A lot has been made of Seb Vet’s latest soporific win at Monza, where things are supposed to be interesting, and of the booing he endured on the podium.
He says he doesn’t mind it, and perhaps he doesn’t. But he’s only human after all – if that was me in receipt of the catcalling I’d be leaving a trail of snot and tears on the shoulder of the man who finished second.
The thing that is most infuriating about Vettel is that he doesn’t really seem to do anything wrong. I am not fan of his, but when the worst thing he has done is disobey team orders as he did in Malaysia…put it this way, he didn’t exactly emulate a couple of other of his world champion predecessors and use his car as a carbon-fibre dodgem, did he? He drove faster than Webber and overtook him cleanly round the outside of a corner. And if he was using an unfair engine-power advantage, then why didn’t Mark crank up his juice as well? That is the thing that makes it most grating – Vettel doesn’t even give his critics something really meaty to get their teeth into.
Vettel seems to be a guy who likes stamping his name in the history books, but someone needs to tell him that winning championship after championship doesn’t really do that. Instead, it makes people dislike you even more, if anything. The likes of Stirling Moss, Ronnie Peterson and Gilles Villeneuve didn’t need any world titles to ensure they will never be forgotten, and Felipe Massa evoked some lip-wobblingly genuine sentiments from the media and the other drivers this week when he announced he was being given the elbow by the Scuderia. The way he comported himself in Brazil in 2008 is something that is rare from an F1 driver these days.
As any regular readers will know, I was no Michael Schumacher fan. But the one thing he did that showed him to have some nadgers was when he left Benetton for Ferrari, and although he did eventually win so many titles in a row that Ferrari had copyright on the number ‘1,’ it was entertaining to watch him try and get there for all those years first.
Where would Vettel go? Well, if he followed the Schumacher mould, he would head to a once-great team and try and drag it up by its bootlaces, to prove that he is a great driver rather than the better of the two incumbents in the best car. Where would I advise him to go? Why, to Williams of course. As of next year they will have Mercedes engines, which would give their marketers something to write about. It would be in some way reminiscent of Damon Hill’s year in the unwieldy Arrows-Yamaha in 1997.
Sure, he might end up only having five titles instead of nineteen. But so what? I for one would love to see it happen. Otherwise I fear F1 will disappear up its own posterior again for a few years.
In other news, I’m off to see Rush at the weekend, so will report back when I’ve digested that. If it’s anywhere near as good as the band that shares its name then we’re in business…..