Vettel's finger salute gets up Prost's nose

Fri Nov 1, 2013 8:09pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Alain Prost has one particular piece of advice to offer Sebastian Vettel, as one four times Formula One world champion to another.

It has nothing to do with driving, with the French 'Professor' recognizing Red Bull's 26-year-old ace needs little assistance in that department, and everything to do with how the German celebrates after winning.

"If I see him I am going to give him the advice to stop celebrating with his finger," Prost told reporters with a grin at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Vettel is chasing his seventh win in a row and 11th of the season.

Vettel's raised single digit has become a trademark of the German's post-race victory celebrations and a particular annoyance for rivals and others who would rather see someone else win.

In India last weekend, he rang the changes by raising four fingers instead to celebrate becoming the sport's youngest quadruple champion.

Despite his advice, Prost expects the German to be in a position to make the gesture for some time to come.

Next year sees significant changes to the regulations, with a new turbocharged V6 power unit with energy recovery systems, and - doubtless to the dismay of many - the Frenchman expected the new era to favor Vettel as much as the old.

The changes, he said after a presentation of Renault's new V6, would favor the more 'thinking' driver who understood fully the workings of the car, the importance of fuel economy versus raw speed and could adapt his style to changing times.   Continued...

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (R) drives during the second practice session of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on Yas Island, November 1, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah