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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On this day in F1

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228 comments on Karthikeyan hits back at “crybaby” Vettel

  1. Denis 68 said on 30th March 2012, 10:04

    Good job Kartihikeyan you have already repaid TATA (by taking out Vettel and getting all this publicity) all the millions they are paying HRT for running you. Let’s face it that’s the only way your gonna get publicity in F1. Good job keep it up TATA needs you.

  2. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 30th March 2012, 10:09

    I dont get this, he said he made a mistake by getting on the white line which caused Wheel spin, so he jinked in. He had no choice. This is a racing incident and we should not even be talking about it.

  3. drmouse (@drmouse) said on 30th March 2012, 10:24

    Well, it seems everyone has a strong oppinion on the Vettel/Karthikeyan incident and their subsequent reactions. For me, there is only one thing it highlights: Blue flags need to be seriously looked into.

    If there were no blue flags, I do not think this incident would have occurred. Vettel would have been more carefull when passing, as there would be no expectation for him to get out of the way. Simillarly, I would think Karthikeyan would have been more carefull, as he would know Vettel would have had to fight his way past.

    Added to this, I do not believe Vettel would have made the comments he did, because Karthikeyan would have had the right to race his own race.

    I personally think that blue flags take away from F1, but it’s not up to me to make such a descision. I do think they should be seriously looked at, though. With DRS available and the differences in car performance between the front runners and backmarkers, it should not take more skill than the drivers have to lap cars and make for more exciting racing.

    • RumFRESH (@rumfresh) said on 30th March 2012, 15:07

      @drmouse That’s a good point. Without the blue flags, this would be much more straightforward.

    • babis1980 said on 30th March 2012, 15:19

      Agreed….. if a car is fast enough to lap another then the overtake move is going to happen either way. If there were no blue flags then the move would be in racing speeds for both cars, so it would be fun to watch and more importantly the fast and the slow driver would pay attention.

      If a fast car for whatever reason would be out of place then the leader would have to sweat to make the overtake stick which is the fare thing to do, not breeze pass around …..

      Maybe the new teams need the blue flags to go away so then they can gather evenly their race data so they can improve their speed and race performance.

      Kimi was asking in Australia why the marshals waved the blue flag to him. In some specific times the thing was really ridiculous…. even in tv was really obnoxious …. blue flags everywhere….. I think that Webber was asking the same thing (not sure 100%, I heard it in flying lap).

      The difference in qualy is smaller that 107% but in race pace I think that it is much greater….. and the ban of refueling and the Pirellis are not helping to close the gap.

      The first step in that direction is already taken: they can unlap themselves under a safety car. So FIA get rid the blue flags…..

  4. il Leone said on 30th March 2012, 10:29

    100% Vettel’s fault, NK got no room, plus he was recovering from an off. Vettel had no right to say what he did, I’ve never liked him.

  5. Jose said on 30th March 2012, 11:55

    NK is a real blunder, period.

  6. Sean Newman said on 30th March 2012, 12:46

    It’s funny this is just the sort of incident Hamilton was having last year. I think it’s an early indicator that Vettel is rattled and unfocused in the same way Hamilton was. I don’t think it will be three in a row for Vettel I’m afraid.

    As for the incident itself it’s a 50/50 I think. They both could have left more room. They both tried to move back to the racing line to soon. If Vettel is to get a third world title he needs to learn to avoid this type of incident. Blaming Karthikeyan or any other driver won’t help him on jot.

  7. vickyy (@vickyy) said on 30th March 2012, 12:48

    Keith, today daily round-up must have recorded highest number of comments till now.

  8. I Love The Pope said on 30th March 2012, 13:25

    Chicane Karthikeyan speaks!

  9. Mads (@mads) said on 30th March 2012, 13:27

    Isn’t all this “sportsmanship” just too overrated? I think so.
    Maybe some want to think that F1 drivers are the sort of 50’s gentlemen racer. But they aren’t.
    If they didn’t furiously hate to loose then they wouldn’t be there.
    Some drivers are better at handling the press then others, and Vettel surely showed that he wasn’t Button’esque good at it. That said. Is it really PR trained robots that we want to see?
    I don’t.
    I like when people, not just racing drivers, speak what they actually think.
    F1 is so politically correct these days, that it does get really annoying.
    How many videos aren’t there on youtube of 80’s-90’s drivers showing the “bird” to left and right because they were held back for half a second.
    It might look silly and childish, but I think it gives them some character.
    It does show their human side.
    We all talk trash about others, and we all get annoyed when things get hot.
    If F1 drivers don’t show that they do the same, it removes their human side and for me at least, makes it harder to associate with them.
    Now Karthikeyan strikes back, and he show that he is just as childish as Vettel, but you know what? I like that. Let them talk trash about each other, even a fight on track would be fantastic, though probably too much to ask for.
    F1 is about passion, and when drivers get mad show that they care, show that they have faults and most importantly show their passion.
    Like when Schumacher, glowing red hot, came storming into the McLaren garage to have “a word..” with DC after their coming together at Spa.
    It was silly yes, but I loved it!

  10. RumFRESH (@rumfresh) said on 30th March 2012, 14:20

    Karthikeyan has made some pretty poor attempts at getting out of the way in the past. I think what this comes down to are the rules concerning the blue flags. Under those rules, Karthikeyan must get out of the way and let Vettel past and this is perhaps why he received the penalty. This seems contradictory to the idea that the car behind is always responsible for passing safely. Karthikeyan did “jink” to the right but Vettel shouldn’t have moved over too quickly either. Racing Incident.

  11. Andy said on 30th March 2012, 15:14

    It’s not the first time Vettel reacted in such a manner. Remember Turkey 2010, where Vettel drove past Webber and cut back too fast (in a manner like with Karthikeyan actually). After getting out of the car he made a gesture that Webber was crazy or out of his mind. I think we can get several things out of this:
    1. Vettel should learn not to cut back that fast when overtaking.
    2.Vettel should learn to control his anger.
    3.It’s obvious that when Vettel has a dominant car he is almost faultless, but when his car is even slightly less then the best car he’ll start to produce errors. He is kinda like Massa in that respect, but Vettel atleast keeps speed in his car.

    So strange actually that a person can be so different when he does not have the fastest car. If the Red Bull was whack I could understand, but the fact is that the Red Bull is merely a couple of tenths slower then the McLaren in qualy and roughly the equal in the race. Last year he made Webber look like Massa which isn’t the case this year.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 30th March 2012, 15:39

      If you watch the footage liked to on the first comment page, it is fairly obvious that Vettel did NOT cut back across.
      There were still at least one and a half car with between his car and the edge of the track. Plenty of space for Karthikeyan to get off slippery white line that he complained about without hitting anyone.
      You can see how the gap between the edge of the track and Karthikeyans car widens massively just before the contact.

      • Andy said on 30th March 2012, 15:59

        i’m not saying it wasn’t Karthikeyan’s fault, but as Keith pointed out vettel also didn’t had to move back accross Karthikeyan as sharply as he did. And there is certainly not 1 1/2 car length between the white line and karth’s car! somewhere between a thirth or half a car, but not more then that; maybe if you calculate in the cerbs but those were wet; if he hitted those he would have spinned. Also note that they actually drove towards eachother, while Vettel was almost back at the racing line. It is as Keith said: Vettel didn’t had to cut back, which is cutting back, and Karthikeyan didn’t had to move to the right.

        • Mads (@mads) said on 30th March 2012, 17:17

          No not between one and a half car between the white line and Karthikeyans car. I probably didn’t express my self very clearly.
          There was one and a half car between the left edge of Vettel’s car and the edge of the track. The gap which Karthikeyan should have used to get off the white line without crashing into anyone.
          But Karthikeyan moved back on the track, and kept going right instead of driving straight as soon as he hit the track completely.
          Vettel left a constant gap to the edge of the track, and plenty of space to get another car in there.
          In hindsight that wasn’t enough, but we have seen other drivers get their car into gaps with just a centimetre to space in each side without crashing into everything, so I guess Vettel just had too high expectations for Karthikeyan’s precision.

          • Andy said on 30th March 2012, 18:41

            I clearly see vettel steering towards karthikeyan; same way around also yes and karth. certainly is performing his action first, but right before the accident vettel turns towards karth. You can see that on the onboard footage of vettel.

          • george said on 30th March 2012, 19:03

            The reason why he is turning into Narain was for the fact there was a corner before the straight. When vettel was on the straight he was clearly moving away from Narain and giving plenty of room.

            This theory of vettel turning in Narain is a complete fabrication by the public. Vettel stayed straight, Narain swerved right and was looking in his mirror during the process he would of seen Vettel if he was looking ahead.

  12. steve (@sarkf1nut) said on 30th March 2012, 17:10

    If Vettel has the opinion that there are drivers out there who , in his eyes , are in his way you would think he would drive to avoid them as much as they should be avoiding him.
    When drivers overtake back markers they should still drive with some thoughts on the current situation.

    50/50 in my eyes , hope they both learn from it .

  13. vho (@) said on 30th March 2012, 17:28

    A lot of people have commented on how much Narain cut across to his right, but if you look at the car in front of both Narain and Vettel you can see what resembles as the racing line. So I would say that Narain was following the racing line. The front on video has concluded to me that it was in fact Vettel that cut across to the racing line without ensuring that he’d completely cleared the HRT. An overhead shot would definitely clear Narain of being 100% in the wrong, but that said, being a back marker he should’ve backed off on the throttle. It could have also been possible that he was racing for a place (see the car affront when Vettel was overtaking), hence Narain was being more agressive on the throttle.

  14. The Limit said on 30th March 2012, 19:21

    Vettel certainly let his emotions get the better of him, but his real headache is that Red Bull do not have the performance advantage over their rivals that they once had. That is certainly clear after the first two grands prix of 2012, and more to the point, I think Red Bull are struggling to find away around their problems.
    Vettel’s a great driver and a worthy double world champion, but its easy to be nice when you are winning everything in sight and everybody else is trying in vain the catch you. There is no doubt that Vettel used his superior 2011 Red Bull chassis to devastating effect last year, but now he is fighting other drivers with equal if not better machines. With that there is also the expectation of being a double world champion, which even Fernando Alonso has found difficult at times.
    What we should remember is that Vettel is our youngest world champion, two years younger than Hamilton and seven years younger than Jenson Button. As Hamilton has had to do, Vettel has to learn to grow up in the limelight and that means taking the criticism that goes with making mistakes. He is not a Toro Rosso rookie driver anymore, those days are gone. He is at the sharp end of the business, and sometimes that can be a lonely place to be when things go wrong.
    As for other drivers, ofcourse some are going to criticise. Its often the ones that have never won anything or never going to, and would love to be in Vettel’s shoes. Thats human nature too, and something he has to learn to live with!

  15. DragonFly said on 30th March 2012, 19:45

    Oh come on guys, lets move on. Both of them are great drivers, lets agree to it. Give Narain a Red bull and you’ll know how good a driver he is. Similarly give Seb a HRT and all of a sudden people will say how good a driver Narain is and not seb. Give all the drivers same car and then we’ll know who’s awesome. Just look at Alonso, with the slow Ferrari he went on to win the race, thats what champions are made of. For people like us it’s easy to blame the drivers but you need to appreciate the efforts put in my them o reach where they are now. Narain never really got a car to show his true potential and people just hold that against him Feel sad abt it sometimes.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 31st March 2012, 0:17

      Give Narain a Red bull and you’ll know how good a driver he is. Similarly give Seb a HRT and all of a sudden people will say how good a driver Narain is and not seb.

      I disagree. Put Vettel in an HRT? He’d use the talent he showed in the STR to beat his teammate and earn a promotion, like Alonso and the others to graduate from Minardi. Put Narain in a Red Bull? Mark Webber isn’t a slouch and all evidence points to Webber outclassing Narain to the extent that people still wouldn’t believe Karthikeyan was a particularly good driver.

      Narain never really got a car to show his true potential and people just hold that against him Feel sad abt it sometimes.

      Perhaps the Jordan and HRT weren’t great cars, but Montiero and Liuzzi beat Narain in those same cars. Yet they are the ones who aren’t in F1. I can agree with your point about appreciating the efforts to get into F1, though.

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