Formula 1

Sebastien Vettel: Is he bad for F1?

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So Sebastian Vettel has wrapped up yet another World Championship win. However, instead of praising him like many did after his previous victories, most fans are now booing him after every inevitable win. If there's one thing I've learned from watching Formula 1, it's the German national anthem.

After one of the greatest Formula 1 seasons ever last year, with all drivers having something to shout about, Vettel has sapped the life out of almost every competitor with such efficiency that Formula 1 is becoming less and less interesting to watch.

Last season eight different drivers picked up wins, with five of them winning multiple times. It seemed that Fernando Alonso was going to stroll to the title in the fashion that Vettel has this year early on in 2012, but latter produced a stunning run of form to win the title with some comfort after plenty of excitement along the way.

This year there have only been five different winners and Vettel's stunning run of form has turned into a dull procession towards a totally inevitable title.

Often in sport when someone becomes too good things can turn sour pretty quickly. The UCI and IOC have spent many an hour trying to hinder Great Britain's respective road and track cycling teams; Phil "The Power" Taylor is routinely booed (although slightly more humorously) by fans; at the height of his powers Roger Federer's opponent would often be cheered on vociferously by the fans; the British press desperately wanted Arsenal's unbeaten run to come to an end by the time 49 matches had been notched up.

Vettel is now falling under that category. In some ways that is a good thing: it means that Vettel really is joining the greats in sport. However, cynics are now suggesting that he has done so with a large silver spoon in his mouth. Red Bull are so far ahead of the other teams that it beggars belief and many think that any driver would be able to win as much as Vettel has in a car like that.

Lewis Hamilton even went as far as to say that Fernando Alonso would be much more dominant than Vettel were he to drive for Red Bull. He hasn't achieved his success with the style that some other F1 drivers have.

There have been a few races where the German has come from the back of the grid to finish on the podium, but he's never really fought through cock-ups made by his team to win races. Take Ayrton Senna's first home win for example: the Brazilian fought through the final seven laps with his transmission jammed in sixth-gear to win the race.

It is much more memorable if on occasion a driver has everything go wrong for him and yet still he manages to win against all the odds. Romantic F1 fans (myself included) now want the underdogs to somehow beat Vettel, not only by being quite simply better than the German but doing so with half the car on fire or something ridiculous like that.

If Vettel had had some real difficulties this year and had still retained this dominance, fans would still be singing his praises. And had he not so dishonourably overtaken his teammate to win the Malaysia Grand Prix fans would perhaps be backing him up a bit more. Certainly if Vettel wants the fans to be on his side again he's going to have to win things with a lot more style and perhaps even difficulty. When he wins it next year will he please do so by one point?

Vettel has been entertaining at times when not racing: his defending of himself after the aforementioned Webber incident by claiming that he'd "paid Webber back", and attacking the fans' booing him by reminding them of how boring Michael Schumacher could be has shown that the proverbial dog in the fight (which would most definitely be a rather colossal one) has a bit of fight in it as well.

However, a more entertaining figure would be defending himself after he'd crashed into three cars in one race. Perhaps I would want a driver to be having to defend his team after they'd forgotten to put a wheel on or had set the car on fire after he'd still managed to win the race.

I'm rather exaggerating the feats of more favourably looked upon Formula 1 drivers but my point holds true: if you start to win everything with such efficiency it very quickly becomes very dull.

I don't want Vettel to deliberately lose either; nor do I want the FIA to find ways to stop him winning. I want the other teams to catch up with Red Bull so that next year we have some close, high quality, entertaining racing.

Now that Hamilton has settled into life at Mercedes hopefully he can provide some consistency next year (not too consistent though) and one hopes that Mercedes can start to produce cars worthy of Ross Brawn's engineering skills.

Perhaps Ferrari will be able to find their old form and get Alonso back to his title-winning best. If Kimi Raikkonen were to move to Red Bull it would make a huge difference as he would be a genuine contender to Vettel's throne and some real competition between teammates would more than add to the excitement.

If McLaren can get their act together and start making cars like they did under Ron Denis then surely to drivers of the calibre of Sergio Perez and Jenson Button can turn that into wins.

And if Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado could every now and then stop crashing and win a few races we'd regain the variety of 2012.

With the talent of so many of the drivers we have now, some even racing would make Formula 1 one of the best sports to watch.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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