Christian Horner says Sebastian Vettel's success is making rivals feel 'uncomfortable'
Red Bull boss suggests World Champ could be too fast to be popular
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 03/11/12 4:23pm
Red Bull chief Christian Horner has intimated that Sebastian Vettel isn't receiving the plaudits he deserves because the reigning World Champion is too fast and too successful to be popular in the F1 paddock.
Rather than receive acclaim for his run of four consecutive victories as he strives to become a triple World Champion at the age of 25, Vettel has instead been dogged in recent weeks by barbs that his success has been largely - if not solely - dependent on the genius designs of Adrian Newey.
Last week in India title rival Fernando Alonso caused a considerable stir when he told reporters that "we are not only fighting Sebastian, we are fighting Newey", and Horner suspects that both Vettel and Red Bull are becoming unpopular victims of their own success.
"It is uncomfortable for some people the success that Sebastian has had, and uncomfortable for some the success that Red Bull has had," Horner told The Times.
"That is not our fault. Sebastian has achieved some remarkable things in a short space of time. He has not completed 100 grands prix yet but he has won 26 per cent of them so far and in cars capable of winning from the front - he has done it in a Toro Rosso in the wet, he has done it in cars that, on the day, have not been the best car.
"Seb doesn't brag about it, he carries it modestly and it is remarkable what he has achieved, but the fastest way to become unpopular in this paddock is to be successful."
Not that Vettel seems unduly bothered by the prospect of losing friends in the paddock, however, as he closes in on winning yet another title.
Once again, the German led the pack on Friday as the action resumed in Abu Dhabi, topping the Practice Two timesheets after McLaren took the morning honours.