Nico Rosberg has responded angrily to recent comments from Sebastian Vettel, claiming the German Formula One leader "brings the boos on himself."
As reported by Auto123, Vettel recently suggested he and his Red Bull team work harder than the other drivers:
The car’s fantastic and it doesn’t happen by accident.
Whilst there’s a lot of people hanging their b***s in the pool on Fridays, we’re still working very hard and pushing very hard so that we have a strong race.
Rosberg leapt to the defence of his fellow drivers by dismissing Vettel’s assumption. The Mercedes driver, who offered the greatest challenge to his German counterpart in the recent Singapore Grand Prix, didn’t pull any punches, per Simon Cass of the Daily Mail:
Sebastian brings the boos on himself. He talks about my b***s that I hang in the pool and then the boos come.
My guys are working hard day and night. He couldn’t know if his boys work harder.
I almost stole pole from him and if I had I would have laughed. Sebastian should think less about my b***s and more about himself.
Jenson Button aided Rosberg’s call for Vettel to keep his mouth closed and also poured scorn on the three-time champion. Button—an individual who understands how quickly fortunes can change in the world of motorsports—indicated that Vettel’s assumption dismisses the hard work of other teams, as suggested in Cass’ report:
It is incorrect and wrong of him to say that.
We are obviously not doing a good enough job to beat Red Bull and no one is at the moment but that doesn’t mean we are not working hard.
Every team is working as hard as Red Bull.
Often perceived as cocky and insensitive by rivals and fans alike, Vettel’s comments do little to improve the 26-year-old’s struggling reputation. Drivers at the top are usually gunned for, but Vettel does his chances of receiving respect no favours by suggesting his team’s work ethic embarrasses the rest.
Further comments from Button underline the notion that—now at the top—Vettel is letting dominance get to his head. As confirmed in Cass’ report, Button claimed: "The problem is that being at the front, winning races and championships comes to an end, it always does for everyone."
Vettel has captured victory in seven of 13 completed races this season and is 60 points ahead of Fernando Alonso in the F1 Drivers' Rankings. The outspoken Red Bull racer confirmed a hat-trick of consecutive wins in Singapore, adding to his Belgian and Italian triumphs of previous weeks.
Although set to comfortably claim his fourth F1 championship, Vettel’s blowout at Silverstone remains the low point of a near faultless season. British onlookers booed him that weekend with a reception that was replicated by crowds in Montreal and Monza, per Cass' report.
The F1 schedule travels to South Korea across the weekend commencing Oct. 5, so Vettel may pay for his words with an instant response from the Asian crowd. He overcame teammate Mark Webber to win the race last season and will be immensely confident of extending his victorious run to four.
While Vettel can afford to play mind games, whether intentional or not, the German driver must choose his words wisely from now on. Both his fellow drivers and the press are looking for him to slip up, ensuring every comment is feverishly scrutinised. By making these kind of remarks, Vettel threatens to taint his legacy.
Should he manage to claim a quartet of F1 title wins in the coming weeks, Vettel may find the time to join his fellow drivers by the pool.