GREATER NOIDA, India – Basking in the euphoria of his fourth straight Formula One world championship title, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel moved toward making peace with fans from other teams who have booed his wins at several races.
Vettel, who claimed his fourth title after winning Sunday's Indian Grand Prix, has been greeted by booing during his podium appearances in Italy, Singapore and other races by fans who appear not to appreciate the clinical manner in which he wins them.
"It hurts not to get the reception you expect, but I'm clever enough to know why they do it," Vettel said. "I'm not blaming them."
The German remains more concerned with getting the respect of his F1 rivals.
"I think the most important thing for me is to get the respect of the people I know and race against, and I feel respected among the drivers," he said. "You have to fight for getting that respect when you come into F1."
There was no booing Sunday when enthusiastic Indian crowds raced to the fence as Vettel performed several donuts on the track before climbing from his car, acknowledging the crowd and kneeling with his head bowed to the track. On the podium, Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean hoisted Vettel on their shoulders.
As for the less appreciative crowds, Vettel says he understands their emotions.
"I don't blame the people that booed. If I go to a football stadium I cheer for the home team," he said.
"Maybe if I was a fan of McLaren, Ferrari, one of the traditional teams, I wouldn't like it if the same guy and the same team wins again and again."