Lewis Hamilton has spoken out against crowds at Formula One races this year who have booed World Championship leader Sebastian Vettel. The Briton made his remarks after spectators gathered under the podium during Sunday’s prize-giving ceremony jeered and heckled the German who had won the race by some half a minute margin over Fernando Alonso.
“No-one should be booed for their success, no matter how easy or hard it has been for them to get there.” he said.
“Booing is so negative, especially when someone works so hard to be a success.”
The episode was an unpleasant repeat of similar episodes that took place at Montreal, Silverstone and Monza earlier in the season. But Hamilton has also shed light on the reasons he believes Vettel’s success causes such division amongst fans:
“It’s every driver’s dream to have a car to be able to fight. Me, I don’t want to be that far ahead. I want to be able to fight with him, or whoever. But this is the way it is. It’s definitely not a positive thing to hear he has been booed.
“I look at his laps on the on-board camera and it doesn’t appear as though he is on the limit like some other drivers. When you have that much in hand it makes it that much easier to do so. At the end of the day he does the job he needs to do.”
Hamilton’s comments follow on from previous statements, including some made at Monaco this year to the effect that Vettel is unworthy of the achievements he has garnered.
“He has had the fastest car for the last four years, so it’s easy for him…He’s got it easy.”
Lewis Hamilton on Sebastian Vettel, Monaco 2013
Vettel hit back at critics including Hamilton with a staunch defence of his Formula One record and even incuded a veiled jibe at the 2008 World Champion’s lifestyle away from the track:
“I have said over the team radio that this is a team victory because on a track like Singapore everything has to fall into place – the car, the strategy and the window of flexibility.” smiled the triple World Champion.
“And today everything worked just perfectly. But that comes, of course, with a price. When others are already sitting at the poolside we are still in the paddock working meticulously on the smallest detail. So yes, success has its price. But it does make a difference over a race weekend – and over the whole season.”