Hans-Joachim Stuck, a German motor racing legend, has backed Sebastian Vettel after the reigning world champion was booed on recent F1 podiums.
He told Munich’s Abendzeitung newspaper that the dominant Red Bull driver doesn’t deserve the scorn simply for winning, or that he’s not “cool” or “cute” like Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg respectively.
“All I can say is, dear Sebastian, don’t worry about,” said Stuck.
Stuck said he was sometimes booed as a driver, although the situation is not comparable to Vettel’s because the 26-year-old “doesn’t really know what he did wrong”.
Stuck, 62, said Vettel “does not have the charisma of an Alonso or a Raikkonen”.
“Either you have it or you don’t,” he insisted. “He’s still a great guy.”
Stuck said Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton fit much more with the “typical racing driver cliche”.
“One has women, the other is often drunk under the table. And drivers with corners and edges are more loved by the fans at certain times than a slick one who only wins,” he added.
Asked what Vettel can do to stop the booing, Stuck joked that the championship leader could stop winning.
But F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone thinks Red Bull might finally be beaten involuntarily in 2014.
“We’re going to have completely new cars, new engines, new rules,” he told Bild newspaper.
“That will be the chance for Ferrari and Mercedes to catch up with Vettel.”
Ecclestone compared Vettel’s dominance to the Schumacher and Senna eras. But while Ayrton Senna was Hamilton’s hero, the 2008 world champion insists he is not sure he would like to enjoy Vettel-like dominance.
“Me, I don’t want to be able to be that far ahead, I want to be able to fight with him or whoever,” Hamilton told the Independent.
Hamilton’s Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, however, told France’s L’Equipe that “What Red Bull are doing is the goal we have set for the forthcoming years”.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo wouldn’t word it quite like that, but he would undoubtedly enjoy a Vettel-like era of dominance.
Indeed, when asked about the booing, the Italian told Tuttosport that the German is a “great driver”.
“In Singapore I saw a nice Ferrari test, we were the best of the ordinary, but I want to go back to being extraordinary,” Montezemolo added.
© RIF | GMM