The nice 'guise

EvilWhippet

Podium Finisher
After coming across the article on Lewis Hamilton no longer being "Mr Nice Guy" it got me thinking about how much a driver's off track persona actually reflects their character. For example Nick Heidfeld is only ever a perfectly articulate, witty, thoughtful (sensitive, great beard, inspirational) gentleman off track, and also rarely bends a rule on it. A stark comparison to Fernando Alonso who's never been one to hide his true feelings, no matter how controversial, but has also been involved with some downright dastardly antics on the race track.

Now if you look at Lewis he's always the clean cut corporate polite (if slightly artificial) fellow off track too, but there is a sense of what lurks beneath, which will of course break out now and then. So how many drivers do you think are a completely different beast under a nice disguise?
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Sebastien Vettel seems like a nice, clean-cut boy...

He is.Still lives at home with his parents.He really is friendly and approachable and also generous with charity donations.

The Beeb commentators made a point of stating that Seb is not the easy going guy he seems behind closed doors
The point being "behind closed doors".Then his true competitive character is revealed to his employers .
Then he is demanding and ruthless.Which is exactly the way it should be. In private.

I do quite a lot of fundraising for a couple of childrens charities.That is where the drivers reveal their true characters.Some of them just a curt refusal from their management companies.
Others repond generously and in a couple of noticeable instances have even sent a personal note with their donation.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
No bias in your opinion of Mr Heidfeld there then EW? lol - i do agree he seems like an agreeable bloke though - which is maybe why he gets the rough end of the stick all the time.

Kubica always used to come across as cold to me and even slightly angry on the radio yet he is one of the most popular men in the pitlane so I think its really hard for us to judge what a driver is like when we don't actually know them. As for Fernando - the British Media have delib created that image of him because every sport needs a bad guy. They did the same thing with Senna (before he became a saint) back in the 90's - and to Schumi of course. It all just depends on how things are reported. Lewis has been just as outspoken and invloved in as many 'antics' as Fernando - in fact most drivers have but some of their 'antics' are quickly forgotten. Fernando gets it in the neck for the Piquet Jr incident but how often do we have a bash at Mr Button over the infamous BAR extra fuel tank?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Nationalities, media and whether you're a fan of a particular driver all play a part.
The media is absolutely terrible for putting their own bias on things, as we all know.
The more fervent fans will lap that up and use it to reinforce their own opinions.

RasputinLives above makes the point about Alonso being the bad guy here in the UK.
In Spain however it's quite the opposite; Alonso is hailed as some kind of saviour and Hamilton is the anti-christ.

I tend to take very little notice of what is written online or in print, unless it is a verbatim quote from the driver concerned.
Luckily these days we tend to get more unedited video so we can all make up our own minds.

With regards to drivers and their true opinions/emotions, etc., they all have a corporate responsibility so it's only in moments of extreme pressure that they will drop their guard and say something from the heart.
This is usually during a race when we're given a snippet of the radio comms, or just after they've retired or ended the race and emotions are still running high.

The rest of the time it's just platitudes and sound bites.
 

Andyoak

Race Winner
I remember reading a particularly gushing piece on Fernando at the start of his F1 career; I seem to remember it being The Times. In it Nando and the reporter stressed how he had been adopted by UK fans and how he appreciated anonymous holidays in Tenby without the hassles of Spanish fans...
How times change...
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
With regards to drivers and their true opinions/emotions, etc., they all have a corporate responsibility so it's only in moments of extreme pressure that they will drop their guard and say something from the heart.
This is usually during a race when we're given a snippet of the radio comms, or just after they've retired or ended the race and emotions are still running high.

The rest of the time it's just platitudes and sound bites.

Therein lies the problem We only hear a snippet.If we had heard the entire exchange then the comment we hear might mean something totally different.
A sentence or radio communication taken out of context can mean two entirely diffent things.
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
Fernando gets it in the neck for the Piquet Jr incident but how often do we have a bash at Mr Button over the infamous BAR extra fuel tank?

Thats an ingenious strawman you have there, does it burn? Getting a team mate to crash and having a part that was at first ( in principal) passed by the stewards & Charlie and then when found that the BAR was nearly catching the Ferraris to subsequently ban it are two very very different cases with not one shred of commonality.

Back on Topic: If any of the drivers on the grid weren't ruthless (at least in private), then they would not be in F1, it really is that simple.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Thats an ingenious strawman you have there, does it burn? Getting a team mate to crash and having a part that was at first ( in principal) passed by the stewards & Charlie and then when found that the BAR was nearly catching the Ferraris to subsequently ban it are two very very different cases with not one shred of commonality.

yes. ok. I except its a thin one - the point I was trying to make was that both drivers claim no knowledge of it afterwards. In Jenson's case the British Media shrugs its shoulders and says "of course Jenson wouldn't have known he's a good chap what what" but when Fernando claims no knowledge up go the shouts of "course he knew the bloomin cheat" and bring it up all the time - Its all about who the media decides it likes and doesn't like. I probably should have made it clearer when I wrote it and wasn't comparing the incidents.

But back on topic I'm also agreed that any F1 driver on the grid has to have a ruthless streak. There are no nice guys in F1
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Now that I did not know. Wonder if he gives them an allowance.

I seem to recall that he actully bought the house for his parents.But I doubt that he spends much time at home.I very much suspect that he spends the vast majority of his free time at his girlfriends apartment.I certainly would:D
 

Sarinaide

Banned
I am pretty sure Fernando is a very nice guy and family man..................I think his perception created as a driver is completely opposite to that in his private life.
 

Sarinaide

Banned
If you consider all the great champions of the past they all have a degree of ruthlessness or opportunism about them, it separates true greats from run of the mill.
 
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