Sebastian Vettel insists he is mystified by the recent jeers he received from the British fanbase at Silverstone, claiming the treatment was unfair, according to Jonathan McEvoy of the Daily Mail.
Vettel was not a popular character during the recent British Grand Prix, twice subjected to a hostile reception on a day that saw him retire from the lead.
McEvoy caught up with the world champion, who confessed he was puzzled by the reaction:
I didn't understand it. I had not done anything to make them do it. I went up on to the stage later for the post-race concert and got booed again. I took my camera out and said, 'If you are going to boo me at least do it properly.' I tried to make a laugh out of it.
But you don't like it when people boo. Obviously in the British Grand Prix if I am leading and they want a British driver to win they might not like it, which is fair.
But booing, I don't think that is fair. If one starts booing, others join in. I don't think they were all wanting to boo per se - it was a chain reaction, so you shouldn't get too upset by that.
The justification for the booing of Vettel is likely to have been three-fold for the British F1 fans, who primarily would have turned on the German due to their desire to see Lewis Hamilton—now third in the overall standings—take the chequered flag.
Additionally, Vettel has dominated the sport over the past three years, at times reducing the spectacle’s appeal merely by taking the drama out of the Championship race.
A third reason for the boos dates back to Malaysia in April 2013, when he blatantly ignored team orders to overtake Mark Webber for victory—even though his teammate had obliged by attempting to protect Red Bull’s one-two.
Ultimately, little of that will matter to Vettel if he strides on to win a fourth consecutive World Championship title this year.
He currently leads Fernando Alonso by 46 points, while Hamilton is third for Mercedes a further 12 points behind.
Certainly the Brit appears to be in the better form to challenge Vettel over the remainder of the season, but with eight races to run, few would back against the German as the drivers head to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix.