Vettel is Vettel…for better or worse

Regardless of whether you booed or didn’t boo, got angry at Multi 21 or not, Sebastian Vettel is a 4-time world champion. As such, he carries the notoriety, adulation, ire and derision that any professional athlete would who has achieved such success in their chosen sport/profession.

Ayrton Senna had his fans and detractors and so did Michael Schumacher and even the innocuous Mika Hakkinen had his critics. It comes with the territory. #lebronsucks

At Sunday’s AUTOSPORT award ceremony, Vettel took the award for International Driver of the Year. He’s won it before. What I gathered from his comments (see below) is that he genuinely appreciates the award and the achievements as well as the appreciation he receives from fans.

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In a world where we see a whole lot of personality and very little character, it’s refreshing to see a young man achieve such success and yet manage his own affairs. He keeps his girlfriend and personal life out of public view and he tends to be relatively open about his feelings even though it’s that openness that is usually fashioned into arrows and shot back at him.

You may feel it’s all an act. A stitch up or put on. Maybe you feel he’s as fake as a LA Preacher. Fair enough, not everyone can be completely convincing but unlike most Hollywood celebrities and sports stars, Vettel is a completely different breed of cat.

Compare his ceremony comments with many of the world’s hyper-personality stars and you’ll see an immediate difference. Maybe you don’t want to like him for reasons that are all your own. That’s okay too. We all have reasons for liking or disliking and we don’t need to justify those reasons to anyone but perhaps, when it comes to Vettel, those reasons are on shakier ground than, say, disliking that annoying Kardashian family.

Then again, maybe not…one has to have their standards and we all find nuance in our biases. Even when celebrities are loving the adulation they get from fans who worship a false image of them, they keep heaping it on to fuel the machine.

Vettel isn’t like that and neither are many of the Formula 1 drivers. That’s the most refreshing thing about F1—egos are certainly present and lifestyles are rich but their false self-image rarely assaults you like those from Hollywood.

Vettel is Vettel, love it or loathe it. With four titles, he could be behaving a completely different way. I’ve seen champions with fewer titles act a whole lot worse. I’ve seen drivers with no titles act a whole lot worse.

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