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Italian Grand Prix: Heckling sours Vettel's moment of glory

"I didn't understand it," Vettel told the Daily Mail about that former occasion. "I had not done anything to make them do it. I went up on to the stage later for the post-race concert and got booed again. I took my camera out and said, 'If you are going to boo me at least do it properly!' I tried to make a laugh out of it.

"But you don't like it when people boo," he admitted. "I don't think that is fair. If one starts booing, others join in. I don't think they were all wanting to boo per se - it was a chain reaction, so you shouldn't get too upset by that."

But the passionate nature of Ferrari fans took the jeering further than had seen before, with The Times' correspondent pointing out that even Webber had appeared to be uncomfortable and "disturbed by the aggressive atmosphere enveloping a young driver who cannot help being good at his day job."

"The atmosphere I was not completely a fan of, to be honest," Webber said later. "Sebastian won the race and the atmosphere is not completely correct but anyway... that's their choice."

Second-place man Fernando Alonso received suitably rapturous applause and cheers from the crowd when it was his turn to be presented to the crowd, despite the rumours swirling around about his strained relationship with the team over frustrations regarding the team's form in 2013.

But even more significantly, Webber himself received warm applause and few boos when it was his turn in front of the crowd, despite being Vettel's team mate and distinctly non-Italian.

"Maybe the people don't like to see the same team and same driver on the podium all the time," Vettel admitted. "But I enjoy [winning] 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."

In the end, the press were divided about just how much the booing had really got to Vettel on Sunday, with The Guardian's Paul Weaver concluding that the Tifosi's heckling "could not wipe the smile from his champagne-splashed features", while the Daily Mail suggested that the hostile reception "one suspects hurts him rather more than he dared to admit."

The one thing is doesn't appear to be doing is having the slightest effect of his domination of Grand Prix races in 2013, however.

"Anybody racing a Ferrari, and beating a Ferrari, at Monza in Italy is never going to be cheered," said Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner."I don't think it surprised any of us. If anything, it fuels the motivation certainly of Sebastian to go out there and continue to improve."

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September 09, 2013 3:40 PM

mike. look again! he was looking down at his team, and had a smile on his face. he was just acknowledging that he had come first. does that all the time. and it was his index finger. still, if it suits you to invent something........

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