Singapore: Sebastian Vettel on Sunday said a travelling contingent of hardcore Ferrari fans were to blame for repeated booing as he was again heckled after dominating the Singapore Grand Prix.
The German, booed on the podium in both Belgium and Italy, was jeered again as he took the honours in Singapore, prompting TV interviewer Martin Brundle to break off and tell the offenders to be quiet.
Afterwards Vettel, who is sprinting towards his fourth straight world title after seven wins in 13 races, said the booing was sour grapes from a group of well-heeled Ferrari loyalists.
"It's not nice but I think you should look around the grandstands. Most of the fans are dressed in red," he said, referring to Ferrari's team colour.
"They're quite emotional when they're not winning and if somebody else is winning they don't really like it.
"And as it seems in a sense they are on a tour, they're wealthy enough to go to a lot of races at Monza or take the flight to come here to Singapore."
Boos rang out in Belgium after Vettel's win there, but some of those may have been from environmental campaigners after a protest during the grand prix.
They returned with a vengeance in Italy, the home of Ferrari, as Vettel's win sent out a clear signal that he was favourite for another world title.
But booing in Singapore was surprising given its distance from the partisan circuits of Europe and a crowd including a large number of weekend visitors from other countries.
Vettel admitted he hadn't given the crowd the "most exciting race" after setting off from pole and completing 61 laps of the Marina Bay circuit unheaded.
But he insisted the boos did not bother him -- as long as he was able to keep winning. (Team and driver profiles)
"As long as they keep booing we're doing a very good job, that's the way I see it," Vettel said. "It's not people from Singapore or from one country only.
"It's normal in sports -- when people support one driver they don't like another driver to win, equally there were a lot of German flags round the track.
"The lap after the chequered flag there were a lot of people cheering. Obviously I didn't give them the most exciting race -- but on days like this, I really don't mind."