Seb Vettel – why all the hatred?

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 105 total)
  • Author
  • #207823

    Hatred is too strong but why does he have more detractors than others, hard to say. Can’t really be that he’s a non English speaker, look at tennis, Nadal and Federer are hugely popular, more so than Murray. Or that he’s German. Boris Becker was a big favourite at Wimbledon.
    And there are athletes who are popular despite being dominant, Valentino Rossi being an obvious case.
    So why might he be less popular than other drivers? As others have said, his attitude when things go wrong is off putting combined with the fact he actually has very little to moan about compared to most other drivers on the grid. But it’s also down to personalities, some people you just don’t warm to, others you do.


    @matt90 and @jobymcanuff
    What probably OP, and if not me, is wondering, is why you dislike Vettel for common driver behaviour.

    – Why do you dislike Vettel for his finger, but not the many finger-drivers before him? Why don’t you dislike Alonso, with his (Renault-days) animal impressions, or Schumacher with his high-jumps?
    – Why do you dislike Vettel for being unhappy (when have you seen him ‘sulk’?) if things don’t work the way they should, while most every driver pouts their lips when things don’t go their way? Wasn’t it Hamilton who was (imo, also wrongly) criticized for looking like he just had dental surgery after ‘only’ coming third in Australia? Do we really need to go into Alonso’s antics if he doesn’t get things his way?
    – Same as above for ‘moaning’.

    I guess the question marks just come from the apparent double standard. If you say or instance you dislike Vettel for being sulky, than you must also dislike Hamilton and Alonso. If you don’t dislike those two (among many others), then you don’t dislike Vettel for being sulky, but for something else. Than just say what’s on your mind, instead of giving illogical reasoning.


    His immaturity in the 2010 season and his dominance in 2011 is why people dont like him. Like every sport, people mostly hate the favourites. People want to see some surprises and to not see the same guy winning over and over which is understandable.

    I mean, I really like Alonso. But now I dont want him to win for the next few races because he is the favourite to win the WDC this year and it would make the end of the season more exciting.


    Regarding the finger, for exactly the reason I stated. Nobody does the finger quite like Vettel. The other examples you gave come across as fun celebrations, not aggressive ‘up yours’ bragging.
    Regarding being unhappy and moaning- for example, last year he was sulking have come second in the middle of a dominant season. I don’t recall Hamilton in Aus this year being the middle of a dominant season- he was beaten in the first race of the year by his team mate who started behind him, right when Hamilton would most like to prove that Button is not the better driver despite the previous season.

    Also as I made clear in my post, it’s the combination of these things and the other factors I mentioned too, so de-constructing it is a bit pointless. I’ll also add in that he is similar to Schumacher in some ways, and that isn’t the best similarity to have from a popularity viewpoint.


    Also, the dominance of a driver can sometimes be easier to swallow. For example, I didn’t watch at the time, but Mansell won after a decade long battle of trying and coming oh so close to winning a title. I’d love to hear what the reaction to his dominance was at the time- I’m sure it made the races just as dull sometimes (although it’s worth noting that a lot of 2011’s races were great despite Vettel running away with them), but I would imagine it was more bearable than if he had won the previous season too. That season was vindication for him. It would be the same if Alonso loses this year and dominates next year, although it would also depend on how he carried himself during next year. For the record, I also dislike Alonso for a multitude of reasons. Vettel’s win was uncontested, his second in a row, and the first time a driver has won consecutive titles in 5 years- these things make people less likely to root for a driver.


    I agree on that @matt90, schumacher wasn’t very wise in terms of public perception. But I do think Vettel is different, at least in Germany.
    I mean, Germans would rank Schumacher just outside the Top 10 drivers they liked (popularity), although many of them rooted for him anyway. But they like Vettel, because he is very easy-going and simple, and will always give questions a straight and honest answer.
    I like that about him. And, of course, his ability to drive the car. For me, Vettel x Hamilton will be the duel in this decade, and it will be a great one!


    Mansell’s title in 1992 was maybe the most boring in Formula 1 history.


    @magon4 But regardless of whether it was boring, was Mansell as resented for his success as Vettel?


    I think there is something about the human psyche which compels us to weave an interesting narrative around things such as sporting competitions. We want there to be good guys and bad guys, people we can cheer for and people we can boo. We also love an underdog, so it’s convenient if the bad guy is the successful one. Look at virtually anyone that’s extremely successful in sport. Michael Schumacher, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Sebastian Loeb, Ronnie O’Sullivan, and so on. All are seen as controversial characters; celebrated for their prowess, but somehow occupying the position of bad guy. Heroes in sport are those who seem to have almost no hope of beating the top guys. People like Jimmy White.

    Sport has to have a bad guy, and Red Bull seem to be the most suitable candidates. They’re new, so can be seen to be waling all over the history and heritage like young upstarts. They’re very well backed, so they can be seen as having a bit of an advantage in terms of their resources. They’ve bought up a lot of top talent from other teams including Adrian Newey. They have a wonderful, almost pantomime smugness to their Team Principle. They’re almost scientifically designed to be the perfect ‘bad guy’ team. And since Vettel is their protégé, it’s only natural that he’ll be the villain on the track. This is despite the fact he’s really a very nice guy who has a great sense of humour and gives some of the best interviews on the grid. Anything to do with the way he holds his finger, it’s all just justification for the fact that we’ve collectively chosen him to be the bad guy in the narrative we’ve overlaid upon the championship.


    So, Schumi gave this interview:
    The part of the interview I want to show is this:

    “Sebastian is a great guy and a great driver who has to deal with opposition. This is a learning process. To be a good winner, you have to lose too. I know that each and every driver does not like to lose, I am no exception, but this is part of your development. Only when you have learned the losing do you gain respect and enjoy the winning more. Life is an up and down, you must learn that.”

    Gwannel Sandiego

    I actually like him most of the time as a person, in interviews – I prefer him to Webber, but that might just be my Kiwi bias showing. I don’t think the language barrier is a problem in his case (although sometimes I wish someone would tell him & others to stop saying “I did a mistake”, that gets on my nerves for some reason!) However, it’s true that he has shown moments of immaturity and sulking on and off-track (but haven’t they all). I just don’t think he’s proven his abilities to race from back in the pack and until he does I won’t regard him up there with Alonso and Hamilton. Plus I think all but the uber-fans are happy not to have a repeat of last year’s dominance.


    @matt90 – great analysis. I’d agree with pretty much everything you’ve said, especially his being childish. While people may find it amusing how he names his cars and changes his helmets, I think it’s just the other side of his immaturity which he displays after a bad weekend or on track (2010 especially). He’s a bit of a prima donna, focusing on everything that doesn’t matter, but not in an amusing sense in the way, say, Kimi does, but, in my opinion, to underline his dominance, just like his finger but in a manner which is meant to show how ‘easy’ it is for him. I guess it’s more his personality than anything else that annoys me – he seems scripted and attention seeking, not in the same way Hamilton does, but in a very obvious annoying manner of trying to fit in everywhere (hence a feeling of fakeness). His being ‘funny’ generates attention after all and people go on about how laid back he is. The other side as I’ve said is visible during or after the race – he’s got a sense of entitlement, but again not in the sense Hamilton or Alonso do, but in a prima donna sense that ‘I deserve to win, I don’t want to be second’. When Hamilton rammed everybody of the road in Monaco he wasn’t upset that he didn’t win, he was simply furious and in his arrogance was convinced that he was right. It’s a different form of entitlement: Vettel’s is more of a ‘someone stole my candy, papa Adrian will help me out’ type, whereas Hamilton’s or Alonso’s seems to be more about punching someone else in the face; Hamilton in front of the cameras, Alonso behind the scenes.

    Having said that, I don’t always find him terrible. The above might seem exaggerated in scope, but I’m merely trying to convey who Vettel is.


    The John Cena effect comes into play. A lot of success, too much winning, and people get tired and bored of him.

    I remember Hamilton getting a lot of hatred in 2008, and Alonso in 2007. That’s just how it is.

    I remember Schumacher getting a lot of hatred 10 years ago, if I’m not mistaken he was nicknamed TGF (That German f*****) on the ten-tenths forum.

    I however, has noticed that he gets mad very easily. He unnecessary waving his hand at Hamilton, who was obligated to unlap himself, even though he let Lewis breeze past. That seems to be a problem for him, I don’t think there’s anyone other than Pasta McDonald’s who is more short-tempered than he is on the grid.


    TBH I did not like Vettel, but I met him after Quali at the German GP this year and he was friendly and funny. He has grown on me and although he is still not my number 1 driver, I now have a much higher opinion of him


    I think it’s because people don’t want to acept that Vettel is a match for everyone else, and they are looking for excuses, such as his car is the ONLY reason for his success.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 105 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.