Karthikeyan hits back at “crybaby” Vettel

F1 Fanatic round-up

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Melbourne, 2012In the round-up: Narain Karthikeyan says Sebastian Vettel’s criticism of him was “really unprofessional”.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Don’t be a cry baby, Karthikeyan tells Vettel (The Times of India)

“For a world champion to say things like that is really shameful. It is really unprofessional. For a driver who has achieved so much to take out his frustrations on me just because he is having a difficult year is really sad. One does not expect a professional sportsman to be such a cry baby.”

Crash suggests Vettel is under pressure (BBC)

“One leading F1 figure told me: “‘It was completely Vettel’s fault – he needed to give Karthikeyan more space. He only had to clear the last inch and he cut across the front of him. He was showing a bit of frustration and it bit him.'”

Petrov blames Vettel for Karthikeyan incident (GP Update)

“Karthikeyan didn?t do anything unnecessary – didn?t hit him, didn?t change direction sharply. Sebastian overtook him and started to turn. But Narain was going straight.”

On Bahrain (The Buxton Blog)

“There is an allocated media hotel and media shuttles have been laid on. I will be avoiding both. It?s just too much of an obvious target for those wishing to get their message across to an international audience.”

Bahrain and Formula 1 (Joe Saward)

“It is just a shame that the final doubts about the place were not swept away with invitations to the event for Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the two major human rights organisations in the world. If they had come to the party and said that all was well, then no-one would have any worries.”

Alan Baldwin via Twitter

“French PM Francois Fillon is visiting Le Castellet tomorrow. Le Parisien newspaper says he will announce deal done for French GP in 2013.”

Yas chief hopes Abu Dhabi remains host of F1 Young Drivers Test (The National)

“We would obviously be disappointed if Abu Dhabi didn’t host the Young Drivers’ Test because it has become a part of our season, but I can understand the teams’ concerns.”

Gary Anderson?s review of the F1 teams after two races (BBC)

“In the last two years, Red Bull’s big benefit was in having a car on which they did not have to do much work at a race meeting. But in Malaysia, for the first time ever, I saw them changing torsion bars, roll-bars, ride heights and so on.”

Tony Fernandes Q&A: Caterham can join the midfield (F1)

“The goal for mid-season is the same as it is for the whole year ahead. We know what is achievable, and breaking into the midfield is a huge challenge, so the reasonable target is tenth again.”

Red Alert (Grand Prix)

“The most pertinent question was why he had gone off. Which brings us back to the radio message; a pretty dumb call, if ever I heard one. Apart from presupposing Perez hadn’t worked out the implications of a DNF for this little team, history shows that asking a F1 driver to slow down is like suddenly discussing the weekend’s shopping while having sex. Or, so I would imagine.”

I know I can count on a second family (Ferrari)

“It’s the not the first time I’ve gone through a difficult moment like this and I know well that things can change quickly, but now is the moment to do my utmost because I want this negative period to come to an end.”

Shear Power ?ǣ Chassis E20-01 Returns to Base (Lotus)

“The chassis we have back here now is Romain?s car from Malaysia, chassis E20-01. We didn?t originally intend to bring this car back, but after the events of Sepang and the damage incurred it made sense bring it back for repairs as well as getting everything else we need done.”

Formula One Star Lewis Hamilton travels to Manila for Soccer Aid 2012 (McLaren)

“Lewis Hamilton spent two days this week in Manila with UNICEF, the world?s leading children?s organisation, making a short film about street children that will be shown during Soccer Aid on May 27th 2012, on ITV 1.”

Comment of the day

Much praise for the efforts of marshals from several readers yesterday, including this from TimG:

We seldom hear much about it, but motor racing at every level is completely dependent on the time and goodwill of volunteers who perform a range of essential tasks, mostly without payment or acknowledgement. Having been involved in grass roots-level motorsport in the UK, you really get to appreciate the efforts of the dedicated and highly skilled people who give up their time ?ǣ and often take similar risks to the drivers and pit crew ?ǣ to make the sport work properly. It?s easy to criticise officialdom at motor races, but doing the job is incredibly difficult to get right all the time ?ǣ and most of the time they do get it right.

I’m not surprised that (most) teams are grateful for having their cars brought back safely. I have vivid memories from years ago, when I was working on a Formula Ford at Castle Combe, of the marshal who took the time and trouble to return a body panel that had come off on the far side of the circuit after contact. Above and beyond, really.

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228 comments on Karthikeyan hits back at “crybaby” Vettel

  1. Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 30th March 2012, 3:07

    Initialy I thought it was a racing incident and I felt Vettel was OTT with his comments. He shouldn’t have lost his cool regardless of who’s fault it was and he should have been a bit more careful of NK who’s in an inferior car and hasn’t had enough tracktime to be a pair of safe hands in close quarter racing. But Karthikeyan is making too much of a meal of it IMHO. He recieved support from others against Sebs tirade, rightly so IMO but he wasn’t completely blameless either. Now he’s in the news every day with a new “rightous” comment and calling Seb a crybaby is as equally dumb as Vettels outburst. This could drag on and have some minor entertainment value but at this stage both of them look childish to me.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th March 2012, 8:07

      I saw Narain in an interview on Indian TV. Actually it was the reporter who was outraged and Karthikeyan saying, “yes its is unprofessional for him to call names etc.”.

      It just shows India is getting behind its driver here, I though Narian handled that pretty well and far from “making much of a meal of it”.

  2. nefor (@nefor) said on 30th March 2012, 3:11

    I don’t believe either of them are totally at fault or totally blameless. It does show that Naraine moves back seemingly with the intention of getting in behind Sebastian but from what I recall of the replay before it was taken off Youtube. On entry to the corner Seb is a car behind Naraine. I believe this was Lewis, Naraine obviously sees Lewis and goes deep into the corner leaving space for the McLaren but at the same time runs wide onto the edge of the track (you can see dirt kicked up) this slows him down and makes him a bit loose mid corner. He now has to look in his mirrors for corner exit; he sees Seb approaching and then must ensure he gives the Red Bull space for the exit. As Seb comes past him Naraine moves over too much and clips the Red Bull’s tyre.

    Sebastian on the other hand approaches the corner and from his on-board view we see Lewis go through the corner and we see the HRT go wide onto the dirt. Seb then looses the backend slightly late in the corner, makes a correction and accelerates onto the short straight moving over to the edge of the track as he does so.

    I’m not claiming to have any knowledge of being in a situation like this but surely if Seb has just seen the car in front going a bit wide, looking a bit loose and committed to the outside of the corner he should think, maybe I’ll give him a slightly wider berth just incase he didn’t see me.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th March 2012, 6:47

      @nefor, thanks for writing that, I also see it this way: Vettel could have done more to take into account the HRT in front of him while passing, but he was impatient and didn’t give enough room, which clearly cost him. Karthikeyan was intending well, but needs to work on car control in this sort of situations.

      I think that makes it a driving incident. Perhaps the contact between NK and Button earlier in the race, while largely due to Button having a lock-up (says BUT), was also taken into account by the stewards. Just like last year for HAM (and MAS in India?), a single collision can happen to you, but if more of them happen, maybe you should look at why they do to you, and are you really doing enough to avoid them?

      Regardless, Vettel should apologise, and then NK can stop being quoted (but how many times did he now say this? Once and it is repeated thanks to news value? Not sure).

      Also, top teams do need to (be) remind(ed) themselves to also think about slower cars on track. Self interest really: a collision can ruin your race, so make sure it isn’t a back-marker either, just your competitor in the last race of the championship ;-)

  3. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 30th March 2012, 3:17

    Forget whose mistake the incident was. The important thing is that Vettel went around showing the finger and went onto pass rude comments. He is supposed to be an ambassador of the sport, isn’t it?

  4. todd said on 30th March 2012, 3:36

    i dont understand these ‘this shows vettel is under pressure’ and Karthikeyan saying that vettel is having a difficult season.

    a second place in australia, a p6 qualifying time on the hard compound that perez showed would have had some pace, and he was running 3rd? at the time of the incident and closing on perez not falling away like some others behind.

    i dont see any real troubles or concerns. you dont need to win every race to win the championship. p2 and p3 from the first two races would have been a good start to the year.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th March 2012, 6:51

      And yet his behaviour suggests he is impatient to get the car better – not so bad for a racer, but seems uncomfortable driving, and has now shown his not-so-happy face for winter testing and the two races. He is young, might well learn some more patience, but right now he doesn’t seem to have it.

  5. ema said on 30th March 2012, 3:40

    Can vettel remember how many times he crashed and messed up with the other drivers 2 seasons b4? Crashing kid!!!!!

  6. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 30th March 2012, 3:41

    Karthikeyan – Darned Gurken.

  7. bearforce1 (@bearforce1) said on 30th March 2012, 4:49

    NK just isn’t up to scratch. He is just horrible menace.

    The only think NK adds is a certain randomness to races, you never know who NK will impede or take out each and every session and race. He is like the menaces from Mario cart a banana, oil slick, lightning strike, surpise boxes.

    NK seems to have no spacial awareness, which is what you would think all top level driver would have.

    • Aditya said on 30th March 2012, 5:09

      @bearforce : Roflol@NK being a Mario menace!!! :) :) Ur comment just made my day,sir!!!

    • MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 30th March 2012, 11:39

      @bearforce1 By your logic Kobayashi is the same. You never know what’s going to happen in an overtake. Last year Liuzzi took out nearly half the field at Monza (or Spa), so he doesn’t have spatial awareness as well? And If Vettel had so much awareness why did he try to pass him at the corner whereas he would have had ample opportunity after it. Not that Im defending any driver but the argument is that a racing incident is being blown out of propotion.

  8. IDR (@idr) said on 30th March 2012, 5:12

    I sincerely think Sebastian has a problem with his fingers…


  9. me262 said on 30th March 2012, 5:25

    I think Vettel is the ‘dill’ be it Karthikeyan’s fault, Vettel should have known better than to get so close to a backmarker…dont think Vettel can argue about that. Im sure last years Red Bull wouldve cleared the HRT by about a meter LOL… a snapshot of the difference in performance of this years and last years Red Bull : a HRT front wing :)

    Oh I remember that Heidfeld accident…he seemed to suffer from tunnel vision

  10. Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 30th March 2012, 6:09

    Maybe FIA should put vettel and karthikeyan in a steel cage and let them settle it in the ring. And make Stone cold steve Austin the guest referee. Both get a taste of the stone cold stunner and everybody is happy! :D

  11. Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 30th March 2012, 6:44

    I wonder if people would still side with NK if he had taken out OneLapWonder

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 30th March 2012, 6:59

      @ridiculous see comment by @malleshmagdum above: for me too it’s not so much about who’s fault the incident was, as it is about Vettel repeating to at least two tv-crews how much of a bad driver/idiot NK, that’s just not very professional, and he should have apologised after landing in Europe at the latest, but so far didn’t.

      Not helped by Horner coming in to say something akin to “let those backmarkers go race on a different track, they may be in F1 but as long as we don’t fear their speed (and protest them?) they should get out of the way.”, but that’s typical of Horner, I suppose.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th March 2012, 8:13

      I wonder, who is this “onelapwonder” you are talking about?

      Vettel – who was just magic in qualfying with that Red Bull in the past 2 years
      But Vettel was taken out by the crash, so that gets rig of the most obvious choice
      So who is on offer:
      Trulli – king of qualifying and leading the Trulli train in races
      Webber – who used to be an ace qualifyer as well
      Hamilton – who has a knack for nailing the lap, if he has a good car to do it with and feels in the right zone
      Or maybe even Ayrton Senna who produced superb and sometimes unbelievable laps in qualifying?

  12. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 30th March 2012, 7:29

    I’m going to go a bit off-topic now but there is something else i need to get off my chest. When drivers are passing certain “slower drivers” and that person doesn’t jump out of the way immediately they have a tendency to wave angrily or give him the bird. I’ve always felt this to be dangerous. All the cars are wearing the FIA road safety stickers so aren’t they sending the wrong message here? Normal people have to keep both hands at the wheel so, why make an exception for F1 drivers? Yesterday someone who was waving at his wife after he had dropped her off. He nearly crashed into the back of me and if that wasn’t bad enough, he was driving a Fiat Panda!

  13. zimkazimka (@zimkazimka) said on 30th March 2012, 8:23

    There’s more to Petrov’s interview. He goes on saying: “In much the same way Pic didn’t let me through in Malaysia for an entire lap, despite being one lap behind. Sure, I was mad at him, but I did understand that unnecessary maneuvers can lead to disastrous consequences.”

    So, in essence, the frustration here stems from the fact that Vettel does not recognize lapping backmakers as part of the racing challenge. As a professional pilot and world champion he should have taken more caution while attempting the maneuver, since he KNEW the car ahead is slow and is being driven on a wet track by a driver with little experience.

    Nevertheless, I do agree this was Karthikeyan’f fault, but I had a lot of sympathy for him initially, just because of how rude and arrogant Vettel was about the entire thing. But now, it is getting ridiculous with Narain calling Seb a craybaby and stuff. What is this? A kindergarten?

  14. Aced (@) said on 30th March 2012, 8:29

    I honestly don’t see why people are discussing whose fault the accident is. That doesn’t excuse Vettel from what he’s said! In my opinion, if Vettel was a true world champion he would be very embarrassed for what he’s said and would come out and apologize for calling a fellow racer an idiot.

    It doesn’t even matter whose fault it is. How the hell did JB react when Vettel took him out in Spa? And at that time everyone had the rights to criticize Vettel for taking other drivers out.

    Oh, and this is the guy who was very pissed when Alonso didn’t even intentionally put him on the grass in Monza just to do it intentionally to JB a month later. Come on man…

    I’d say Vettel should be very very careful before criticizing another driver for not looking where they’re going.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 30th March 2012, 9:33

      This is the best comment of the entire debate for me. If he came out and admitted that it was a mistake to say what he said then I think that he would earn a lot more respect. Reminds me of when Hamilton went into Massa’s garage to shake his hand, although admittedly it did take about 10 races!

      • Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 30th March 2012, 9:58

        Well wait for round 10 then, what’s the hurry?

      • Solo (@solo) said on 31st March 2012, 11:55

        But Hamilton wasn’t the one calling Massa names and weaving his hands, Massa was the one going all crazy and many of their incidents are up to debate. Is not like Hamilton was always at fault.
        I don’t think he even needed to go to Massa, he probably only went because media was driving him crazy asking if he talked to Massa.
        Anyway going to Massa was an act of reconciliation not an act of apology since he had nothing to apologize. He never called Massa names.

    • dirgegirl (@dirgegirl) said on 30th March 2012, 10:26

      @aced – I’m not a Vettel fan, but I don’t really see why he should apologise.

      1) “Cucumber” is a great insult and I shall be applying it myself.
      2) It’s possible to react to such insults with a massive shrug, a yawn and a “whatever”, which is at about the same level of childishness as calling someone a “cry baby”.
      3) Vettel and Karthikeyan are not colleagues; therefore I don’t see that it is unprofessional to trade insults. It’s part of the passion of F1 racing.
      4) The modern fads for “respect” and constantly apologising for everything as a PR exercise seem utterly hypocritical to me. Governments even apologise on behalf of their citizens for events that happened before they were born. What if Vettel says sorry but is not really sorry? Best to wait for both drivers to calm down, get some perspective, grow up a little if needs be, and maybe as @john-h says they will shake hands later – and mean it.

      • I agree, especially about point number 1 — in fact, I’ve already started using it to excellent effect!

        When people are forced to apologize because their employer’s PR department demands it, does anyone come out of that feeling like anything useful has happened? If the two of them decide talk to each other and sort things out a few races from now — or even at the last race of the season — fine. At least we’ll be reasonably sure it wasn’t completely artificial and orchestrated.

  15. vjanik said on 30th March 2012, 9:37

    Everyone seems to be bumping into the HRTs. These incidents are not their fault, but i think we would be better off without these cars in the race. their pace is just so off. if you were driving a honda civic in the GP and you hadnt made any driving mistakes, let all the other cars past giving them plenty of room, there would still be more risk of an accident just because of the speed difference. Looking at some of the on board footage from the last race, the HRTs seem to be almost standing still in some corners compared to other cars.

    Even in a wet race where the difference in pace between cars is very much decreased, and with safety car periods, the HRTs were still 2 laps down. I mean what is the point?

    • zimkazimka (@zimkazimka) said on 30th March 2012, 9:41

      These cars are within the rules, so they are part of the sport, which means we are not better off without them. When they are not within the rules they are off the track.

    • dirgegirl (@dirgegirl) said on 30th March 2012, 10:07

      That’s a harsh view! The designers and engineers have still managed to build a car which can compete legally, but on a tiny budget compared to some of the other teams. If I were in that position, I’d be proud to be racing my cars even if they came in last every week.

      • MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 30th March 2012, 11:47

        @dirgegirl I agree with you. Out of 12 teams someones going to finish on the bottom. The fact that through all their hardship and troubles they have a car which can compete, as you say, legally and on a reduced budget is fabulous. I’ve said this earlier on different posts on HRT and I’ll say it again that they seem to have a desire and the determination to be in Formula 1 which is really heartening to see. It is not the drivers fault that the car is slow but then they are doing the best they can. If they can stick it who knows maybe 10 years (very optimistic here ) would we see a world champion driving from an HRT? I can only hope…

    • John H (@john-h) said on 30th March 2012, 13:16

      but i think we would be better off without these cars in the race. their pace is just so off

      That’s what the 107% rule is effectively there for, but where do you draw the line… are you saying that it should be the 106% rule instead? Personally I think as long as the cars are faster than GP2 by a couple of seconds, then they’re fast enough to be in F1.

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