in a row, where the triple world champion has been booed whilst standing on the podium.
Many F1 moguls have spoken out against the jeers, defending Vettel, including Stefano Domenicali. Domenicali, Ferrari team principal, is direct rivals of the German, however has recently vocalised his opinions.
“We must recognise that our opponents have done a better job than we have and compliment them because in sport you have to accept when your opponent does better than you,” said Domenicali.
“That’s the same for the fans: I wasn’t happy to hear that Vettel was booed under the Singapore podium as well. The German driver was perfect and he was helped out by a car that was as quick as it was reliable: this should be acknowledged.”
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo criticised the attitude of the spectators after the Italian meeting, another race where Vettel was booed.
“Maybe it would have been better, if there had been fewer boos for Vettel: congratulations to him and to Red Bull” Montezemolo said.
Vettel explained that a large chunk of the jeering came from Ferrari fans, the die-hard tifosi.
“Most of the fans are dressed in red, Ferrari has a very strong fan base for a reason: they have a lot of tradition in Formula One, they’ve been around longer and won, and they’ve been more successful than any other team.
“There’s more and more blue people – more and more people dressed in blue so we are doing a good job on that front. But obviously they are quite emotional when they are not winning and if somebody else is winning, they don’t really like it.”
“A compliment, that’s the way I take it, because they are jealous because we win in front of whoever they support.”
Niki Lauda, a triple world champion himself, added to the criticism of the fans behaviour: “These people don’t understand what the guy is doing,” said Lauda. “I honestly take my hat off at his performance because the guy was leading the race from the first lap on, out-drove everybody, he could have lapped everybody.”
Presumably, fans are booing because Vettel drives for a rival team, alternatively, spectators may feel ‘robbed’ of a real race. Regardless, Vettel puts on a spectacle, that any true racing fan will find truly amazing. Arguably, Vettel’s car is better than the competition, but this does not suffice in explaining his utter dominance throughout his career.
The most recent critic of the booing is Red Bull rival, Lewis Hamilton.
“Booing is just such a negative thing, especially when someone works so hard to be successful,” said Hamilton.
“No-one should ever be booed for their success, no matter how easy or hard it has been for them to get to where they are.
“I saw a glimpse of him on the podium and I was happy for him, I tried to imagine what it would be like if I was winning races as easy as he has been winning them.
“But it’s definitely not a positive thing to hear he has been booed. He’s on his way to his fourth world championship, and he needs all the credit he deserves.”
Red Bull’s top-dog Christian Horner slammed Vettel’s critics, saying that it is “unfair” to boo the 26 year-old.
“When you have a guy who is becoming almost a serial winner, it becomes like when people watched Mohammed Ali, they wanted to see who would beat him,” he said.
“That is the case at the moment; people want to see who is going to beat Sebastian.”
Vettel was booed in Silverstone, and seemed genuinely upset as a result. He had not done anything to provoke jeering from fans, it seems that fans have developed Seb into an antagonist. Vettel has become the ‘final boss’, the one to beat.
Booing is not uncommon in Formula 1, however reasons for the booing is usually less controversial. The jeering at Spa may have been aimed at protesters, who had scaled the paddock building. Schumacher was subjected to booing on multiple occasions, the most notable of which being the 2005 Indianapolis race, which was down to more political reasons.
“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.
The general consensus, is that a large number of fans dislike Sebastian, or dislike his prowess. Industry members, even Red Bull’s rivals, praise the team’s and his skill, it edges them on to performing better themselves.
Critics of Vettel can explain their case as much as they want, saying that Vettel’s sheer number of victories makes the sport dull. However, it may water down the driver’s championship somewhat, but that is not what racing is about. Vettel & Red Bull’s skill should be praised, it is not always the front-runners who drive the best race. The Milton Keynes outfit shouldn’t have to adapt to make the sport more exciting, they could be seen as spearheading the sport, setting the pace for the rest to catch up.
What do you think of the behaviour of spectators? Tell us below.
Only registered users can comment.