Is Vettel’s latest outburst justified? Hamilton had been delayed by a puncture and not by being slow, therefore he would be expected to make up as many places as he could, and try to score some points, even if this meant passing the race leaders.
Three years ago a member of the Red Bull team murmured to me that Sebastian Vettel wasn’t always the smiling schoolboy he seemed to be: “When things go wrong,” he said, “the toys come flying out of the pram like you wouldn’t believe…”
The stock response to criticisms of this kind is that, ‘The great ones are always like that – that’s why they’re the great ones’, and there is some truth in that, but, that said, I’m with you – I haven’t always been terribly impressed by Vettel’s post-race demeanour this season, either.
After the sort of seasons he had in 2010 and ’11, when he was World Champion each time, it must be a shock to the system to realise that suddenly you don’t have conclusively the fastest car any more, that you don’t leave home every fortnight almost assuming you’re going to win. Sebastian was indeed all smiles last year, but in 2012 his churlish side – such as we saw after that nonsensical coming-together with team mate Webber at Istanbul in 2010 – has been in much greater evidence.
I thought, for example, his remarks about Narain Karthikeyan (following their touch in Malaysia) were pretty cheap, and on more than occasion this year he has come across as a bit of a spoilt brat, always putting the blame on someone other than himself.
Vettel is fundamentally a nice guy, with a pleasant manner and a good sense of humour, and he’s also a superb racing driver, if still prone to mistakes under pressure. In many ways, he has perhaps had it too easy in F1, although that’s hardly his fault, but he has to face the fact that when things go wrong, as invariably they will, the fault is not always with others.