• Italian Grand Prix

Vettel shrugs off boos on the podium

ESPN Staff
September 8, 2013 « Red Bull to carry out tyre test | 'I have nothing to lose' - Alonso »
Sebastian Vettel received boos on the podium after winning in Italy © Associated Press
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Sebastian Vettel has shrugged off the boos he received on the podium after the Italian Grand Prix, saying the reception was expected on Ferrari's home soil.

Vettel won by over five seconds from Fernando Alonso after a dominant display all weekend in his Red Bull. However, when he spoke on the podium he was met with a chorus of boos from the partisan Italian crowd.

"It's extreme here," he said. "When you just walk around outside the track you see all the shops and all the Ferrari stuff for little boys and little girls, so straight after labour they get their Ferrari dress - it's in their genes. Obviously Fernando was up there [on the podium] and it's clear most of the Tifosi support Ferrari. I said to the guys on the in-lap the more booing we get the better we have done today. So it's obviously proof we have been very strong today."

It's not the first time Vettel has been booed this season and asked if the negative receptions he has received was getting to him, he said: "Maybe the people don't like to see the same team and same drive on the podium all the time. But I enjoy it and the team enjoys it and there are a lot of Red Bull fans as well. They are difficult to spot here, but if you look closely you see the Red Bull hats popping out between the red ones."

The only threat to Vettel's victory came from within his own car as his gearbox started display worrying signs on the telemetry towards the end of the race. He backed off in the closing laps, but the lead he had built up earlier in the race was enough to secure victory.

"We were struggling a little bit with the gearbox so we had to pace ourselves," he said. "It was not that bad because I had a little bit of a cushion and it's very great to win here.

"There's not much you can do from within the car. I don't know what they saw on the pit wall in terms of data, but the problem got worse and worse before it stabilised. I obviously tried to save the engine and gearbox as much as I could; basically I tried to short shift and save the car a little bit."