Analysis - F1: Give Vettel his dues, not boos

Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:18am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - To boo or not to boo? That was the question facing Formula One fans after Sebastian Vettel's runaway Singapore Grand Prix victory was greeted with jeers as well as cheers.

For the third race weekend in a row, Red Bull's triple champion heard rejection as well as acclaim as he stood sweaty and triumphant on the podium ready to spray the winner's champagne.

Why the fans were booing, and whether they should be condoned or condemned for doing so, triggered debate after the race but paddock insiders agreed the German was not being given his dues.

Singapore showed the world a champion and a team at their most dominant, working as one and to the best of their abilities in a sport that has always mixed fierce rivalry with mutual respect.

Former grand prix racer Martin Brundle, who carried out the post-race podium interviews and turned to the crowd to quieten them when he heard the booing, felt Vettel had suffered an injustice.

"I was really amazed to hear some of that booing going on, it has become the default (setting) and it's wrong because the guy has just put in a stunning sporting performance," the Briton told Sky Sports television.

Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 champion who has suffered boos and racist abuse in the past, agreed: "He's on his way to his fourth world championship and he needs all the credit he deserves", he told reporters.

Vettel and team principal Christian Horner blamed Ferrari fans who had also booed the driver on the Monza podium two weeks earlier and had wanted to see the Italian team's Fernando Alonso in first place.   Continued...

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany races during the Singapore Grand Prix September 22, 2013. REUTERS/Pablo Sanchez