Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Hungaroring, 2021

Vettel paying no attention to social media criticism of his causes

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says he is paying no heed to criticism on social media of his stance on environmental issues.

The Aston Martin driver, who unlike many of his rivals does not have a social media presence, has become increasingly outspoken about the need to reduce emissions and waste. Following the British Grand Prix he and a group of fans spent several hours helping to clean up waste around Silverstone.

Following criticism of an interview for Der Spiegel where he also discussed his environmentalism, Vettel said he was uninterested in negative comments about his stance.

“To be honest, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Vettel when asked about it in today’s FIA press conference. “I mean, I had very positive feedback. I haven’t heard anything from the other side.

“I guess it’s normal that people will have all sorts of reactions. But I think they’ve probably been positive on a ratio of a thousand to one.

“It’s, I think, a problem of our times and in general that the squeaky wheel gets the attention. Obviously you are asking the question about potential negative comments, whereas you should ask a thousand times over a question about the positive comments. So that’s why I think there’s not much point spending time looking at that side and seeing the positives [instead].”

Vettel said he “learned a lot” from volunteering to clear up at Silverstone, and visiting a waste processing plant afterwards. “I think the people involved, the fans that were happy to help learned a lot [too],” he said.

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“We convinced even some of the fans that were still around the track to get involved and grab a bag and pick up some litter. So I think it was a good thing to do because we acted and we cleaned two grandstands and three and a half hours.

“I wanted to make sure where the stuff goes after that so I learned a lot in that short amount of time.”

Vettel also joined Lewis Hamilton in criticising the Hungarian government’s stance on gay rights. Prime minister Viktor Orban recently approved legislation to ban gay people from appearing in television programmes or educational material aimed at those under the age of 18.

“Everybody is free to do what they want and exactly that, I guess, is the point,” said Vettel, who is wearing trainers featuring the gay pride rainbow this weekend. “I find it embarrassing for a country which is in the European Union having to vote or having some laws like this.

“We’ve had so many opportunities to learn in the past and I can’t understand why we’re struggling to see that everybody should be free to do what they like, love who they like.

“It’s a lot along the lines of live and let live. It’s obviously not for us to make the law, and that’s not our role, but I think just to express support for obviously those that are affected by it.”

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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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20 comments on “Vettel paying no attention to social media criticism of his causes”

  1. Good for him.

  2. I like Seb more and more every day.

    1. Yeah, the more he matures, the more we get to see of how decent a human being he really is. Even despite him not being active on Social media, or maybe because of it @phillyspur

      1. @bascb I agree. This new mature Seb is much more respectable, imo, than the one there at the height of the 2017 battle, when I was first interested in F1, where he had the incident in Singapore, and of course the obvious Baku incident. He seems a lot more mature now (he may have always been this mature, but I got distracted with the incident).

        1. I kind of think he was struggling mentally with the pressure cooker climate at Ferrari @randomallard, but yeah, it does seem that he’s getting better at finding a good way to express who he really is.

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    29th July 2021, 19:05

    I really want his shoes.

    1. @rocketpanda I had exactly the same response and some of my Twitter followers helped me find them on ASOS – they’re also on the Converse website slightly cheaper if you’ve got feet a UK Size 9 or above

    2. Those are really great, aren’t they @rocketpanda, @hazelsouthwell!

      1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
        29th July 2021, 21:15

        Oh nice…

        I’m… probaby getting those.

  4. Only a few drivers let social media rule their live and censor the postings they made.
    Glad vettel is not one of them.

  5. He is a bit of a complex guy is Seb.

    I like the way he keeps his private life private.

  6. It blows my mind every day that there can be so much negativity around caring for our planet. It is truly bizarre.

    1. Caring our planet? Sure. Caring about carbon emissions? Nah.

      1. The venn diagram is a perfect circle

  7. Very good statements from Vettel.
    His ideas are positive, on the right track, and full of humanity.
    He shows with his words that in addition to being one of the great champions that Formula 1 has produced, he is also an excellent human being.
    It is encouraging to see him and another great champion, Hamilton, speaking sensibly and acting with dignity on and off the track.

  8. Germany has one man who is like this. And it’s him.

  9. Chris Horton
    29th July 2021, 22:02

    Good on you for everything you do Seb.

  10. With his love for the sport and the fact he is just an all round great guy, I think he would do well in a corporate role within F1 should he wish to pursue that when he retires

  11. Wonderful! Well done Seb

  12. ”The squeeky weel gets the attention” – spot on

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