You get this with Alonso as well though don’t you, it’s just that his almost flawless performance this year in something of an underdog of a car has silenced a lot of his doubters. For some reason people assumed that a lot of Vettel’s performance last year was down to the car and that he was slightly undeserving of the praise he received. Something I strongly disagree with. people also seem to feel that there’s something underhand about how Red Bull go about building race cars and winning championships. While I doubt many go so far as to accuse them of outright cheating, I think the way they push the brinksmanship of F1 to its limit does make them a target for some (totally misplaced) ire.
But in a lot of ways I think this is something that non-native English speaking drivers will have to suffer. If you look at drivers like Button, Webber, Hamilton, etc, being interviewed, they are always very natural and entertaining in front of the camera. As you’d expect from someone speaking their native language. No matter how well someone like Alonso or Vettel learns to speak English, there will always be some slight language barrier which means it’s hard to get a good understanding of their true personality. They can end up coming across as terse, or overly scripted in the way they answer questions which naturally rubs people up the wrong way. Thankfully things like social media are helping to break down this wall to some extent, and show the more human side of these drivers who can otherwise seem quite aloof, but I think in the UK we’ll always have a situation where foreign speaking drivers will never be accepted as warmly as native English speakers.