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Horner: Vettel “serial winner” like Muhammad Ali

Sep 26, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore Getty Images

Christian Horner believes that the wave of angst that Sebastian Vettel has received from fans in recent races is purely because he is a “serial winner”, comparing his situation to that of boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

Upon taking the top step of the podium in Singapore, Vettel was greeted with a chorus of boos and jeers from the fans who had spilled out onto the track. However, this was not the first time it had happened, also occurring at the Canadian and Italian Grands Prix. Although Horner is perturbed by the distaste shown towards his star driver, he believes that this is purely because of his ability.

“It is the same as the people who watched Muhammed Ali and wanted to see him lose,” Horner explained to Bild.

“This is currently the case – people want to see who beats Sebastian. If he wins again, this is not very popular.”

However, Horner also showed Vettel a great deal of sympathy, acknowledging that such a wave of angst takes great resolve to deal with.

“He’s a great kid. He has a great sense of humor and he has a big heart at the end of the day. He has broad shoulders, but like everyone else he has feelings too.”

Vettel has been in a class of his own in 2013, winning seven races including five of the last seven grands prix. He currently enjoys a championship lead of sixty points, equivalent to more than two race wins, meaning that he is poised to claim a fourth consecutive world title this season.

Ali – widely regarded as being the greatest boxer of all time – won his first thirty-one fights and retired in 1981 with a win-loss record of 56-5. Although Vettel’s dominance may not quite match that of Ali just yet, the German driver has plenty of time to establish himself as being the greatest grand prix driver of all time.

  1. golfitt - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Love him or loathe him,F1 fans are witnessing greatness.

    • worknman24hours - Sep 29, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      95% of that greatness is that Red Bull race car he’s lucky enough to drive and the entire team that supports his racing.

      Vettel contributes the remaining 5% but that’s still a very important 5%.

      Someone has to drive the fastest taxi across the finish line.

  2. hjworton46 - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    Along with Alonso and Hamilton, Vettel is a very fast guy. The difference is the Red Bull package is working for him in the perfect way.

  3. solutionc - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Horner seems to be missing a couple of points..
    Vettel needs to quit the 1 finger salute
    The designers & engineers are British – Where’s the flag? Wheres the Anthem?
    Vettel was gifted the first championship, that was Marks & any other team would have ensured they didn’t risk the manufacturers title by giving it Vettel, i wonder what he does for Helmut?

    • rocketdog2013 - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:03 PM


  4. solutionc - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    PS – Henry Cooper knocked out Ali at the bell Ali’s corner cut his glove to give him time to recover or history may not have been the same

  5. worknman24hours - Sep 29, 2013 at 8:56 PM


    Ali possessed God given gifts of greatness that didn’t have anything to do with him being given the best of anything in his sport to win his contests.


    Vettel couldn’t hold Ali’s jockstrap and be any closer to how truly special Muhammed Ali was in his heyday.

    Vettel like Ali-JUST LOL.

    • solutionc - Oct 5, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Amazing how people have short memories, I remember watching any number of Ali fights, Norton in particular where Ali was beaten up but given the win. Judges in any sport, as well as teams have their favorites, & if you are not the one, you have a bigger hill to climb, life is simply not fair.

  6. lister001 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    If Christian Horner could take his tongue out of Vettel’s exhaust for more than 30 seconds he would realise that:
    a) Vettel is NOT god’s gift to racing???
    b) Ali actually had to fight for his wins. And to compare the two is unfair because it suggests that Ali was given has wins.
    c) Us true fans of F1 are not stupid??? We know Vettel has been given preferential treatment at RBR to the cost of Webber. Eg: team orders, and car upgrades.
    d) Although there has been a lot of arrogance in F1 over the years, No one has been as disrespectful as Vettel. To claim that the other teams and drivers are “Resting their balls in the pool” is down right disgusting and should have led to a suspension for un-sportsman like conduct. Vettel is lucky that none of the other drivers or team members are disrespectful as him because it would be difficult to drive with all those boots up his exhaust???

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