Sebastian Vettel, who starts from the front row for tomorrow’s Bahrain Grand Prix (7:30 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Network), has faced the biggest wave of criticism in his career recently. His defiance of team orders from Infiniti Red Bull en route to winning the Malaysian Grand Prix over teammate Mark Webber has caused some fans to regard him as even more cold-blooded than a reptile; to them, his recognizable grin no longer is able to hide truly ruthless intentions.
But the killer instinct is essential to all great champions, including Vettel. Clearly, all he cares about is the end result, so why should he really care about what others may think of him? Shortly after Malaysia, NBCSN’s Will Buxton called him “a brutal, brilliant, beautiful racing animal” in his blog and that’s the long and the short of it when it comes to classifying the German racer.
Still, as Vettel shows in an interview with Buxton above, there’s still a bit of human left in the “animal.”