#F1 Features: The Vettel ‘Boo’ Pandemic Part III

Editors note: This is the third and final part of the feature where TJ13 is looking at why fans are booing Vettel.

In the final part of our look at the Vettel booing phenomena, there are certain facts which appear to have eluded those who lecture and belittle the F1 fans choosing to express their displeasure towards Sebastian and his team.

TJ13 is for the fans and of the fans, and the reason for this extended reply to those who have been criticising the Vettel jeers, is because it is only because of the fans that these self appointed voices of decorum have a platform from which to preach, judge and moralise.

The fans have been suffering for some time now. The price to go and watch their heroes in the flesh has grown astronomically in recent years, as struggling race promoters scramble to find the cash required to pay to the sport’s commercial rights holder.

Then in many countries, fans are being forced to fork out hundreds of pounds a year if they want to watch live TV broadcasts of each of the seasons events.

Further, and this is something I’ve heard from fans too numerous times to remember this year, the abolition of FanVision has significantly diminished the experience of attending a Grand Prix weekend. There may be payback for this act of Ecclestone’s in the attendances in 2014 unless a replacement solution is delivered.

So whilst TJ13 is at times highly critical of those inside the F1 circus, we will defend the fans to the hilt because without them – there is no F1.

Derek Warwick commented following the Singapore GP that at times those in F1 ‘take themselves too seriously’. Yet, they live in a world of extreme privilege and have riches and jobs beyond most mere mortal’s wildest dreams.

Natalie Pinkham when discussing the issue of the podium jeering described it as a ‘Pantomime’, and surprisingly this may be one of the more astute observations I’ve heard her make.

For those of you non-British readers, who are now 70% of our readership, I can’t explain to you the concept of Pantomime here, a Wikipedia introduction and link will have to suffice.

Pantomime (informally, pinto) – not to be confused with the theatrical medium of mime – is a form of musical comedy stage production, designed for families, developed in the United Kingdom and mostly performed during the Christmas and New Year season.

Modern pantomime includes songs, slapstick comedy and dancing, employs gender-crossing actors, and combines topical humour with a story loosely based on a well-known fairy tale. It is a participatory form of theatre, in which the audience is expected to sing along with certain parts of the music and shout out phrases to the performers”.

Pantomime is not exclusively sourced in British culture and has roots in the 16th century commedia dell’arte tradition of Italy along with other European court entertainment traditions broadly known as ‘masques’.

Characters and actor’s are cheered and booed equally for their heroic actions or dastardly deeds. This is all good humoured and part of the expected show, which see’s adults participating at times more vigorously than the kids.

Since the introduction of the podium interviews by Ecclestone to ‘improve the show’, the fans now have the opportunity to hear from the F1 main players directly, and within minutes of the curtain falling on the race.

They cheer and jeer as they interact with the actor’s as they deliver their broadly scripted sentiments. When they hear something noble and worthy, the audience expresses approval, conversely they are equally eloquent when remarks made are not believable.

However, just as at the Pantomime, the assembled onlookers join as one to jeer and boo the villain of the story – which if for no other reason than he fits the bill best at present – is Sebastian Vettel.

The nature of the Pantomime may lead the critics of those jeering Vettel to surmise that it is a frivolous and unimportant response, yet this would be to misunderstand the history of booing.

Here is the Collins dictionary definition of booing. “A shout uttered to express disgust, dissatisfaction, or contempt, especially at a theatrical production, political meeting, etc”.

This definition was not selected for any particular reason, and a range of sources defining the act of booing suggest similar sentiments.

The first written record of this public act is found in ancient Greek culture. Playwrights competed at the annual Festival of Dionysia in Athens, and it was the audience who determined which tragedy was best. Jeering and/or booing being the measure

Apparently, “when the democratic reformer Cleisthenes came to power in the 6th century B.C., audience participation came to be regarded as a civic duty. The audience applauded to show its approval and shouted and whistled to show displeasure”. (Slate.com)

Jeering and booing was not intended to be unkind and was in no way unsophisticated, but it served to ensure the level of public performance was maintained at a high standard. It kept the players honest, by emotionally rewarding the good and punishing the bad.

Of course there were times when the audiences had mixed feelings, some jeered whilst others applauded.

So the Ancient Greek cultural code of conduct was not so civilised after all – well in fact it was – because it was not merely acceptable to jeer, but a duty of its citizens.

We can trawl though the centuries and find booing and jeering an most societies, maybe the most brutal was in the Roman gladiatorial games where the cheers or otherwise from the crowd determined whether the gladiator lived or was executed.

One of the oldest institutions of democracy which takes immense pride in its code of conduct has a fine tradition of jeering and even heckling.

There are strict rules on what may and may not be said in the British Houses of Parliament debating chambers. Should a member be in breach of these, the speaker will name them and they will be forced to withdraw from the debating chamber, escorted by the Sergeant at Arms if necessary. In ye olden days, miscreants could be held in their custody.

Entertainingly, expulsion is less frequent in modern times. This may be because words deemed to be ‘unparliamentarily language’ – as defined by the rule book Erskine May – have fallen into disuse such as Pharisee, pecksniffian (cant), swine, jackass, hooligan, blackguard, cad, ruffian and insulting dog.

Murderer, criminal and liar are all banned, as they are seen as inconsistent with an MP’s most important right under parliamentary privilege – to speak freely without fear of legal action on grounds of slander.

In reality, MPs are more often suspended for persistently challenging a Speaker’s ruling, not for calling William Hague a “foetus” as did Tony Banks who then later described the enormous Nicholas Soames as a “one-man food mountain”.

Jeering is a daily collective sport. There is rarely a debate where the speaker does not have to respond to such partisan barracking of the opposition with his gavel and the cry of ‘Order, order!!’

There have been examples in most sports of disrespectful and reprehensible behaviour (see part II definitions) where fans cross the line and are most specific and probably slanderous in their description of a sports star.

We are not seeing in F1 organised football-esque chants such as, “Vettel is a…. [German Banker]”; neither is the legitimacy of Sebastian’s parentage being questioned.

During the research for this piece I found it amusing to discover that Philadelphia grid-iron fans are considered to be notoriously vocal. They have apparently booed Santa Clause (though I couldn’t find the details of the occasion).

However, the Eagles fans following a defeat to the Falcons in 2012 were lambasted by their own defensive end Jason Babin. “During the game there was a good section of fans chanting some of the most vile things I’ve ever heard. Not just at a football game, but in life, in general. Talking about attacking Coach [Andy Reid], talking about people’s wives and kids and chanting about them”.

Babin was clearly affected deeply by this as he continued, “But if I could say just one of the things they were chanting, it’s way past bad, it’s foul. I’ve never heard — listen, I don’t want to even repeat what I heard, it was that bad. And I’ve got a pretty high threshold for adult jokes, to give you an idea of what they’re saying.”

Clearly those who are jeering and booing Vettel are in no way comparable to this kind of crowd abuse. They add to drama of Bernie’s final curtain call after his ‘show’ has ended.

Even better are the amusing responses from those who take F1 too seriously – as Derrick Warwick suggests to be the case. Morality lectures and belittling comments directed at the jeering fans merely appears to be soliciting a sniggering style response which simply serves to incite the fans to poke back with renewed vigour and a growing following.

Our journey is now complete. Red Bull must share the responsibility for this fan reaction and it is not merely directed at Vettel.

The media moral outrage entertains us all, and maybe someone will eventually help these people understand they are fanning the fire with the oxygen of their criticism. Brundle’s own observations turned inward appear remarkably ironic. “They would be better served… silent”.

And I’ll leave the penultimate word to the [at times] sagest of F1 commentators who has seen most things F1 over some 25+ years of traipsing around the world with the circus, Mr. Joe Saward. He identifies what appears to be the tipping point for all the previous Red Bull management and PR bungling.

Although Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing have attacked fans who have booed Vettel on the podium for much of this season, even trying to suggest that it is the same people going from race to race, or that it is the fault of Ferrari fans, no one has yet answered the very simple question: Did this happen before the Malaysian Grand Prix?

The answer, of course, is no, and that probably answers the question about why there is booing…

So before attacking the fans about the question of sportsmanship, perhaps it is wise to ruminate a while on the subject…”.

Vettel’s public image needs to be improved, yet this does not require silly marketing or more ‘meet the fans sessions’, The F1 public just need to see who Sebastian really is. My advice would be for him to get on social media pronto. His clever wit and humour will shine brightly even if in a mere 120 characters at a time.

If you missed the previous two instalments they can be found here:

Vettel ‘Boo’ Pandemic Part I

Vettel ‘Boo’ Pandemic Part II

52 responses to “#F1 Features: The Vettel ‘Boo’ Pandemic Part III

  1. Having read the three parts of this series, and the comments on the previous two sections I’ve decided that it can’t be all about the British press looking for their pound of flesh – although i do feel that they can be zenophobic, blinkered and self important.

    I truly believe that Sebs problem stems from the initial response, which is understandable, to the subsequent response in the next race where he pretty much changes his tune. It smacked of arrogance and made him looked spoiled. It also demeaned him by showing a lack of humility.

    The bulls have handled it appallingly too. The team management is a shambles, and they should have protected Seb better.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Mark has made hay here too, which is not too endearing.

    Final word for all in F1 regarding their comments around the morals and ethics of people booing. Don’t forget its the fans that directly, and indirectly, pay everyone’s wages in F1. Being lectured by some morally bankrupt self important ‘personality’ is not the cleverest way to protect the gravy train.

    The technology is fascinating, but the people involved at a senior level leave me pretty cold. I include Seb in this group.

    And i couldn’t give a stuff about what Lewis or Fernando did being worse than Seb. The all have personality defects, in my opinion. To excuse someone’s sub standard behaviour by stating that the behaviour is the mark of a real champion, be that ruthlessness, arrogance etc shows just how dysfunctional the world of F1 actually is by not only encouraging, but demanding, these behaviours.

    Nobody comes out of this looking good.

    • I had an aha moment today, before Malaysia I really believed Red Bull gave each driver equality. After Malaysia and lack of Red Bull reaction reminding Vettel whose boss it makes the last 3 WDC less worthy due to the fact we all know Webber was always 2nd fiddle.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Saward in this – I thought it was a bit rich for RB/Vettel to blame the fans for this. If you try and pull the wool over people’s eyes, you have to expect the backlash when it is revealed to the world. Vettel is a smart guy and didn’t expect to be exposed.. but now it gives him the space to mature. As he gets older, I feel he will turn more and more ‘Schumi’, and won’t mind critics as the titles and wins pile up. Perhaps, once he has the records, he will mellow once more, like Schumi has done in his return to F1.

    • The English media have been pushing the story that Vettel isn’t a worthy WC long before Malaysia. That race was simply the trigger.

      • It always annoyed me that the media here was so pro-Hamilton, and that a lot of newer fans will be exclusively Hamilton fans. I also relate best to Vettel, and personally see Kimi, Fernando and Seb as 2 time champions, with Montoya, Button and Hamilton as one time. Hamilton has challenged on 4 occasions, but is always unlucky or makes an error – something Vettel avoids like the plague. There’s no arguing that his 2011 EBD season was phenomenal – I would’ve upheld a ban after Silverstone though and allowed failures to occur if the engines couldn’t not take the EBD focus. I would’ve kept the 2013 tyres intact and let the top 4 battle it out for the title. Now, it’ll be a processional title for Vettel, where there could’ve been a good battle for it, if RB made any mistakes (even their gearbox can withstand failure to the end of the race now). So, 3x in my book, 4x in the record books. You could say he’s odds on for 2014, as if he can get the upper hand on Ricciardo he won’t have a team mate taking points off him, unlike Ferrari and Mercedes. I would like Fernando to win another title, as I feel he deserves another one the most, followed by Hamilton (deserves more than one at the end of the day, but maybe Kimi is more rounded at this current time). Vettel should be liked more here than Hamilton, from his likability, intelligence, humour and general demeanour, similar to Button. But for a lot of people nationality probably trumps all that.

        • Vettel needs to get on social media….

          Lewis’ twitter attempts actually humanise him and without them he could appear rather stupid…

          Alonso has built a bridge to a number of new fans with his tweeting – yes the Samurai stuff is rather in the form of a caricature… I don’t watch what was the WWF (wrestling) butit is in that vogue of caricature development…

          But Fernando’s Taxi photo caused some side splitting giggling in certain people I know.

          Vettel on twitter would be monumental!!!

          • I only ever see the Twitter clips you show here… wherein Lewis appears to me to be a humanised moron… 😉

          • I would say Lewis’ twitter attempts make him look rather shallow. Vettel looks more intelligent, funnier and down to earth. Social media could indeed help him with his image, but I guess he wants to stay focused on what really matters to him… racing. Lewis is split between racing and lifestyle of the rich and famous.

  3. This third part of it was quite enlightening, but the final conclusion leaves me wondering, why you went to all the pain of writing it. Three parts, only to come to the same lame excuse that one can find in every second comment on just about every English media site. It’s all about Malaysia. Excuse me while I laugh my arse off. You and Mr. Saward are trying to tell us that it is mostly about Malaysia, which would make all the booers, except the Monza crowd, hypocrits by definition. If unsporting behaviour is the fan’s impetus to boo and hiss, not booing Alonso, Webber and Hamilton makes them double-standarded. Long story short – it isn’t about Malaysia. It’s about the wrong driver winning the races and titles. They are simply butt-hurt, that’s all.

    • Perhaps Danilo, but I think the real test for Vettel will be in Australia 2014 when people will have had the winter to simmer down; but also the first return to the home race of the man he ‘wronged’ in Malaysia.

    • I disagree Danilo – I don’t think the last bit is a conclusion as such, but more so a reminder of what tipped the balance. The key part of this part is the pantomime, which to some degree justifies why people’d be ventilating their opinions so publicly in the first place. It even states why Vettel was picked as the villain in the story – he “fits the bill best”.

      In a mechanical sport, dominance is (just) tolerated by the public, but in all honesty they’d want to see a cup series in terms of competitiveness, while maintaining the ‘cutting edge’ technological aspect. The mere paradox in that desire leads the public to the next best option – tolerating the dominance that is sometimes caused by a technological advantage. However, this is only tolerated under strict conditions – the victor needs to prove himself worthier than ever. This wouldn’t be necessary in a level playing field, where the champion has proven himself by the virtue of winning.

      It is this tolerance and nitpicky scrutiny that leaves little margin for error. One step wrong, and the public will no longer turn a blind eye to the dominance. Was Malaysia that step wrong for Vettel? Perhaps. Saward’s argument (comparing things pre- and post-Malaysia) is a joke, because Vettel wasn’t booed until Britain. That’s six races and two Vettel wins later. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t Vettel who tipped the balance – he perturbed the unstable equilibrium by doing the one thing a dominant (or technologically-advantaged) victor is not allowed to do. He was imperfect.

      • Insightful and thanks for clarifying my overarching intentions.

        I have changed the phrase just before the Joe Saward quote to make my intentions clearer – though having written part 1(co-written) where this – ‘Webber lover’ 😉 – gives Mark some tap for milking the PR – as Danilo says, there would have been no point going to all this effort to then conclude – it was ‘all multi-21’.

      • Best comment I’ve read in a while 🙂 Thanks for sharing your insight.

  4. The word I used to describe part one of this series was “Hogwash. It would also describe parts two and three.

    The judge13 claims that 70% of readers don’t live in the UK. I would suspect that that number is about the same for most other UK F1 sites, certainly the major ones. The influence that the English media has around the globe when it comes to F1 is second to none. Shaping the opinion of someone in a country where the average F1 fan is casual and not all that familiar with the sport then becomes easy, especially in light of the fact that most teams are based there and access to them is relatively easy.

    The long and short of it is the English media, not all I will admit, but the majority, have decided that Vettel is unworthy to be WC. Malaysia was the event that triggered the “outrage” but it was building long before that. I could cite dozens of examples of the attempt to undercut what he has done, and they could have been used last year as well, but will use only the most common ones: anyone can win in a Newey designed car – he can’t overtake – he can only win front the front row.

    And what’s the reason behind it? I firmly believe that it’s largely motivated by jealousy. The driver that the English media backed and built up hasn’t delivered. If you read reports from around 2008 it was widely assumed that Hamilton would have by this time won 3 maybe 4 WC’s by this time, be the dominant driver of his generation and challenging Schumacher’s records. Instead of analysing Hamilton and maybe admitting they were wrong about him they attacked the driver who is beating him with the clear intent of diminishing his accomplishments.

    As a long time Ferrari fan I seen this play out many times before. The only difference this time it’s not Ferrari the English media have in their sights.

    My advice to Vettel is to sign with Ferrari as soon as possible. And the only place you’ll likely get booed is in the UK.

    • I wouldn’t rubbish the whole article, but I agree that Vettel’s negative image is partly to blame on the propaganda of mainly English and Spanish media , which keep stoking the fire.

  5. I have to agree with Cav and Danilo on this one unfortunately. I think really the whole situation is just being milked for all it’s worth by the media. Fans cheer their favorite and boo the drivers they hate, it’s always been that way, it’s human nature. Schumacher was on the receiving end of some not-so-pleasant jeers, especially after Adelaide 94, and Jerez 97, then again in the 2000’s when he was steamrolling his way into the record books.

    I was watching the Senna movie last week and couldn’t help but notice that in Japan a certain Alain Prost wasn’t treated too well by the fans, and as has been mentioned by others here, the English crowds weren’t exactly nice to Senna either.

    Nobody wants to see one driver dominating the sport, it’s boring and takes away the excitement that “the show” is supposed to provide. Of course, as biased as all we fans are, the exception to this is when our favorite is winning… then we want them to crush the opposition repeatedly.

    1988 didn’t exactly put on a great show, but you wont hear Senna fans complain about it, nor will Mansell fans complain about how boring 1992 was. I am sure that German audiences aren’t too unhappy to see Vettel dominating, even if it does lead to boring races.

    The situation is simply being overplayed, Vettel is making F1 boring, and non-Vettel fans are sick of it. His antics with regards to the Malaysia incident are just being used as markers to justify the fans actions.

    I am far from a Vettel fan, but it just seems to me all this non-stop talk about crowd behavior is just not needed, and now I’ve added to it, dammit! 😉

    • Senna during his lifetime was scorned by a lot of the British press for things done against the Empire. Brundle in F3, using Toleman for a season then moving on after buying out his contract. He replaced an unwanted Mansell at Lotus, Peter Warr couldn’t stand him, yet the media blamed Senna, vetoed Warwick in 1986 because the team didn’t have the infrastructure to field two no 1’s, went up against their favourite Prost and thrashed him whilst still being the best when “our Nigel” was racing. A lot of the non English press didn’t have much time for Prost which is why the Japanese couldn’t stand him. Basically he wasn’t a racer, whereas senna was the original Samurai

      I don’t remember anyone booing Mansell in 1992, simply because he deserved a WDC by that point, and he was destroying his team mate as well as the competition .
      Schumi’s ethics caused people dislike after 1994 and especially 1997 but by the time he won for Ferrsri, again it was deserved victories. What then caused problems was fixing Austria 2002 and bungling the 02 USA GP trying to tie the race.
      This is a competition and making it look like a farce angers people.

      I’m bored of Red Bull winning. Vettel doesn’t bother me in the slightest, he’s been exceptionally lucky to be in that car but has made the most of it. When Mika was winning WDC, where was DC?
      Rossi dominated for years but was never booed. Why? A lot of it is integrity. I read an article the other day by Matt Oxhey, which explained why Rossi was struggling so much this year.
      Apart from his age naturally, the fuel limit is 21 litres, there is no minimum weight for rider and bike combination and he’s giving away 16, and 8 kgs to his 3 main rivals so the engine has to be leaned off. The championship is owned by the Spaniards and who’s fighting for championships? Yet Rossi hasn’t said anything to the press, it’s his crew chief who pushes for rules to be balanced. It’s called class, something that can’t be taught

      • As a casual viewer of Motogp, I just assumed Rossi was slowing down with age, but now it makes much more sense. Is this why Marquez has an advantage? Though I noticed he has crazy lean angles, getting to and over 60 degrees. It seemed at Aragon that Rossi was slow in a straight line – now I know why. There should be parity, same in Indycars.

    • Forgot to add, 1988 is considered one of the greatest years simply because you had the best two drivers pushing each other all season.
      If Schumacher had allowed a competitor in the other Ferrari, he would have won less races but his legacy would be better.
      If next season, Ferrari have a car that’s three seconds a lap faster, do you think anyone will care? Not if Alonso and Kimi are literally fighting to the death. Whereas if it was Massa and FA, oh dear lord, boredom!!

  6. Mr Saward comments are so right.
    If Vettel had the charisma and manner of Ben Ainslie, maybe F1 fans would be more forgiving and applauded his every podium.
    But instead, one week after Multi21 he portrayed arrogance in front of the world media, when he changed his statement to
    the pitiful defence of (I won, I was faster, he didn’t deserve it.)
    Yet it’s nice to be a winner and that’s what drives people to take part in a sport.
    But onlookers also like to see sportsmanship in those undertaking an event.
    Hitting a man below the belt to achieve a win isn’t sporting.
    To me, that’s what Sebastian Vettel did and his team management let him get away with it.
    If an athlete is a drug cheat and a medal gets taken away, a justice is seen to be done.
    As stated, before Malaysia, he has often made it on to the podium and no one booed, but now they do.
    Right now Vettel is riding the negative response for breaking the Multi21 sporting (gentlemen’s) agreement he and the management made with Webber.
    The unsporting way in which he grabbed for victory in Malaysia had bought scorn onto himself.
    He could have resolved his wrong doing by defining his apologies, but one week later, instead he went further and compounded
    it with “I won, I was faster, he didn’t deserve it.”
    So whose behaviour has incited the booing, the fans, Mark Webber, other teams, or Vettel and his management team?

    • Ron, that statement doesn’t make sense. Mark Webber defied team orders twice – he wasn’t booed. Hamilton lied to the Stewards trying to gain a position by having Trulli unjustly penalized – he wasn’t booed. Alonso gained a win by having a team mate crash on purpose. He also deliberately blocked Hamilton in Hungary 2007 to prevent him from trying to improve his qualifying time – he wasn’t booed. What is it that makes these three immune to the ‘holier-than-thou’ wrath of the fans, but Vettel the villain. It doesn’t add up and I call bullshit. All the self-righteous indignation about Multi21 is just a lame excuse to rationalize hatred that stems from petty jealousy.

    • It also doesn’t make sense saying he doesn’t have a sense of humour….is this the same German World Champion we’re considering here?

        • Personally, I have no problem with his public image. Especially when compared with, for example, Alonso’s arrogant demeanour.

      • Still doesn’t make sense though. Vettel is still otracized for something that Mark had done twice before, so it still smacks of hipocracy. The only thing you could accuse him of is the lame arse fake apology he offered afterwards. He should have said ‘Mark ignored team orders before and was proud of it. Why am I supposed to obey them.’
        His detractors would still have hated him for it, but at least he would’ve avoided looking like a complete berk.

        • Ok Danilo, apart from the ‘jealousy’ angle, and constantly trying to compare Sebs misdemeanors with those of Lewis and Fernando (which is not a justification for poor behaviour – we are talking about Seb in these articles) and this concept of the British press having a vendetta against him, have you any other argument for why people are not enamoured with Seb.

          Your conclusion does not allow for the possibility of intelligent and rational people making up their minds on someone’s actions / behaviours. Considering the standard of contributors on this site i think generalizations offer them a disservice.

          I am not trying to have a go at you on this, i genuinely respect your opinion in all your contributions on the site. Its the reason i am asking you to consider that there might be more to this than your generalist argument.

          My respect for you is also the reason i am asking you, and not another who has a similar opinion, on this subject, but doesn’t warrant the question due to their lack of respect for others and constant negative remarks against the site.

          They would do well to consider a quote from Jung ‘who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakens’.

          • Colin, I understand your argument, but my generalization comment does not come from malicious intent. The point is, that so far nobody (and that includes the judge) has presented me with a remotely valid argument, why Vettel is so much worse than others that he gets booed over a long period of time, while all other drivers do not deserve this dubious honour.
            If he went around the paddock kicking puppies, I’d understand it, but apart from Malaysia, he has barely any history of controversy, while some of his opponents have been involved in major sporting frauds. The same goes for the team – apart from some ‘too clever’ interpretation of the technical rules, they’ve never comitted a major offense. They’ve never been excluded from a race much less a whole season, unlike some of their competitors. All these arguments simply don’t wash. It’s like a burglar, who’s put in the stocks, while a train robber is celebrated for his ingenuity.
            There is simply no credible way to say that people boo because of Multi21, when they don’t boo for crash-gate, lie-gate, spy-gate etc etc. It’s either a double standard or the real motives are others.

          • Thanks for the response Danilo.

            I can understand the frustration, and agree that Seb and the bulls are getting it in the neck more than others.

            Something else i think could be a possibility is the ‘sheep’ mentality of some of the fans. It may actually be fashionable to boo Seb now as a precedence has been set.

            I’d be very interested in what would have happened after crashgate if Fernando was interviewed – i think he would have got slaughtered. Also after the threats against Mclaren.

            One part of me thinks the after race interviews should be done away with. A bigger part of me thinks they should stay.

            At this stage i think it would be preferable for the booing to stop.

            However, i do think the reaction of the F1 personalities is a little motivated by the possibility that they may be on the receiving end of a boo fest in the future.

            If it helps people to understand that fans are not happy with behaviours i think its a good thing. Even if it only means protection of a corporate or personal brand.

        • In my opinion, it is the very blatant nature of the Multi 21 incident that is the root cause. Most F1 followers, even casual ones, know that there are a lot of dark arts practised in F1 – whether is Alonso’s politics, Newey’s/all other top designers’ “interpretation” of rules, Bernie’s games, etc; but they are usually not full-frontal in the public’s face (or at least obvious to them). You could argue even Webber’s ignoring of team orders is an example of this.

          Whereas Multi 21, and how it spectacularly exposed Vettel’s ruthlessness – to the point of even showing Horner who really is the boss and therefore putting the team in its place … In Joe Public’s eyes. There was no counter behaviour to redeem, and the subsequent comments only reinforced people’s perception of his arrogance.

          Being booed can be considered a compliment; but I think there is more in this instance as people are showing a dislike for what they perceive as a lack of class and humility in Vettel’s extreme focus on winning at all costs.

          And it does affect him: would he have made the ‘balls in the pool’ comment – on the podium no less- previously?

          • Also, forgot to say: Schumi was always seen as an evil assassin, but Vettel tried to portray a jovial, ‘just one of the boys – I even like/get British humour’ image. That facade is now gone.

        • I think he would have looked more like a complete berk if he’d done that. That’s just a kid whinging to his parents that he got punished when his brother did the same and got away with it. But the “lame, fake arse apology” didn’t help at all. You complain that Mark got away with it – Mark didn’t give a “lame, fake arse apology”. He came out and said “Sure I ignored the order. I’m a racer”. That’s what a lot of people don’t like about Seb – there’s no humility. There’s no sportsmanship. He’s an incredible driver – probably the best in the world now (perhaps one day the best ever). But the way he acts when he loses, and sometimes the way he acts when he doesn’t, grates on people. I admire you, Danilio, for sticking up for him so vehemently, but the lad needs to learn how to “win friends and influence people”.

  7. Don’t get me started on Joe Saward. Hs articles consist of a bitter man playing favorites by having you believe some in F1 could do no wrong (Webber, Senna) and absolutely vilifying others at every possible opportunity (Vettel, Schumacher) usually for the exact same offenses as the former.

      • Haven’t read anything from him in a long time. For someone who thinks there the ultimate insider and slates so many other F1 blogs does he ever actually have any inside information that is actually true?

        • It’s all changed these days.

          The ‘paddock writers’ used to get ‘off the record’ briefings from senior team personnel and drivers.

          This has become increasingly restricted as the corporate image must be maintained at all times.

          So the new breed of ‘inside information’ comes from people less noticeable – but you would not believe the internal communications sent openly by email’

          This was why Ferrari made a big deal over emails earlier this year. They were trying to prevent European sites similar to TJ13 – who are our friends – from seeing confidential communiques.

          Put it this way, I wouldn’t want McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes anywhere near my countries counter espionage efforts in a time of global crisis

          Lotus just can’t afford computers until they’ve paid Kimi – so they’re pretty tight…. 🙂

          • Ok, that makes sense then and must greatly annoy someone who has a sense of importance as big as Joe 🙂

  8. I think the word ‘boring’ is being overused, F1 is never boring, but it has become dull, dull, dull, with the RB’s dominance.

    The comment about certain sportsmen being classy is spot on, the podium in Abu Dhabi, where both the current world champion, and the race winner swore like uneducated thugs, did it for me, I would have booed at the top of my voice !!

    • Just a small point… Many are saying this only started as a result of ‘multi21’, whereas others claim that was just a catalyst after a few years of media manipulation…
      But… didn’t the media manipulation, and the anti-Vettel/anti-RedBull originally start with that infernal nosecone, which Webber seemed to play along with, and only NOW do we learn (if it’s true) that Webber didn’t want the damn thing anyway.
      So, if you hold a poll on it… I blame Red Bull…! For deceitfully expecting to manipulate the media and the fans… and the whole thing has blown up in their face. Perhaps Vettel is being booed on behalf of Red Bull, like he’s the spokesman, because he’s actually been left up there… to take the flack… while Horner & Co have run to ground.

      “Pantomime: known as ‘pinto’…” 🙂 🙂

      • My apologies ‘silverfan’ – that was supposed to be a response to the article, not to you.
        But I agree with what you wrote…

      • I always knew that Webber thought the new nose was not better than the old – thought it was common knowledge until recently. What PO’d Mark was that they took it off his car without asking him. If they’d asked he more than likely would’ve said “go for it” (or “no worries, mate”). But I think it started a bit before that – at Turkey.

  9. As usual fantastically well researched piece, what are your sources for a piece like this, a large head or merely google?
    Hembrey, I feel got it spot on, Vettel along with Horner et al, still appears to be a petulant schoolboy in defeat.

    • … sources…

      …books, the internet – some historical contextual knowledge… a distant academic degree module on ethics/morality..

  10. The Judge,

    I really enjoyed this series, but didn’t you promise to give Vettel and Red Bull some advice how to improve their image?

  11. I would like to add a little video what I posted just on youtube. It’s made right after the Belgium GP at Spa, and I aksed several F1 fans to reply something to Vettel (who’m won the race) while walking down the L’eau Rouge…. (I also noted that there where very very, (if not none at all) few people cheering at all for his victory. Everybody just stood up, long faced onto the track to just… simply go.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojaOonv6jJ8

    (The things the fans said have a PG-16 rating.)

  12. May I add that I am thoroughly enjoying this discussion? In my eyes both sides of the argument have a point, which I find intriguing.

    I’m not a Vettel fan – in fact, I’d be happy if they start a Formula Vettel for him where he can go and set, and then break all the records he wants. I never was a big fan of Hamilton either, aside from him providing a welcome amount of Drama in the paddock, but I appreciate the guy (USA 2012 I found fantastic, and I was jumping up and down with glee when he overtook Seb – having said that, it was after a couple of beers and a bottle of wine 🙂 ), and I got a lot more respect for him for going to Mercedes.

    With Vettel … dunno, I have no doubts the guy is the fastest driver around, when it comes to laptime ( close finish with Hamilton, though ), and I think he’s a solid racer, but for me the jury (and possible the Judge) are still out on what part of it is Vettel and what part of it is the Vettel/RedBull/Newey synergy.

    Actually, I was thinking that after three consecutive WDCs, I would have appreciated Red Bull putting Vettel back in a Toro Rosso for one season, to – possibly – silence all the critics (hey, a bloke may dream, mayn’t he?)

    I think Malaysia was wrong. I like Mark Webber. Still, I agree that he is no saint and that on occasion, when I take off my Webber-coloured glasses, he can be quite a hypocritical prick – much as I like him.

    So, in the end, I think the ‘truth’ (whatever that strange critter may be) is somewhere in the middle. I still think that booing is not the polite way to show one’s disapproval – In my opera-going days, I encountered several singers with regard to whom I can name several public toilets whose flushing produced a more satisfying sound than said singer – but booing … no, I don’t think it’s right, commedia del arte or not.

    Still, I can see where the booers are coming from … just as I can see where the opposite side in the debate is coming from.

    Now if it weren’t for that bloody finger!!! 🙂

    Cheers, C.

  13. I am sure the booing would have affected Vettel initially but not anymore. He is focused only on one thing – winning. I don’t think people boo him on the street. So what is the problem?

    Whether booing is right or wrong, it doesn’t look good on F1. For me it is more of a yob culture and hooliganism.

    Malaysia is not the first time Vettel was booed. It was in Australia a while ago probably after the front wing saga. Webber should be held responsible for that for not explaining the facts. The team never got to grip with Webber’s gripe.

    Webber is a very good driver and his feedback and input for car development is very much valued. However, Red Bull shouldn’t have renewed his contract last year. He has taken every opportunity make Vettel and the team look bad but the team didn’t take the right actions whenever he misbehaved.

    One person who should take responsibility for all this is Dieter Mateschitz. He should have let Horner do his job instead of directly dealing with Webber which gave him an upper hand. Mateschitz could have had a quiet word with Webber if necessary. He also should have kept Helmut Marko out of the limelight.

    Should Vettel go on social media? Should he stop showing his finger after every pole and win? Not necessarily. Every individual is different and that is what make them unique.

    Vettel is simply ruthless. Otherwise he wouldn’t be in this position – as a three time World Champion. One day, when Vettel has left the sport, the same media which attacked him will praise him saying how great he was and the very people who booed him will applaud him. Schumi is a great example.

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