Vettel: F1 mustn't steer clear of less tolerant countries – Motorsport.com

The four-time world champion famously spoke out last year about Hungary enacting a law that prevented the depiction and teaching of homosexuality or transgender issues to under 18s, sparking widespread condemnation across Europe.
Having made a personal stand with the wearing of rainbow shoes over the Hungaroring weekend, Vettel believes that F1 would be making a mistake if it turned its back on places where rights are not as well recognised.
Speaking in an exclusive interview as the cover star of the July/August issue of Attitude magazine, Vettel said: “Formula 1 will race in 23 countries this year.
“As far as LGBTQ rights are concerned, there are some countries we visit that are tougher than others. We could refuse to race there – but what then? If we don’t race we’d be powerless to make any difference at all.
“But by racing in those countries and politely, but firmly, standing up for what’s important we can have a positive impact. Values and principles can’t stop at borders.”
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, and Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, on the grid
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
Reflecting on why he was so openly critical about Hungary’s actions last year, he said: “I did it because I wanted to show that I didn’t, and wouldn’t, endorse the anti-LGBTQ legislation that had recently been enacted.
“I didn’t do it to be popular, but if LGBTQ people who had been upset by the legislation were encouraged to see that I’d stood up against it, obviously that’s pleasing to know. And perhaps more F1 fans have begun to think about diversity and inclusivity because of the actions of some of us – and, if they have, I’m pleased. I’m happy and honoured to be your straight ally!”
Vettel believes that F1’s own views have changed in recent years and that, where once a gay driver may have been afraid to come out, he thinks now it would be accepted.
“Perhaps it wouldn’t have been the case in the past, but now I think a gay F1 driver would be welcomed – and rightly so,” he said.
“I feel that a gay driver would help to speed up the elimination of prejudice and help push our sport in a better direction. So I think and hope our sport would be ready for one.”
However, he reckons campaigns like F1’s ‘We Race as One’ needs to be followed through with actions rather than just slogans and displays.
Speaking about attitudes he said: “It’s getting better, you do now see a few engineers and mechanics who feel able to be more open. But there’s still more we can do to improve diversity and inclusivity in motorsport, not only in terms of sexuality but also by supporting and encouraging women, people of colour, those with disabilities and so on.
“F1 has started a movement called ‘We race as one’, which is good, but we all have to make a concerted effort to ensure that it actually achieves positive change; so we act on it rather than just talk about it.”
The July/August issue of Attitude magazine is out now.
Sebastian Vettel. Aston Martin Racing, Attitude cover
Photo by: Attitude
Why Formula 1 2022’s midfield battle is so unpredictable
The key strength Schumacher can rely on as Haas decides his F1 future
Perez: Early Red Bull F1 contract has relieved unnecessary stress
Ricciardo: No complacency over F1 future despite McLaren support
The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom
Vettel: Aston Martin ‘green Red Bull’ F1 reaction “not fair”
Vettel: Barcelona backpack robbers didn’t steal a “great deal”
How ‘mentor’ Vettel is giving back to the Schumacher family
Revealed: Drag-beating parts that F1 teams brought to Baku
Azerbaijan GP: Perez leads FP1 from Leclerc, Verstappen
Post-Abu Dhabi 2021 FIA changes still need improving, say F1 drivers
Norris: McLaren needs “whole package upgrade”
The key strength Schumacher can rely on as Haas decides his F1 future
Michael Schumacher’s son has served his apprenticeship with a Haas team that brought up the rear of the Formula 1 field in 2021. Now he has a good car and a proper team-mate, he has to prove he belongs in F1. But his record to date, while not showing any points finishes, reveals there is plenty of promise he can build on
How classic Alonso strengths are helping him in a critical F1 phase 
Fernando Alonso has been involved in F1 for over two decades and shows no signs of slowing down. Ben Edwards digs into the work ethic and team-building ability which underpins Alonso’s longevity.
The overlooked flaws of the 2022 F1 cars that Baku will expose
OPINION: Though Formula 1’s return to ground-effect may have boosted overtaking, the other clear by-product of the technical overhaul has been weight gain. With wet conditions in Monaco stealing the show, the greatest shortcomings of the new rules will be on clear display at this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Is F1 barking up the wrong tree with its anti-jewellery stance?
In a new regular column, Maurice Hamilton draws on his decades of grand prix experience to give an alternative take on the news. First up, he ponders the ongoing brouhaha over jewellery…
The contrasting temperaments that could prove key in F1 2022 title fight
For the first time in a decade, Red Bull and Ferrari are properly fighting it out for the world championship – and, as Stuart Codling reveals, the duelling drivers are children of the 1990s who are picking up a similarly old grudge match from where they left off…
How star-studded Miami Grand Prix reveals F1’s direction of travel
Home to many a cinematic car chase, Miami has made a visually dramatic impact on the F1 calendar too – as one wag put it, they paved a parking lot and put up a paradise. GP Racing’s STUART CODLING was on the scene to sample a world of celebrities, fake marinas and imperilled six-foot iguanas…
Porpoising: A lesson from history and one of F1’s greatest teams
Although the 2022 Formula 1 season is destined to be forever linked to the word ‘porpoising’, this is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it’s a problem that was identified at the start of the first ground-effects era and has returned with a change in the rules that once more allow downforce-generating floors.
The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality
His day of days in Formula 1 came at Indianapolis in 2005, a day grand prix racing strives to forget. But Patrick Friesacher, the long-serving Red Bull lieutenant, remains active today driving a two-seater that provides ordinary people with a glimpse of an F1 car’s savage potential, including this writer…


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like