Leading F1 figures Dr Helmut Marko and Niki Lauda have defended Sebastian Vettel after the German questioned the motivation of his rivals.

Speaking after the Singapore Grand Prix where he was once again booed by fans, Vettel claimed those doing so were "jealous" and suggested the only reason why he and Red Bull continue to win is because his rivals are lazy.

"Whilst there's a lot of people hanging their balls in the pool very early on Fridays, we're still here working very hard and pushing very hard," Vettel had said.

His Red Bull mentor Dr Helmut Marko responded by saying Vettel's comments were: "great and pithy, and anyway it's true".

"Seb wants to keep the workload just as high in the team as it has been," said the Austrian.

That would be expected from another man inside the Red Bull team however Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda has also defended Vettel's crass comment.

"I liked what he said," Lauda told Bild newspaper.

"Plain speaking is always good, even if I think that we work just as hard at Mercedes.

"But there is some truth to it; Vettel has a huge ambition and it rubs off on his team," he added.

Lauda also weighed into the debate on the issue of booing towards Vettel and the Austrian spoke about his experiences of being booed during the height of his F1 career.

"I was booed brutally in 1977 at Hockenheim," he said, "because the fans saw me as the gravedigger of the Nurburgring because of my accident the year before.

"The fans were outraged even though I couldn't do anything about it (the Nurburgring's fate)," Lauda explained. "But they whistled like crazy anyway."

However, he said the crowd often has a very short memory.

"Then I won the race for Ferrari," said Lauda, "and those who previously booed were cheering just as loudly."

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