Red Bull Racing says Sebastian Vettel should use the heckling he has faced on Formula 1 podiums this season as motivation to give fans even more to boo about.
The German once again was on the receiving end of a chorus of booing after the Singapore Grand Prix following a race when he produced one of the most dominant performances of his career.
Vettel's ongoing success, and the fallout for him ignoring team orders in Malaysia earlier this year, has left him an easy target for fans upset that their favorite drivers are not winning. Their actions have been widely criticized in the paddock, but Vettel's own team boss Christian Horner says he should take heart from the example of Fernando Alonso, who has turned from being heavily criticized to a darling of the crowds.
When asked what he planned to advise Vettel to do about the situation, Horner said: "I will just tell him to ignore it – feed off it.
"A few years ago they were booing Fernando Alonso when he was racing against Lewis Hamilton, or during his dominant years at Renault. But quite often, the pantomime villain becomes a hero."
Horner reiterated his criticism of the actions of the fans, which he thinks is completely unfair on Vettel.
"You will never ever see a Red Bull mechanic jumping up and down at the misfortune of another competitor, because it is not sporting at the end of the day," he said. "The clearest thing is that it is not fair, and no matter what Sebastian says, he is a human being. He has driven his heart out at the end of the day.
"I just don't think it is right. I don't think it is sporting. He has driven his socks off – he has produced a stunning performance, an absolutely stunning performance, and that should be applauded. It shouldn't be booed."