Mar.26 - As the nearby missile strikes thrust Formula 1 into yet another crisis, there was one driver in the paddock who did not need his television interviews cancelled.

Sebastian Vettel, who drives for Aramco-sponsored Aston Martin, is still missing in action, having reportedly failed to return a negative covid test.

Notably, just a few days ago, he gave an interview to the German broadcaster ARD and news agency DPA about the difficulties he poses for F1 authorities over his newly outspoken views on political issues.

"How independent can you be when you're on the payroll?" he said when asked about how sportsmen can get involved in the controversial political issues of the countries they visit.

"You can say 'boycott, don't even go there'. On the other hand, you can go there and represent our Western values, show our freedom and stand up for it.

"The question is how brave can you be when you are a paid guest?" said the quadruple world champion.

Even before the missile-shaped crisis, F1's presence in Saudi Arabia was already highly controversial, with Lewis Hamilton also outspoken about issues like death sentences for teenagers and mass public executions.

Vettel said: "It's not like Formula 1 chooses where to go on the map. It's more that countries are coming towards Formula 1 and it's part of the business model that venues are putting a lot of money into it.

"Do you dare to speak out against it when you are there? On the other hand, there are certain values that we have to stand for because they outweigh financial interests," said the 34-year-old.

"It's not just about Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and the Olympics were in China. The question is how many countries are left out on the calendar.

"But actually it should be a simple question. It's all about role models, especially for young people. On the one hand it is entertainment, on the other hand you also have responsibility and you should make sure that you go ahead with the right values and symbols," Vettel said.

The German admits that his new outspokenness is making him one of the least popular drivers in the minds of Formula 1 authorities.

"Some people panic a little when these topics come up," he said. "There are people who really want to influence what I say about it.

"I am not exactly the most popular driver in the eyes of the Formula 1 organisation. But nobody can tell me what I have to say or not to say, even if people don't like what I may say."

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12 F1 Fan comments on “Vettel admits he's 'not popular' with F1 bosses

  1. ReallyOldRacer

    I was not a fan of VET's finger waving taunts at RB, but I kinda' like his now mature "f**k you" comments. And, he is spot on most of the time.

    • shroppyfly

      here's a thought by the time of the next race SV will have had a Month at home with the wife and family , watching the two races ans seeing the new car with all its high hopes for success, driving like a pig, just how keen will he be to race this season dyo think? OR will be thinking , cant wait to get back in the car the wife's nagging me to much?

      • ReallyOldRacer

        Shrop', my experience is that a young racing driver is 100% focused on is his/her life. Period. Once they become a parent part of that focus is diverted. How much of the emotional joy is diverted determines their racing commitment. Racing drivers are a selfish lot and drift toward the bigger emotional payoff. Good subject for a book, but nobody would read it.

        • Blofly

          Agree with you both! For age substitute time behind the wheel. Even mad Max has suddenly become all sweetness and light behind the wheel. He has zillions in the bank or promised a beautiful girlfriend, a step child and a lucky title. Why get yourself killed.

          Add to that he has probably worked out that he won’t be allowed to win the Wdc this year or next and that the huge pay packet is not for winning but for doing as he is told.

          Let’s face it the whole f1 industry is pretty obscene if we’re honest

  2. Blofly

    RoR, give me one good reason why F1 would employ Flav. He’s too old, worth hundreds of millions already and a convicted crook oh and he was banned for life from F1. No conspiracy?
    That covers my last sentence, the rest is pretty much agreeing with you and shrop.

    Makes great entertainment though.

    • ReallyOldRacer

      You are absolutely spot on re Flav'. Should not be sharing paddock oxygen. He actually instructed his #2 to hit the wall to gain advantage for his #1. The French court lifted his F1 ban years ago. I wonder what that cost him. smh

      • Blofly

        So, his no1 FA his No2 Nelson Piquet jr, Max’s girlfriend kelly Piquet , Nelsons sister. Small world isn’t it.
        For French read small French court.
        Lifted or not would you re employ him?

        So Flav re appears and the next thing we see is a near identical incident losing the title for Lewis aided and abetted by another F1 employee and gifting it to a driver whose partner is the sister of the driver who admitted the deliberate crash in the first race.
        Nuf said.

  3. shroppyfly

    i agree he shouldn't be in f1 for what he did , tax evasion/brown envelopes that's no problem at all for f1, ask Bernie lol
    It wasn't a Small french court just for the purposes of accuracy, it was the court that deals with crimes against humanity, war crimes,corruption, tax evasion and terrorism . .


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