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Sebastian Vettel beat Fernando Alonso by 32 seconds in the Singapore Grand Prix. Diego Azubel / EPA
Sebastian Vettel beat Fernando Alonso by 32 seconds in the Singapore Grand Prix. Diego Azubel / EPA

Ferrari fans ‘emotional’, says Vettel

Red Bull driver shows empathy towards jeering spectators after winning Singapore Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel’s joy at his latest comprehensive victory was again tempered by Formula One’s boo-boys.

Vettel took the chequered flag for the third successive time around Singapore’s Marina Bay Street Circuit, and for the third straight race this season after triumphing in Belgium and Italy.

In opening up a 60-point cushion over Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who had to settle for second best for the third consecutive race, it is now a question of when, not if, Vettel wins his fourth world title this season.

But it is not just Vettel’s wins that have become a recurring theme because it has now become de rigeur to jeer and boo the 26-year-old Red Bull star when he stands on the podium.

Attempting to brush aside the jeers, Vettel jokingly said: “They are on a tour, they come to every race!”

Winning by a 32-second gap over Alonso, the largest margin of the season, Vettel added: “Fortunately we keep winning so they’ve got a reason to boo, but it is not nice.

“If you look around the grandstands most of the fans are dressed in red.

“Ferrari has a very strong fan base for a reason: they have a lot of tradition in Formula One, they’ve been around longer and won, and they’ve been more successful than any other team.

“There are more and more people dressed in blue, so we are doing a good job on that front.

“But obviously they [the Ferrari fans] are quite emotional when they are not winning, and if somebody else is winning they don’t really like it.

“But as long as they keep booing, it shows we are doing a very good job. That’s the way I see it.

“But the parade lap was quite nice, also the lap after the chequered flag there were a lot of people cheering.

“Obviously I didn’t give them the most exciting race, but on days like this I really don’t mind.”

But Christian Horner, the team principal, was far less forgiving, in particular as he felt Vettel had conjured one of the best performances of his career.

“To see a driver, who has put in a performance like that and to not get the reception he deserves, is not sporting,” said Horner.

“He says it doesn’t affect him, that he doesn’t feel it, and he does have a broad set of shoulders.

“But he is a human being at the end of the day, and like anyone he has feelings.

“When you’ve driven your heart out and you are getting that reaction, to me it’s not fair and not right.

“It’s a shame and I hope it will change at the forthcoming races.”

Kimi Raikkonen, driving with a bad back, was third in his Lotus, but is 98 points behind Vettel, while Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in his Mercedes and is 96 points adrift.

Paul Di Resta was on course for points, only to put his Force India into a barrier seven laps from home due to what is understood to have been a mechanical issue, while McLaren’s Jenson Button was seventh.

sports@thenational.ae

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