Sebastian Vettel has hit back at critics who continue to question the four-time champion's abilities as he endures a difficult 2014.
Since arriving in F1 in 2007, the German has impressed where ever he has driven, whether it be the lone race he drove for BMW at Indianapolis, the two and a bit years at Toro Rosso - which included his first win at Monza in 2008 - and the ultra-successful five seasons he has had at Red Bull.
Following his four successive world championships, Vettel's racing career has come back down to earth with a bump as the new 2014 RB10 have proven a far more difficult beast for him to tame.
At the same time Mercedes have installed themselves as the new dominant force in F1, winning all six races so far with five one-two finishes.
Vettel, who won the final nine races of the 2013 season, has even struggled to beat his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
The impressive Australian has beaten Vettel at five of the six races this year - if you discount his exclusion from the opening round at his home race in Melbourne - and has out-qualified the German by the same 5-1 score.
As Vettel won his four straight titles from 2010 - 2013, the debate rumbled over whether his success was down to him or because of the car - designed by the man most recognise as the best designer in F1, Adrian Newey.
Because of the troubles Seb has had adapting to the 2014 car with less downforce and no blown diffuser, an aerodynamic feature on previous Red Bull's that Vettel was known to be a master of when exploiting its potential, it has given his doubters further 'proof' in their eyes, that the German is not as good as his success suggests.
However, in an interview with German TV broadcaster RTL ahead of this weekend's race in Montreal, Vettel pointed at the technical problems that have often blighted his season so far.
"Looking back, I only had one race without problems. That was Malaysia," he said.
"Again, I think it's just important to stay true to yourself -- if the car is not working, you can be the best driver in the world, the victories will not come."
Indeed at the last race in Monaco, Vettel's weekend was hit by turbo problems which meant he was underpowered in qualifying and forced him to retire early in the race.
The German compared his troubles with the RB10 to those seven-time champion Michael Schumacher had with the Mercedes when the great German came back to the sport in 2010.
"I remember when Michael (Schumacher) came back with Mercedes and the car was just not on the same level as him, maybe not at the level of his Ferrari," he claimed.
"But there were many people who said 'Then Michael was just lucky when he won everything with Ferrari'. But as I said, at some point you have already proved enough to yourself and to the others."
The interviewer asked about those who question if Vettel has the right to be mentioned among other multi-world champions such as Alain Prost, Niki Lauda and Ayrton Senna.
While he himself has always distanced himself from such claims, the Red Bull driver did admit the high-speed world of social media and other platforms meant some are very quick to make judgements.
"I think you have to learn to deal with it," he said. "It's very easy to say something or write something. Of course it's a pity and it's a bit like kindergarten, but sadly it's like that in Formula One. Everyone thinks everyone has something to hide."
Asked how he saw those comments made by his critics he added: "In a way it is disrespectful, because these people do not know the background.
"Often they don't even want to know the background -- they want to know how controversial and not-so-great it is, not how wonderfully everything is going."
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