Seb Vettel – why all the hatred?

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    I was scamming through the posts on the debate on who will win the WDC.
    I can get Alonso’s 50%, and given a certain bias on this forum, HAM’s 20% is also understandable. Why Vettel only gets 9% is beyond me. And when I read the comments, I couldn’t help but think that:
    A) People don’t really feel he is a great driver
    B) People don’t like him (maybe because Webber is such a nice guy and people love the underdog?)
    C) People root against him

    I myself do think Vettel will end his career with a big fat “great” as an adjective, and I too really like Mark Webber as a person – but while Vettel is not quite as eloquent and charming, he also is a good lad, all in all; and probably much less egocentric than some people seem to think. But to root against him can only have a connection with the fact that he’s won the last two WC and people want someone different to win – or is there more to it?

    Prisoner Monkeys

    I think some people see him as being too corporate – that he got through to Formula 1 because of his connections to Red Bull, rather than his talent. And Red Bull are unpopular because of the way they treat their drivers; given that Vettel always benefits from team decisions, he is unpopular by extension.


    I think “hatred” is a wild exaggeration. He has his detractors, as all drivers do. But he was within the top ten most supported drivers on the site at the last time we looked at the figures:


    Perhaps Vettel has more than others. But this is F1. A new driver has come along and won two championships in a short space of time. Some people will inevitably react against the fact that the drivers he’s been beating are their favourites. That’s the way it is.

    It seems to me there are plenty of people who don’t like Hamilton or Alonso or other drivers. I wouldn’t single Vettel out as being special in that respect.

    After seeing Vettel’s interview on Top Gear a while ago I don’t see why some people take a disliking to him. He seemed a funny, intelligent guy with a good knowledge of the sport’s history.


    You get this with Alonso as well though don’t you, it’s just that his almost flawless performance this year in something of an underdog of a car has silenced a lot of his doubters. For some reason people assumed that a lot of Vettel’s performance last year was down to the car and that he was slightly undeserving of the praise he received. Something I strongly disagree with. people also seem to feel that there’s something underhand about how Red Bull go about building race cars and winning championships. While I doubt many go so far as to accuse them of outright cheating, I think the way they push the brinksmanship of F1 to its limit does make them a target for some (totally misplaced) ire.

    But in a lot of ways I think this is something that non-native English speaking drivers will have to suffer. If you look at drivers like Button, Webber, Hamilton, etc, being interviewed, they are always very natural and entertaining in front of the camera. As you’d expect from someone speaking their native language. No matter how well someone like Alonso or Vettel learns to speak English, there will always be some slight language barrier which means it’s hard to get a good understanding of their true personality. They can end up coming across as terse, or overly scripted in the way they answer questions which naturally rubs people up the wrong way. Thankfully things like social media are helping to break down this wall to some extent, and show the more human side of these drivers who can otherwise seem quite aloof, but I think in the UK we’ll always have a situation where foreign speaking drivers will never be accepted as warmly as native English speakers.


    I guess PM is right, Red Bull does have a say in this, I guess.
    And yes, Keith, hatred is over the top. But to realistically put him in 4th as a championship contender, seeing his and his car’s overall good form this year and the fact that he is the reigning two-time world champion.
    Maybe it’s a little bit about being German, too. Schumacher had a lot of hate coming his way in his winning years…
    But I do agree that Alonso has had a lot of polarization, and so has Hamilton.


    @magon4, you’re probably right there’s a disproportionate amount of disparaging comments about Vettel, but I agree with Keith that “hatred” is too strong. Personally, I do like Vettel – most of the time – but I also root against him. Sebastian was great not only on Top Gear but also at the Autosport International festival (this winter?), and not just for his Kimi Raikkonen imitation.

    Especially over the course of 2011 Sebastian just turned into someone I didn’t want to see win again. If I have to think about why, I suppose it’s just that I had enough of him beating my favourite drivers Hamilton and Webber. I stress I’m not a hater, though, I even attended his homecoming in Heppenheim in December 2010 (alright, I’m a little bit ashamed about that, and the SV hat I picked up there ;-)


    I think that ‘hatred’ is really not the right word. The (current) voting result is rather a combination of appreciation of Alonso’s greatness in the first half of the season, evaluation of Hamilton’s potential (ie. what would be without all the bad luck) and fears of 2000-2004 coming back.

    I admit that I’m not a Vettel fan, I think he can be a bit annoying at times. But I was happy when he won the 2010 championship because that was something unseen, a new constructor and a new driver joining the list of F1 champions. I simply like diversity in that sense.

    I voted for Hamilton & McLaren. I want them to win, I think they deserve it and I believe it would be good for F1 as well. Maybe these factors played some role in my vote. But the main reasons for my choice were the trust in their potential and the belief that we will see a decrease in Alonso’s shape or some bad luck hurting Ferrari sooner or later, too. As for Vettel, I have a feeling that this just isn’t his season but I still expect him to fight for the title until the last km of the Brazilian GP.


    I guess everyone who wins more than others will have to suffer from that.
    Piquet, Senna, Prost, Schumacher and Alonso all have felt it, and so have Hamilton and Vettel.
    People generally liked Barrichello, Massa, Hakkinen (who won a lot but still didn’t get much flack since he was facing MSC) and Webber, who have rarer wins. Even Button kind of benefits from winning less, in that sense.


    @Girts 2010 wasn’t looking like Vettel’s year either.
    Let’s see… (in my case hope!)


    The fact that he drove the top car the 2 previous seasons, have made me not to like him. If does something good this season in level cars with the others, then my opinion for him will change.


    I guess golf is the only sport where everyone roots for the dominator to dominate.


    I certainly don’t hate him, but I do dislike him, for may combined reasons. In interviews I see him as fairly childish with his humour, and his sulking when races don’t go his way appears the same, particularly when he moans at the team for something that is clearly his fault, or when it’s the first race in the last 4 that he hasn’t won. His finger is very annoying, mostly because of the way he brandishes it, as you would if you giving somebody the finger. His dominance last year was depressing and tiresome. And his driving in 2010 frustrated me, seeing him take out two championship contenders in 2 separate races through silly manoeuvring.


    @magon4 I Would disagree about everything loving 1 player dominating in golf, It’s the same in any sport, the same person winning gets tiresome very quickly like with Vettel last year.

    On Vettel, I can’t help but dislike him, His moaning on the radio, how he seems to expect everything to go his way, Not accepting the blame for things that were blatantly his fault, to name but a few.
    You could say the same about any other driver on the grid but with Vettel it just annoys me more.


    Here I have to disagree @jobymcanuff, Vettel is, as Schumacher was and is, always very fair and clear about his responsibilities, and about those of other drivers. He is not always very careful about it, which I like, since he doesn’t seem to feel the need to be politically correct. But when he’s to blame, that’s what he will do – blame himself. And when others are to blame, he will do that as well, with no concern over public opinion – he is just himself.
    This is why when Vettel praises the team’s effort, you know he means it, since he will criticize when he feels that is fair.
    In this regard, he is similar to Schumacher, who used to be branded arrogant, but actually was just also speaking his mind (which journalists love, since it produces one or the other headline). And both of them are the first to take responsibility when they see it.


    The comparisons to Schumacher are no help at all. For many the Schumacher dominance was exceptionally dull, and his ‘tactics’ were also not well regarded. Last year obviously brought parallels with 2000-2004 and as such people dislike him, sooner or later someone else will arrive and they will feel that dislike.

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