Sebastian Vettel could secure his fourth successive Formula 1 title at this weekend’s Japan Grand Prix, but he’s still not a universally loved character. Platform Sport’s Shanil Nayee investigates why that is.
First things first, there is no denying the quality of the three, soon to be four time champion of Formula One racing. His emergence on the scene wasn’t the smoothest – retiring from his first two races, but beside those results his quality has proved to be the difference between normal and bloody amazing. Winning the title successively for three years in a row and looking to add another in the upcoming Japan Grand Prix is nothing short of remarkable; so why is Sebastian Vettel so hated at the moment?
Maybe it is the fact that he has claimed the other teams are “hanging their balls in the pool on Fridays, [while] we’re working very hard and pushing very hard so that we have a strong race.” What a way to alienate yourself from the other teams and drivers. It’s not like football where you can say some banter or maybe play some mind games like Fergie, and then shake hands after. All that is going to do for Vettel is piss the other drivers off. He may be winning every race and is probably going to win his fourth championship but good champions should show respect for the other drivers.
Also, there are fans and drivers who claim he is making the sport boring by winning everything; saying that he’s just a good driver operating a better car. In my slightly biased very fair opinion, as a Ferrari fan, I believe that there are better drivers out there, like Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. I understand that you don’t just get to the top by doing nothing and currently there is zero doubt that Vettel is at the top of the mountain. The issue is that the sport is just becoming boring, so much so that instead of devoting countless hours of my weekend watching lap after lap all I do is watch the BBC highlights, only to see Vettel has won, AGAIN. It has actually got to the stage that Lewis Hamilton has spoken of a fear that the sport could actually become boring! Yes, you read that correct but there is still hope…
What is a sport without having someone at the top of the pile? Surely there is always going to be that team or player who is miles above the rest. Vettel made a mistake with the previous comment quoted but don’t we all. Didn’t all of Ferguson’s tactics work in the end for Manchester Utd, minus the odd slip and mistake here and there. Just look at their team at the moment… okay maybe don’t but you know what I mean – 20 English titles says it all.
Next season arguably two of the best drivers, Raikkonen and Alonso, will be on the same team. Webber is retiring so Vettel will have a new partner, which could be the beginning of the end for the German, who knows? In the meantime Vettel needs to be careful about what he says and do his talking on the track and not in the papers. Otherwise he will not be on the track for much longer.