Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Hungaroring, 2021

Vettel and three others reprimanded for wearing T-shirts during national anthem

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel and three other drivers have been given reprimands for failing to remove their T-shirts before the national anthem ceremony at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Aston Martin driver wore a T-shirt in support of LGBTQ+ rights during the pre-race WeRaceAsOne observance. Under F1’s rule drivers are required to remove any T-shirts and stand for the national anthem in their race overalls.

However Vettel neglected to remove his T-shirt before the anthem. Three other drivers – Carlos Sainz Jnr, Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll – did the same.

In the cases of all four the stewards noted: “The driver explained that he forgot to take off the WRAO t-shirt in time during the national anthem because of the onset of rain.”

All four were given non-driving reprimands, which in each case was their first reprimand of any kind this year. Any drivers who accumulate three reprimands during a season automatically receives a 10-place grid penalty, however only one non-driving reprimand may count towards this total.

Lewis Hamilton, who like Vettel criticised recent legislation introduced by the Hungarian government restricting education on gay issues, said it was “wonderful” his rival had taken a stance on the issue.

“I spoke about it at the beginning of the weekend and I think it was important for him to do so.

“We have to make a stance, we’re pushing diversity, inclusivity and that community, one hundred percent is included in that. So I’m proud of him for it.”

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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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41 comments on “Vettel and three others reprimanded for wearing T-shirts during national anthem”

  1. Fair enough.

  2. Probably a big hussle coming up for this one.

    I for one love F1 and other motorsports because they are SPORTS. Nothing to do with the politics. If I want to change trhe world I’ll vote just like I’ve done before. But F1 isn’t politics and politics and sport should be differentiated from one and another.

    1. @huhhii iis explained in the headline. They were punished for it.

      I don’t get your complaint.

      1. Personally I love sport. And seeing people stand up to injustice.


      2. @gongtong Reprimand isn’t a punishment. It’s just that, a reprimand. And I’m fine with that, it’s just that drivers shouldn’t attempt to be politicians when they are racing.

        1. Should sportspeople get involved in Charities and Community building? e.g Rashford with his feeding initiative
          Cause that’s the job of local government and taxes
          People say “stick to sports” but when they drive around sportscars (pun) whilst around them people struggle they are called insensitive pr*cks.
          We can’t dictate that they “donate to charities” and other community wellbeing things and yet not get involved in other things that make you uncomfortable to talk about. They are also high tax paying members of the community (except those that hide them in tax havens like Monaco, not talking about Leclerc the Monagasque)

        2. @huhhii So you support dictators? I already know the answer. Sports and sports people are the best people to engage in politics since they have the perfect platform. Why should they play the stupid national anthem at any sporting event? That is politics as well. Politics for politics.

        3. Life is political.

    2. Basic human rights for LGBTQ+ citizens is not politics, and F1 drivers should not avoid discussing the issues.
      Frustrating that this still has to be said.

      1. Lmao, what does the Hungarian legislation have to do with basic human rights . It’s about education materials for children. Hardly basic human rights. Bunch of hyperbolic babies.

        1. Surely it should cover ALL sexuality in that case?

        2. The legislation does not outlaw dicussion around heterosexual couples or heterosexual relationships. So it is INTETIONALLY selective in what it refuses to allow to be “taught”. You can’t be intentional this obtuse to see what it’s trying to shape.

          The legislation also applies to advertisements. The law sets up a list of organisations allowed to provide education about sex in schools. – Guess which organisation will make the cut. It’s censorship.

          Legislation brought in last year prevents adoption by same sex couples and marraige by same sex couples, and equates homosexuality to pedophilia. But come again how the LGBTQ+ community are hyperbole babies.

      2. @Magnifico

        What is and is not considered a human right is remarkably different across cultures and periods, which makes it a subjective and thus political decision.

        Ultimately, the issue here is that this is extremely exclusive, as only certain politics may be said. Basically, the rich elite multi-millionaires have to approve it and then they will allow it. If it goes against their politics or interests, drivers will get told to stop it or will be punished.

        I predict that next time F1 goes to China, no driver will wear a T-shirt on the track to support the Uyghurs or Tibet. Doing so would go against the interests of the elites.

        1. “I predict that next time F1 goes to China, no driver will wear a T-shirt on the track to support the Uyghurs or Tibet”

          That whataboutism man…at least thats what I’ve learned from this website.

      3. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        1st August 2021, 22:06

        Human rights? It’s a law limiting what is taught and discussed on the subject in schools, it’s not a law I agree with but some of the reactions have been way over the top. You would think they were throwing homosexuals from the top of buildings the way some people are talking.

    3. I understand your point, but sports like other activities in our lives have political reach.
      F1 raced in South Africa during apartheid and was criticized for it (rightly so). Does differentiating sport from politics apply in this case?
      If you race, you are endorsing the government (“see, F1 comes to SA, there is nothing wrong with apartheid”). If you don’t race, you distance yourself from the government (“see, F1 decided to stay away not to be associated with apartheid”).

      You don’t need a press conference to make a political statement. As the saying goes: action speaks louder than words.

    4. Agree 100% and it’s why for the most part I’ve stopped watching pro sports here in the US.

  3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    1st August 2021, 18:35

    the headline is so funny. they may as well have gone to the national anthem Topless :D

  4. RocketTankski
    1st August 2021, 18:42

    “Sir, they’re sporting non-sport apparel purporting to support peace and love! How should we respond?”
    “Fetch.. The Book of Reprimands!”

  5. Vettel “forgot” to take off his LGBTQ+-friendly t-shirt for the national anthem of a country that has recently been pursuing LGBTQ+-unfriendly policies.

    Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.

  6. Blaize Falconberger (@)
    1st August 2021, 18:55

    The drivers are making a stand against injustice. It’s not politics. It’s human rights. A cause that F1 has repeatedly been criticized for turning a blind eye to. And this kind of distraction does nothing for that reputation.

    If you’re not interested in hearing high profile perople using their platforms for good causes you can turn off. I’m all for it. VET said he’d do it again. Good for him.

    1. I’ve never been a Vettel fan until today. New found respect for him.

  7. Worth it. Good for them.

  8. where was the massive “protest” in Russia which has stricter regulations regarding the protecting children, also i doubt there will be any protest for the Saudi GP if Liberty want to keep its Saudi state sponsorship.

    This is nothing more than woke tokenist short sighted politics by seb. The only reason why i hate these weak protests is that the person(s) look like complete hypocrites.

    1. But look how many people are now talking about Hungary’s new legislation. I for one would have had no idea if it weren’t for Lewis and Seb. Raising awareness is not tokenism.

      1. It is picking the easy fights though. I mean, it’s Hungary, ain’t no consequences for protesting Hungarian governement. What annoys me is that we’ve never seen a protest for Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Azerbaijan, and more Sharia countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar (might) join the calendar. Life for LGBT’ers in the Krasnodar region (Sochi), China, Turkey, Singapore is very tough aswell.

        I’m not saying it shouldn’t be protested, but if Hungary deserves a t-shirt during the national anthem, the Middle East countries deserve a boycot. But we all know we might only see a tiny rainbow on a helmet somewhere.

        1. @montalvo Gotta walk before you can run. I think the drivers are really only just starting to find their voice and push the boundaries; and it’s great.

          1. Yeah or become a John Cena, apologizing and cowering to a authoritarian govt’s whims.

            Lets face it, its just PR exercises and inconsequential easy battles.

  9. Tommy Scragend
    1st August 2021, 20:20

    So why is Hamilton allowed to wear a different T shirt from anyone else during the “we race as one gesture”?

    1. Because it’s Hamilton of course, just like nothing happened after Mugello 😒

    2. Becuase its only the national anthem part they are supposed to just have their race suits. Read the article.

    3. Because many moons ago Ham decided he was going to protest at the beginning of each race. He did not know what form of protest that would be, but it would be alongside his car, and he would give an assurance to the the FIA and F1 that he would not disrupt any official ceremony nor the national anthem.
      So obviously the conservative F1, FIA and GPDA thought we are going to look bad here, lets hijack the process, sanitize it and claim it as our own. ( Or if you want to believe the official version, they thought it a good idea and decided to support Hamilton.)
      Now Hamilton who has been in the position a number of times of being advise by his ‘betters’ what’s best for him, only to be dumped on and side-lined laid down a few conditions. One of which was that he would wear his own T shirt rather than one with a bland statement on it. So the T shirt was part of the deal

  10. #WeRaceAsOne

    Says F1.

    Vettel is supporting this message.

    Good job Seb – massive respect to you.

  11. Bravo Vettel!
    You are showing that you are not only a great Formula 1 champion on the tracks, but that you are a great human being outside of them.

    1. I strongly like the Vettel we have now.

  12. In other news, there was some formula one racing on today.

    1. We all watched that you dimwit.
      This is about something else.

  13. Looks like “Liberty” (joke name)
    are telling people what to think!

  14. I love that they’re taking this stand.

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