Boos? When F1 fans became boorish

As the crowd jeered, Sebastian Vettel explained to John Surtees that beating a Ferrari at Monza was going to get that kind of reaction yet the boo’s have been a frequent occurrence at grands prix lately when Vettel has won. If you listen to Fleet Street, it’s all because of Malaysia’s “Multi 21”. Really?

Others argue that the fans of Formula 1 can’t stomach another domination by a German such as they experienced with Michael Schumacher when he “won everything”. Really?

Lewis Hamilton disobeyed orders and told McLaren he wasn’t playing wet nurse to Fernando Alonso. He was here to win and that’s exactly what he was going to do. Of course Alonso had an answer for that and it didn’t go well. Was there booing?

When Senna and McLaren nearly won every race, were there jeers toward him on the podium to show the complete disdain fans had for success? Mika Hakkinen won two titles in a row, so did Fernando Alonso. Was anyone booing for fear of another domination of the sport? When Schumacher was actually “winning everything”, was there this level of booing and boorish behavior? No.

I’ll let you in on a dirty secret. I was born and raised in Kansas City Missouri (for our foreign readers, that’s right in the middle of America) and they have a football team that is still my favorite—the Kansas City Chiefs. That’s not easy to say, as they have been the proverbial Marussia/HRT of the NFL for years now. But they are my team.

Kansas City is known as one of the top cities for Football fan support. The tailgating and backing fans have given the Chiefs for decades betrays the result the fans have been rewarded with. A sellout crowd for years upon years has only been met with mediocre play and gimmicks. The owners fleeced the fan support for years without putting much back into the club. It all reached a crescendo last season.

A struggling quarterback was hurt during game play and the fans actually stood up and cheered. They cheered that their own quarterback was hurt! It was the height of boorish behavior but at some level, you could understand why the fans did what they did. That doesn’t excuse it but the owners had taken advantage of the fans for so long that they had had enough.

I wonder if F1 is experiencing a similar situation in that gimmicks, tricks, tires, wings and electric have all been introduced to “spice up the show” and yet the last three seasons have been predictable with a Red Bull domination.

Ron Dennis once said, when he was losing, that it is not incumbent upon the FIA to change the regulations to hamper Ferrari but it was the burden of McLaren to up their game and beat Ferrari. My respect for McLaren and Dennis was increased ten-fold that day.

It is the task of Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Lotus to actually raise their game and beat Red Bull. No one is preventing them from hiring their own Adrian Newey and creating an incredible car in which to put a phenomenal driver like Vettel in.

The boos and jeers are woefully base behavior. I would never boo a driver for winning three titles or a race. That level of perfection is rare in life and should be respected given the challenge of the task.

Apparently fans want different winners at each race? Equanimity across F1? That isn’t going to happen because a race, by its very nature, betrays the notion that everyone gets a trophy and everyone is a winner. They may have told you that when you were 8-years-old playing soccer but that dog don’t hunt. There are winners and losers in life, get over it.

Red Bull reckon the boos will just be fuel to for their fire and I applaud that notion. You want to boo? Fine, that is as good as audible motivation for the team and I think that’s how they have to look at it. The more boos they get, the better they are doing. Team boss Christian Horner told AUTOSPORT:

“I don’t think it surprised any of us. If anything, it fuels the motivation certainly of Sebastian to go out there and continue to improve.”

Good on them. I say take that RB9 and shove it up the backside of every booing fan that clearly lacks the decorum and respect and understanding this sport deserves. If they don’t like it, they can go watch NASCAR and cheer for Clint Bowyer.

What do you think? Is it “multi 21”? Is it that evil, horrible foul-mouthed Sebastian Vettel that everyone in the paddock says is a really nice guy…including Lewis Hamilton and Martin Brundle? If you’re looking for character flaws in Vettel, you’re really pulling at the threads to find something you don’t like. He is rated by almost everyone who knows him and a genuinely good guy.

Is it the fear of a Schumacher-esque domination again? Is that Vettel’s fault that Schumi spoiled F1 so badly that you cannot bring yourself to watch another terrific team and driver combination call F1 their own? Is it the fact he’s not Lewis Hamilton or Kimi Raikkonen? What is it? Could it be F1 itself that is creating the frustration and Vettel the unfortunate recipient?

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