Sebastian Vettel is very quickly losing my respect. Even when he was winning his four consecutive world titles, I was less than convinced. Of course he is quick, of course he is capable of winning races, but I can’t help but feel his career statistics have been enhanced his time driving a car that really was far superior to anything else he was racing against.
This is not me questioning his deserving of four World Championships, merely his respectability as a Formula One driver.
Looking at it objectively, his performances for Toro Rosso were impressive. Taking a number of strong points finished for the team and out scoring his team mate by a huge margin. His victory at the Italian Grand Prix was the first true indicator that Vettel had talent. Although it is not unknown for drivers to achieve shock results in extreme conditions. While it was an impressive win, he would have had no chance in the dry. At this stage I was pleased for the guy, it was good to see a new driver on the top step.
In my eyes Sebastian peaked over the 2009 and 2010 seasons. In ’09, he fought hard to second place in the standings after the initial domination of the Brawn GP car. In ’10, he was an underdog for the majority of the season. But when it mattered, he came out on top after the final race in Abu Dhabi.
That World title caused a chain reaction within the Red Bull team which led to three further championships in as many years. Their dominance in the 2011 and 2013 seasons was difficult to watch at times, and we became well acquainted with the happy and jokey Sebastian Vettel. It didn’t sit right with me though. He didn’t appreciate the opportunity he had. We have seen Mercedes dominate for the last three years. There has been endless accreditation, by both drivers, of the tremendous team effort which has taken their team to the top. It has been gracious victory, respectable domination. In my eyes there was not much to respect about Vettel’s domination. It was arrogant and ugly.
Since then, he has not been blessed with the best car on the grid. Far from it in fact. First with the disastrous Renault debacle in 2014, then his Ill fated move to Ferrari the following year.
Vettel has become petulant, and more than a little whiny. His radio conversation similar to what I would expect from a sleep deprived teenager. It’s like he believes he should just be the winner, without any expense on his behalf. I think it says a lot when the majority of his time on the television screens this year was spent showing various radio rants, swearing at and generally abusing his fellow drivers. It’s simply unacceptable.
I never particularly liked the guy, but I now feel the rest of the world is able to see the side of Vettel which I could always tell was there. The last straw for me was his disgusting outburst at the Mexican Grand Prix earlier this year. To use language like he did, and aim it at the man who is essentially the referee, is disrespectful to say the least. A driver of such standing in the sport should categorically be better than that. There is no excuse.
The main trouble I find with Vettel is that he demands respect. Respect is a very delicate thing, and you have to earn it. Show me why I should respect you. I can’t deny Seb’s results as a driver, but in my opinion there are drivers who deserve them more than he does.