Dennis criticises Vettel for noise comments
7 April 2014 – McLaren chief Ron Dennis has criticised Sebastian Vettel for his recent, controversial comments about the current state of Formula 1, arguing that the Red Bull driver overlooked his duties as a World Champion.
After the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, from which Vettel retired as a result of technical problems, the German described the sound of the sport's new power units as "s**t", and said a key element had been lost.
FIA President Jean Todt sent a personal letter to Vettel to warn him about his use of foul language ahead of the Bahrain event, with the pair planning a meeting over the weekend to discuss the situation face to face.
Having been made aware of what Vettel told the media, Dennis publicly expressed his disappointment.
"Being a World Champion requires a dignified approach to everything, so putting aside the language, even the sentiment is inappropriate," Dennis explained to Sky Sports. "The simple fact is if he was sat in a Mercedes he would be extremely happy, and I'm quite sure any four or five-letter words would be more of joy.
"He should reflect on the fact he has had a period of dominance, and just because that dominance is being shaken by Mercedes, it doesn't give him the licence to be disrespectful of the obligations placed on him."
Meanwhile, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner responded by continuing his defence of Vettel, but conceded that the way in which the argument was put across could have been done so in a cleaner manner.
"We don't manipulate what our drivers say in the press. They have freedom of speech," Horner commented.
"Perhaps the choice of his specific word wasn't ideal but I don't think anyone would disagree that the sound of the cars could be better. It's his opinion. If we don't allow drivers to express themselves, we end up with robots."