Ecclestone does not fear Vettel backlash

Ecclestone does not fear Vettel backlash
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone

SINGAPORE - Formula One fans worldwide are getting hot under the collar about Sebastian Vettel's dominance of the sport.

But F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone is remaining cool despite a growing clamour to see different faces atop the podium.

Vettel is odds on to capture a fourth straight title as early as next month - with roughly a third of the season left.

This, after winning seven of the 13 races this season, including last night's SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

However, fans appear to be less enthused about the German's seemingly unstoppable march towards legendary status. Boos were heard at recent grands prix won by Vettel, including at last night's race.

The growing demand for less predictability in the sport is reminiscent of the Michael Schumacher era in the 2000s when the German won five world titles in a row for Ferrari.

But when asked if he was worried that fans were getting bored of Vettel, Ecclestone told The Straits Times: "Not at all.

"He was very popular wasn't he, Schumacher? If he (Vettel) was as popular as Schumacher, it'd be good."

Three-time world champion Niki Lauda, now non-executive chairman of the Mercedes F1 team, feels Vettel has nothing to apologise for.

The Austrian said: "The best is the best; we are not racing to entertain people, we are racing to be the best.

"The performance of Red Bull is outstanding, so us other teams and competitors have to get going to beat him."

Indeed, Vettel and his Adrian Newey-inspired RB9 race car are a dream pairing - not only fast in qualifying but also in the race.

The German has qualified outside the top three only once this season. The RB9 has also proven to be a model of reliability, with Vettel failing to finish only once this season.

As BBC Sport's F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson noted in an article: "Red Bull have been playing with small details on the car and it has been making all the difference in pulling out that little bit more performance."

Vettel's smooth driving style also complements the car - getting on the throttle early during corners, and using the downforce created by the exhausts to speed off quickly.

While fans might be sick of his success, Vettel simply replied: "There are some people who are tired of Red Bull winning, but we are not.

"The most important thing to remember is how hard we had to work to get there in the first place."

yulin@sph.com.sg


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