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Vettel not getting the respect he deserves
Friday 25th October 2013, 13:43 by Ernie Black
© Red Bull Racing, Getty Images
Often fans of a sport get frustrated when a certain team or player dominates. It's understandable and perhaps even expected by those more passionate about things. Going back to our school days during which some of us competed in sports and dreaded the days which we knew we were going to thwarted by the invincible team on the opposite side of the field. Some of us knew that there was a slim chance, but a chance nonetheless, that we might end the day victorious after a hard fought battle and bucket loads of good fortune. I imagine some of the drivers on the current F1 grid feel exactly the same when climbing into the cockpit before any given race of a grand prix weekend.
Worse than butterflies in the pit of one's belly which would eventually subside, the feeling of dispair and perhaps even defeat must haunt 23 of the drivers in Formula 1 this year. The second half of the 2013 season has been the tale of a young German lad whose insatiable hunger to be victorious at every opportunity is rewriting the history books in Red (Bull) ink.
We've seen sports dynasties in the past, most recently in F1 we saw the utter domination by Scuderia Ferrari with another German behind the wheel, Herr Schumacher. Ferrari and Schumacher were blamed with the global disinterest in the sport and fall of TV ratings and audiences. An argument could be made that Bridgestone had a hand in the dominant Ferrari/Schumi era as well. Now a combination of Pirelli tyres and compound selections as well as the unwaivering top level form of the Red Bull team/RB9 and Sebastian Vettel run the risk of brunting the same blame.
Already, Vettel has had to endure booing from fans as he is presented with his trophy for winning. The young German has won three titles and is on his way to his fourth and has done nothing more than what he is paid and expected to do. Those booing Seb for putting on a clinical demonstration on how to win a grand prix may want to displace their anger and frustration and perhaps redirect it towards those teams which are failing to mount a challenge.
It is not the responsibility of Red Bull Racing nor Sebastian Vettel to provide entertainment to F1 fans in the way of a close title battle. It is the responsibility of each and every team and competitor to build a better car and mount a challenge to improve the show. Let us not repeat the mistake that so many have made in the past by allowing bitterness and emotions to rule over logic. Let us instead recognize the talent before us and appreciate it. How many F1 fans failed to do so when Ayrton Senna dominated and only realised what they had ignored, after the lengend's death?
The sport may indeed be in need of a shakeup to maintain the interest of fans and grow into new markets. The FIA should not have to change regulations constantly in order to re-invent the sport, gimmicks should not be required to promote overtaking and tyre management should not be used as superficial means to enhance the "show".
Unless the unthinkable happens, Vettel will likely clinch his fourth title at the next Grand Prix in India. It's really a matter of 'when' and not 'if'. We must remember that the risk of death is everpresent in motorsport and whether you support Vettel or not, we should at least respect his contributions and place in F1 history.
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