What was the FIA’s problem with Vettel’s pride T-shirt, and could it lead to a penalty?

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel was reprimanded after he wore a gay pride T-shirt during the pre-race national anthem ceremony at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

However the Aston Martin driver’s shirt, with its rainbow pattern and ‘Same Love’ message, was not the cause of the FIA’s displeasure. Three other drivers – Carlos Sainz Jnr, Lance Stroll and Valtteri Bottas – were all given the same reprimand for the same infringement, though they had different shirts on during the ceremony.

Following the introduction of the pre-race ‘We Race As One’ observance last year, the FIA has revised its carefully-framed protocol on what drivers must do during it and the pre-race national anthem performance. This is a sensitive area, as causes drivers may wish to indicate their support for may clash with the policies of the countries they race in.

In Hungary, they smashed head-on. In the FIA press conference before the weekend began, Vettel slated the Hungarian government’s recently-introduced legislation banning the teaching of gay issues to those under 18. “I find it embarrassing for a country which is in the European Union having to vote or having some laws like this,” he said.

Three others received same reprimand as Vettel
Earlier this year Vettel criticised football’s governing body, UEFA, for forbidding a football stadium in Germany from being illuminated in the rainbow colours of the pride flag ahead of a game between their national team and Hungary. In Hungary, Vettel was bedecked in the same stripes, which appeared on his trainers and face mask, and on the T-shirt he wore to the ‘We Race As One’ ceremony.

None of this put him at odds with F1’s rules. However in the information distributed to drivers ahead of the race all were reminded to “remove their t-shirts and move to their name card position for the
national anthem, wearing their race suits”. Vettel in his T-shirt, and the other three who were wearing GPDA shirts, left theirs on, which is why they were reprimanded.

“It was observed by a number of people, including the media delegate who was out there, and myself on television,” said FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi.

The requirement for drivers to remove their T-shirts was introduced at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. From the Azerbaijan Grand Prix the phrase “drivers remove their T-shirts” was emphasised in the race director’s instructions to ensure it wasn’t overlooked.

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“Earlier this year we clarified [it],” Masi explained, “following discussions internally with the FIA and F1. We said we wanted to keep giving all of the drivers the ability to have the moment to show effectively their support for ‘We race as one’ however they chose to. But then the national anthem for a particular country should be respected with the drivers all wearing their race suits.

“So it was clarified and made very clear that once that moment was displayed and the drivers showed their recognition, they would have to remove their shirt or anything else they wore and go to the national anthem in their race team uniform. And that’s been the same for a number of events now.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Hungaroring, 2021
Report: Vettel paying no attention to social media criticism of his causes
The quartet were given one of the most lenient penalties available, said Masi. “A reprimand’s the lowest penalty other than a warning, which really is not a penalty, it’s a warning,” he said.

But was it lenient enough? F1’s rules do mean this non-sporting infraction could lead to a sporting penalty.

Any driver who collects three reprimands automatically receives a 10-place grid penalty. This has previously happened to Pastor Maldonado in 2012 and Mark Webber in 2013.

Under F1’s rules, only one of the three reprimands can be for a non-driving infringement in order to trigger a penalty. Therefore all four drivers are now one-third of the way towards a penalty, but further non-driving reprimands will not move them closer to one.

“You need to have two driving reprimands and one non-driving to ultimately get to a grid penalty,” Masi confirmed. “But if you had, as an example, three non-driving reprimands, it doesn’t have that impact.”

This is not entirely new. After the national anthem performance was introduced in 2014 drivers were told they would be at risk of a reprimand if they failed to turn up on time. Vettel was one of the drivers who came close to picking up a penalty after being reprimanded for showing up late for an anthem performance.

The prospect of drivers being penalised in a race for actions that have nothing to do with the competition will not sit well with many. But Vettel made it clear he won’t be dissuaded from supporting a cause he feels passionately about.

“Disqualify me, I’m happy to,” he said on Sunday. “I keep the shirt on for the national anthem in support of those people that suffer in this country because some make laws that I think, rather than protecting children, is probably threatening these children and compromising the way they grow up. That’s why I’m happy to take any penalty they want to give me for that.”

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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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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155 comments on “What was the FIA’s problem with Vettel’s pride T-shirt, and could it lead to a penalty?”

  1. I never really a Vettel fan, but seeing him despondent at Ferrari (which wasn’t pleasant) and watching him interviews (where he comes across as very genuine and likeable), I’ve warmed to him a lot.

    He appears to be very honest and authentically “nice” – and his stance over human rights is admirable.

    As I say, I never used to rate him, but he’s becoming one of my favourite personalities in Formula 1 and I hope he thrives at Aston Martin.

    1. Just re-read my comment above and it’s full of typos. Apologies to anyone who needed to dig out their enigma-machines to decrypt it. But my central message is: Wasn’t a Vettal fan. But “the man” is shining through “the driver” and I think he’s a bloody good chap.

      1. @geekzilla9000 I didn’t like him when he was in Red Bull. At least from the outside he has changed a lot. 2021 Seb picking up litter and educating people about bees vs 2009-13 Multi 21 Seb. But as we have seen with Hamilton how much the team and your teammate can affect your results and get inside of your head. I can’t wait to see how Max is doing within 10 years and what will be his “fashion or bee” business?

      2. absolutely agree, great to see him taking a stand like this!

      3. Like most great drivers, he was not very nice when fighting for a title, but now, he is super pleasing.

        1. i’d call it the Hamilton effect….

  2. How on earth can you champion the idea of ‘we race as one’ and seperate an entire segment of the opening programme to for the drivers to stand, or take the knee against racism if you’re going to then punish them for actually standing up for causes? In fact the drivers – and the teams, using their significant and global profile to highlight issues and champion them is EXACTLY what I’d want to see. If he’s punished in any way for this they might as well throw the whole ‘we race as one’ thing in the bin.

    As LGBT, I loved seeing Vettel decked out in rainbow stuff, especially in a country that has some… interesting views. Good for him? Good for all of us viewers too of seeing an F1 champion actually using their profile and power to influence. Hamilton does the same, and I respect him enormously for it too. This kind of thing should be championed, not discouraged.

    1. Not that I have time for national anthems, etc. but it’s not about the cause itself but about showing disrespect to a nation and its people. Ham gave an assurance when he was originally going to do this on his own that it would be beside the car and in no way affect front of grid ceremonies or national anthems. Now all carried forward into its present form. Which is why the We Race As One also has its own designated area.

      1. I don’t see how standing up for human rights is showing disrespect to a nation and it’s people. What’s the point of ‘standing up’ for these things if when you’re actually challenged on those beliefs you sit down? Either it means something or it doesn’t.

        1. I don’t see how standing up for human rights is showing disrespect to a nation and it’s people

          I completely agree. He stood up for his beliefs, but he stood respectfully and quietly for the national anthem while doing so.

        2. @rocketpanda

          Humans rights are subjective (or at least, their interpretation) and often clash which each other. The entire idea that there is one interpretation that everyone must bow to, is a very exclusive and totalitarian idea. I guess that it fits with ‘we race as one,’ but merely in the sense that everyone is forced to publicly support one form of politics and those who disagree are censored or worse.

          1. Alright then, being specific, I don’t agree with any government or religion that tells me that my feelings are not valid or attempts to supress my identity. THAT is a totalitarian idea that I won’t be a part of or support.

            The idea that wearing a rainbow flag might upset some sensibilities is utterly crazy? How does who I choose to date affect you or any government in any way? It’s flat out wrong and should be opposed. It isn’t even politics, it’s not even human rights if you think about it and want to call that subjective – it’s moral!? You can’t just sit there and erase people’s identities or experiences or feelings and yet people, like Hungary, clearly attempt to.

            If Vettel, or any driver – or anyone, wishes to oppose that and stand in solidarity with those curtailed under those rulings then I’m on their side. F1 who wants to be supportive and ‘stand with’ minorities SHOULD ALSO WANT TO. And if they don’t then what’s the point of ‘we race as one’ other than a performative gesture?

            “Human rights are subjective” – no. No they’re not. And if yours was being taken away or restricted you’d certainly disagree with any ‘subjective’ view on them.

          2. You sort of have a point in the fact that there is a level of subjectivity to Human Rights. However I disagree with your interpretation of that. For instance should I have the human right to kill other people at will? Should I be able to burn down my neighbours house because he insulted me and I want the human right to deal with it as I wish? No and in most of the world the population agrees with some Human rights being less equal than others. We have things a little screwed in the UK despite having a pretty good record. For instance for some reason it is fine for someone to insult and marginalise women, LGBT etc in the name or religion, but it is not okay at all to insult or marginalise that religion.

            I would argue that Human rights have a cascading priority and that those that do not end up actually causing harm to anyone are more important than giving someone the right to cause harm. I am not sure it is a complex matter and is only made complex by those that want to continue having the right to cause harm.

      2. I am sorry, but if it is disrespectful to a country to stand up for human rights during their anthem, that country sucks badly….

        1. Well I can’t argue with that. Ham wanted to do it in COTA originally, but pressure was put on F1, and now its a F1 edict. And as we see elsewhere in America taking part in any protest during the national anthem is met with anger from many. In fact almost certainly from those who now own F1. But as you intimate, America sucks big time.

          But surprise surprise I’m on the side of Hamilton with this one. Last year was the protest, We Race As One, etc. And as he said this year should be for action.

          Ive no idea what they are trying to achieve with the current sanitized version of a stand/protest/whatever

          1. According to the argument the poster I was replying to was making. Unless you are arguing that it is not showing disrespect to America to protest during their national anthem?

          2. No, it’s not showing disrespect to America to kneel during its anthem or wear certain clothes during it. At worst, it’s showing disrespect to people who don’t believe in the same things you do, but when those people are trying to criminalise homosexuality or prevent law officers from being tried for crimes they committed, big whoop, those people don’t deserve respect, which by the way should never, ever be given freely and must always be earned. Earnt? Sometimes English eludes me.. but you get the point.

      3. Personally, I fail to see how Vettel’s message is disrespectful to either a nation or a people. I see it as a clear protest against a particular attitude held by certain political figures, and the specific laws that this attitude have given rise to, in Hungary.

        To me, for this to be disrespectful of the nation or the people, would be assuming that the attitude and laws are a defining characteristic of the nation and the people, as a whole. It is not as if Vettel stood up to say that “Hungary sucks” or “Hungarians suck”.

        Reply moderated
        1. @Bob C.

          Those politicians were democratically elected, though. I bet that if a driver would wear a ‘all lives matter’ shirt, you would suddenly change your tune completely and feel that it was very offensive.

          1. Adolf Hitler was democratically elected too. Vettel a shirt was merely showing support for a marginalized group. What Seb did would be like wearing a Star of David at a 1940 German Grand Prix. There would be strong objections but history will judge this matter similarly.

      4. Disrespect to a nation that has laws against LGBT? F1 should show them any respect by racing there, but whatever…

        1. Yeah, but big money talks louder.

      5. I think Hungary’s leadership is doing a good enough job of disrespecting the country and its people… Vettels T-Shirt pales into insignificance by comparison.

      1. I 100% agree with @rocketpanda. Lewis and Seb are F1’s 2 greatest advocates at the moment and are using the platform F1 gives them for a greater good.

        Standing up for human rights is absolutely *not* showing disrespect. If a political group encourages or acts out human rights abuses, or actively seeks to inhibit universal human rights – then they don’t deserve to be protected from protest, criticism, or from feeling disrespected.

        I feel proud of Lewis and Seb, long may they continue.

        1. If a political group encourages or acts out human rights abuses, or actively seeks to inhibit universal human rights – then they don’t deserve to be protected from protest, criticism, or from feeling disrespected.

          Absolutely agree

    2. Yes it’s highly hypocritical and just shows up the whole charade that it all really is. It literally feels like “and here’s our two minutes of caring about issues… and now back to supporting human rights abusing regimes.. no ifs no buts!”

      It’s pathetic. Of course F1 and the circus wouldn’t be put in these awkward positions if we simply didn’t race in places like a Hungary or Saudi Arabia, but of course $$$$$ talks.

      1. @davidhunter13 I think that is pretty unfair to F1. Are you saying LH has been drawn in to a charade? Is he that gullible? Rather, I think he appreciates the time and effort they do give, after being at the forefront of suggesting they start portraying a message, and of course it goes way beyond the ‘two minutes of caring about issues,’ and of course we hear LH talking of issues once he is at the track in whatever country, and ahead of the race weekend itself. And obviously SV is bolstered by this too. F1 is at least doing something, and as I say it likely goes way beyond two minutes, and yet they are ‘pathetic?’

        If you want to take the one approach and say F1 supports ‘human rights abusing regimes’ then sure, they have been doing that for decades then, if by going to a hosting country to race that makes them supporters. Have you then supported the supporters of said regimes by watching F1? Maybe you don’t watch certain races? I think if one wanted to be literal, there is no country F1 could race in that doesn’t have it’s issues. And yet they go racing. And countries teams of all kinds of sports go to other countries to take part in tournaments etc. including the Olympics.

        Yes all countries have their issues and problems and yet sports and business and science and art and music still transcends the borders and we keep trying to progress and help each other on a more and more global scale, particularly with the help of social media, which also of course has it drawbacks, and life goes on in a big melting pot. That F1 has taken a ‘We Race as One’ stance, is certainly better than they did before, and better than nothing, and shows progress, and certainly doesn’t deserve being called pathetic.

      2. F1 and the circus wouldn’t be put in these awkward positions if we simply didn’t race in places like a Hungary or Saudi Arabia

        To be fair, as much as I’m sure it is all down to money as you say, it does at least give the opportunity for the drivers and other participants to draw attention to the issues. Speaking about Hungary’s new laws somewhere else is not going to have anywhere near the impact that doing so while in Hungary, at the GP, being watched by lots of the local people etc, will. So, it does at least have a good side, as long as the drivers and other participants are allowed to stand up and draw attention.

        In fact, even the reprimand here has done nothing but draw more attention to the issues in Hungary.

      3. I completely agree. I stopped following F1 for years when Bahrain was added to the calendar and now that seems tame by comparison to the additions of Saudi Arabia, China, and Russia. What’s next, North Korea and (Burma)? Maybe we can have a human sacrifice before each race?

    3. @rocketpanda Completely agree with you. It is brilliant to see the greats of the sport like Hamilton and Vettel using their position and influence for good.

      I’m disappointed (but not surprised) at F1 and the FIA’s response. The whole ‘we race as one’ message comes across as rather performative when they are policing the time at which drivers can display pro-LGBT messages. Also not sure how the whole pre-race national anthem ceremony and these regulations about clothing fit with Todt and colleagues view that F1 is in no way political.

      Anyway, as a fan of F1 loopholes, I am kind of hoping that Vettel/Aston Martin will have a special one-off rainbow racesuit for next year’s Hungaroring round (or maybe for rounds later this season).

      1. @rocketpanda I am 100% behind Same Love, human rights for all, ending racism etc. but I have to side with F1 on this. And sure, it’s political, but when F1 goes to a country to race they are being hosted by that country, often with governments backing the event financially and in other ways such as tourism and marketing. I am in no way trying to imply money and politics should usurp human rights, but the way to solve issues is through education and open discussion, not through disrespecting one’s host.

        Nobody is stopping SV from wearing his T-shirt at any other time other than the National Anthem, so even though I do agree he is making a strong and necessary point, it is F1’s request that during the Nation Anthem of the country that is hosting them, they wear their drivers uniforms. The rest of the time? Have at it.

        I do wonder as well if while SV so gallantly says he doesn’t care and they can penalize him however they want up to and including disqualification, does AM feel the same way? Or would they prefer too that he not get disqualified, and rather simply observe the few minutes of the National Anthem as showing enough respect for the country that they would then perhaps, even if by a slim chance, be open to education and discussion about their issues, rather than them feeling like slamming the door in protestors faces out of obstinacy and retribution. If SV wants to sway those in Hungary that agree with their government’s cruel and misguided law, he won’t do that by disrespecting their country blatantly, nor by making it appear all of F1 disrespects their country too. He may bolster protestors resolve, but I don’t know that he is swaying the wrong-thinking during their own National Anthem nor that he should try when it is F1’s request that the drivers not choose that moment.

        I don’t at all see this as going against ‘We Race As One,’ for there are ways and means to get one’s message across, and F1 gives drivers and teams many many opportunities to observe this not just on race weekends but through their own initiatives, and these opportunities are most effective when you don’t insult the person(s) you are trying to reason with and get through a better message.

        1. Wow, you have so completely missed the point it is frightening.

          1. Just agree to disagree or use arguments.

        2. @robbie (in response to @rocketpanda) – this *is* the education though.

          If you are a child in Hungary who has been made to feel that you are somehow invalid, or broken, or “not right” simply because you are not a heterosexual being. Or if someone feels their homophobia is empowered by official policy which legitimises anti-LGBTQ+ rights (in the same way Trump legitimised violence and sexist attitudes) – then Vettel is part of the education. He is the one saying that their love, their sense of self, their worth is not worth less than anyone else’s.

          And as I said before, if anyone in Hungary’s officialdom feels disrespected by this then I don’t see it as a bad thing. Feeling disrespected is different to being disrespectful. The furore around all of this is helping to bring attention to Vettel’s cause, and in turn, hopefully educate those who need to be educated.

          1. @geekzilla9000 Oh I don’t disagree at all with SV’s message and the importance of it, and I understand the serious problem with the law. But at the same time F1 has made a request specifically regarding the National Anthem, and I just think that is for the reason of diplomacy and respect to the country in general and it’s people. SV has many many ways and opportunities to get his message through. He could make it his life’s mission if he wanted. I worry that the very one’s who need education would be the one’s that would turn a further blind eye if they felt or to them were indeed disrespected. But hey, maybe SV wearing the shirt during the anthem did have a net positive effect, it would be hard to know, but I can understand F1’s stance on this too, that being simply not during the hosting country’s National Anthem.

        3. @robbie – It’s not that straight-forward though. You say that a way to solve it is through open discussion – sometimes something has to happen to spark that discussion.

          Wearing a t-shirt during a pre-designated spot where the drivers are encouraged to wear a t-shirt to show support for different causes doesn’t work. Wearing it during the anthem has got it in the news and here we are talking about it.

          I personally don’t think anyone disrespected an anthem… He wore a t-shirt to show support for the LGBT+ community. The t-shirt didn’t say anything negative about Hungary and it didn’t affect the anthem being played. If someone feels disrespected by someone showing solidarity with a group of humans who have done absolutely nothing wrong, perhaps they don’t deserve respect?

          1. @petebaldwin I don’t entirely disagree, but I’m not sure what you have to go by with your claim that “Wearing a t-shirt during a pre-designated spot where the drivers are encouraged to wear a t-shirt to show support for different causes doesn’t work.” They must think it does, and almost always the drivers respect the understanding that F1 doesn’t want them to wear anything other than their driver uniform for the National Anthem of the country they are in. I stick by my theory that you don’t sway the naysayers but starting out with slapping them in the face. But I think this is moreso about F1 appreciating that every country has their issues, their good sides and their bad, and that doesn’t mean it is F1’s position to go to a hosting country and disrespect their anthem or their flag, even if you disagree that is was disrespectful. Can you really see F1 saying to the drivers, ok, from now on, no matter the country, wear whatever you want during their National Anthem? Would you be ok with any message on any drivers T-shirt, or at least expect F1 to actually be ok with that? If SV wanted, he could make it his life’s mission to end the marginalization that is going on in Hungary, and F1 couldn’t nor wouldn’t stop him. He can at least abide by F1’s wishes to not do so during a hosting country’s National Anthem, the F1 that has given SV the platform with which to begin.

          2. Yeh, sorry I can’t agree @robbie

            Wearing a rainbow flag to show solidarity to a minority group isn’t disrespecting anyone and if they feel it is they probably aren’t worthy of that respect to begin with. This isn’t a political issue it’s a human rights one – a government or a religion doesn’t get to tell me who I want to sleep with or make my feelings invalid and I feel awful for the LGBT of Hungary. Vettel’s message is in the grand scheme of things nothing huge, it’s not like any politician is going to see it and change their mind. But it’d mean the world to an LGBT seeing someone so prominent and a champion proudly displaying it in defiance of that antiquated rule.

            Again, you can’t claim to stand up for minorities and the persecuted if you sit back down when it becomes difficult. F1 needs to learn that.

          3. @rocketpanda I don’t disagree at all with what you are saying except that I just think F1 has the right to what they choose for when the hosting country’s National Anthem is playing. Just for those few minutes. I don’t see them restricting the drivers otherwise so I don’t think they (F1) are being hypocritical. And the world has an opportunity to see these drivers taking their stands other than during the anthem. If SV gets his warning he can always react with some extra work in other ways to make up for not being able to wear his T-Shirt during the anthem. F1 will not stop him from that.

          4. @petebaldwin @robbie this was why I was always a bit skeptical about the whole “we race as one”, and for that matter, kneeling that is now part of F1.

            I agree and support what they are trying to do, but the reality is, that this sort of symbolism really only has an impact when paired with an event like an award ceremony (think Olympic medal presentation) or a national anthem. Kapernic made huge news, not because he knelt, but because he knelt during the US National Anthem (gasp, shock, horror) – that’s why there was such a huge reaction.

            It’s perfectly understandable that F1 don’t want to be seen to be allowing disrespect to the host country’s anthem, but that’s what get people talking more. Is the answer to move “we race as one” to the anthem? – yes it actually probably is, but then F1 would need to get the host country on board to support we race as one and that will never happen in some/most places.

            I still find it somewhat unpalatable that South Africa was banned for so many years, yet countries with records similar to theirs these days are encouraged to participate in global sporting events etc. Kinda hard to justify, and to me, runs just plain counter to “we race as one”.

            Maybe Seb has been the first of many to show some real commitment in this discussion & I applaud him for daring to be different.

          5. @petebaldwin

            Wearing it during the anthem has got it in the news and here we are talking about it.

            Activists often try to go beyond what is allowed to get controversy, but if you allow their transgression, they will just move on to the next thing that is disallowed. After all, the thing you just legalized will no longer be transgressive and generate as much controversy, so to get that same controversy, they will escalate.

            At some point you have to draw a line, because otherwise the activists will destroy the thing they are disrupting or even start risking lives (like Neil Horan or the person who almost crashed into the audience during the football world cup).

            Also, this entire tactic where those who are powerful enough to be able to break the rules, or irresponsible enough to not care, can get their message out to a captive audience, while regular people don’t have that option, is very questionable from a democratic point of view.

          6. @dbradock The thing about Colin Kapernic kneeling is that it was in protest to how black men particularly are treated by police in the US. His own country. It was never to disrespect the flag or the National Anthem, even though it was spun that way, but was to highlight the unfairness that has been going on for too long. I even took it as him showing his love for his country in that he cared enough to take this bold position by kneeling, because he wants better for black people and for his country.

            It is a different thing for Seb to wear this T-shirt during another country’s National Anthem, and it simply is not something F1 would prefer drivers do, not that I have any real issue myself with him wearing the shirt and trying to send that message. F1 is the parent here, and it is their wish not to use a hosting country’s National Anthem as the moment for their drivers to protest, even though I do take your point about that being impactful. They can do other impactful things as well, and imagine if allowed by F1 all drivers wore whatever protest shirts they wanted in whatever country, would there still be such an impact for very long? And would race promoters and countries start putting the pressure on and make it a stipulation to the race contract that their National Anthem is off limits. Seems to me most else is fair game anyway in terms of what drivers can wear and say, and what work they are free to do on their own time.

        4. When F1 holds a race in a country they are endorsing that country as a destination for tourism and business. If F1 will endorse visiting countries like these they merely show they have no principles whatsoever and that money is all they care about. If that wasn’t the case they wouldnt try so hard to deflect rightful criticism

    4. Coventry Climax
      3rd August 2021, 19:27

      Personally I think the national anthems have no place at all in the ‘We race as one’ environment, but the FIA is to stupid to recogise that.
      National anthems are exactly that: national, and they do certainly not talk of unity. Most have lyrics that talk rather about their country being better than other countries.
      The use of national anthems before the race and with the podium ceremony is -to me- a slap in the face of those who would like to see the world united – truly ‘as one’.

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        3rd August 2021, 20:52

        I couldn’t disagree more. Don’t you love the differences in culture between different countries, that’s what makes travelling so enjoyable.

      2. @Coventry Climax

        Do you recognize that your beliefs place you closest to the two most mass-murdering ideologies?

        One People, One Empire, One Leader. Right?

      3. Coventry Climax
        4th August 2021, 22:50

        @Jack and @Aapje

        You have both missed my point. It’s about national anthems, their being old-fashioned, and about what they actually proclaim. It has nothing to do with love of different cultures or with ‘mass murdering ideologies’. Actually, those are just your words, @Aapje, (or is that Bokito?) and tells more about you than (what you think) it tells about me. Seeing things that aren’t, and then blame someone else for what isn’t there.
        But I’ll clarify a bit more: I do miss the times when going abroad (although still within Europe) meant you’ld have to pay in a different currency, as that was part of the charm of going on holidays. The Euro we now have in common certainly has it’s advantages, but it has done nothing whatsoever for the rights of people that aren’t white, straight, and otherwise conventional.
        The belief that we all inhabit the same lump of dirt speeding through a universe that is noone’s, that we all have the same amount of bones, or teeth, that everyones blood is red despite some claiming theirs is blue, the fact that what we all flush daily is generally brownish and stinky, it all couldn’t be further from advocating any type of totalitarian regime.
        So no, @Aapje, wrong. There’s a word I hate to use because everyone else does, and generally in the wrong context, but I’ll say it here for you, it’s ‘Respect’. Read again, see if you can find the true meaning of what I said.

      4. national anthems about unity within a country which is fine. It’s okay to be proud of the country you are from and think it is the best place in the world. I would rather be American than to be from most other countries but this isn’t a judgement about those countries merely pride in who I am. I know people from dozens of other countries who feel the same way.

    5. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      3rd August 2021, 21:19

      It all gets farcical when, however well intentioned, you casually adopt ‘We race as one’ and paint rainbows on safety cars while such issues are a big talking point. Unfortunately, the countries who fly in the face of that message are the ones who pay the huge fees that will keep the sport afloat following a financially disastrous global pandemic. It’s rather an impossible position for F1 to paint itself into.

    6. Well said @rocketpanda. I agree with all of this.

  3. As I’ve said before:

    F1 NEEDS TO STOP RACING IN COUNTRIES THAT HAVE OPPRESSIVE REGIMES.

    1. @sonnycrockett Yes but unfortunately the people who own F1 are no different from Fifa or the Olympic committee. They may all be very $ wealthy but they are morally bankrupt.
      They don’t care what we think or say and either do the bulk of the media, until we stop spending our money in their shop.

      1. Well it’s no longer people that own F1, it’s a publicly traded company that has a fiduciary responsible to return profits to their shareholders. Expect insane and psychopathic behavior. This is the American Way (TM).

        1. If racing in countries with oppressive governments stops earning F1 money then they will stop racing there.

    2. @sonnycrockett This is a genuine question: where does that leave?

      1. It’s a complicated issue, of course. But just watch out so that you don’t fall into the trap of a false relativism, trying to equate things that are not completely equatable. As much as we can criticise the political landscape in countries such as the UK and Germany, you simply cannot compare them in terms of human rights, women rights, LGBTQ+ rights, etc., with countries such as Saudi Arabia or China.

    3. @sonnycrockett This is what it’s all about, and the rest is just virtue signaling and fakery from top to bottom.

      Let’s see Vettel or F1 take a stand against Saudi-Arabia, Bahrain and China in those countries, and don’t cop out with some cheap identity politics either.

      1. @balue I would hope that Vettel and F1 take a stand against Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, China, Azerbijian, Russia, etc. for their current human rights practices but if they do not, that doesn’t mean that what they have done so far is “just virtue signaling and fakery”. Taking a stand against one thing does not require taking a stand against all things. Martin Luther King, Jr. I think we can all agree was not virtue signaling or fake when it came to African Americans. However, his record of not taking a stand against sexism is well documented. Was he a virtue signaler or fake because he didn’t also take a stand against sexism?

        1. A hopeless argument when you know full well that what Vettel is attacking Hungary for is for gay rights (the right to be taught about homosexuality as a child), and that gay rights is on a completely different scale in other countries like Bahrain where he did nothing. It was all for likes, and with daily Guardian stories how Hungary is the worst country in the world, it was completely opportunistic. Same with the BLM thing. Just ride the wave to get upvoted without getting your feet wet. Simple and sly.

          1. What better time to make sure your voice will be heard and publicized than when there is attention already being drawn to it?

          2. @balue

            You are incorrect here and your comparisons are poorly thought through.

            I suggest you do some research on say, Bahrain or, much worse Saudi Arabia where you will find much of what you perceive ‘rights’ and ‘laws’ to be something else. You will also see that much of the western world simply does not realise there are frequently two ‘legal’ systems, one hidden and the other which is completely subservient very visible and generally the one we think of as the oppressive legal ‘system’

            Frequently you will not find homosexuality being addressed within the justice system but from the parallel religious legal system that ultimately are enforced separately in the ME by variable religious functionaries (taliban all the way through to mullahs) and while great strides have been taken in recent years, the ruling despot and their families (read government) have no ability or ‘right’ to interfere. They are in these instances, figure heads under the same rules as anyone else. That’s why a mullah can whip or scream you for eating in a KFC in an open shopping mall during a call to prayer. The KFC may turn the lights out for a few minutes in accordance with the ‘law’ and can be fined for not doing so under the ‘law’ but no such penalties restraints, moderation or criticism can be applied to the mullah or the system he is committing visible public assault on someone quietly finishing a coke. For reference, I was the Director of a large BAE funded Electronics Institute in SA. Not exactly someone going out of their way to be difficult nor the average bod on the street. This is the dichotomy that exists in many of these countries. Not helped by wars and poorly thought out foreign policies from the West, whom undertake or expect or force ‘change’ in politically thought out time based media driven sound bites rather than realising change within these types of environments has to come from within and takes generations.

            It is the thorny issue of religion vs state often causing the tensions. I have seen similar issues in South Africa post 92 Apartheid and elsewhere.

            Real change takes real time and real commitment and real belief before real measurable action. I praise anyone taking a positive peaceful stance whatever their flavour, wealth, position and whatever your god is for anything that improves the world and humanity in any way.

            F1 is doing its bit and I have been absolutely stunned at the negative responses here and across the internet against LH and SV in these matters. Social Media is helping to speed up changes for the good right up until it slams into the wall of words like whataboutery, virtue signalling, sport washing, nationalism… best do nothing then and ridicule the dress sense, timing, chosen vocation, intellectual ability, wealth, driving ability, intentions and tattoos of those that do. All the while crying but but ‘I just want racing and stuff’ I don’t care about anything else except my right to make a racing focussed web site somewhere I can rant.

            At that point, with the speed social media arrived, it’s usefulness ends.

            Seb clearly indicated that he felt the Hungarian green paper was something completely unacceptable in his eyes, in Europe. Hence his stance. The Hungarian justice minister took the time, no doubt from the important work on banning all mention of a Pandemic in public spaces to have a go at him, suggesting he sticks to driving or making shoes or something (might have mistaken the driver here?) Hamilton has made a stance and real commitment to his causes having even persuaded a huge company employing hundreds of thousands around the world to join forces with him.

            I have to say that the two minute t shirt time would not have got that same impact in the same way that Seb felt his belief would not but agree the ‘National Anthem’ slot should not really end up as the cause of the moment slot. On the other hand how many slots can you have…

            A sticky problem with no easy answers and not helped with ‘wear a uniform’ rules. I seem to recall that not going too well for another chap from round those parts?

            This is quite apart from the ridiculous current stance of why must someone making a difference or standing up for a belief always be expected to right all other wrongs that ring other people’s social media bell? It would be impossible for Seb to do so in say Bahrain as there is no visible law and incredible as it may seem Bahrain is one of the most moderate and poorest of Middle East countries hence its internal issues and by no means the worst offender. It just made the news one year and is automatically singled out for some clumsy actions largely forced upon it by a much bigger neighbour upon who, it’s economy pretty much depends. (I am being very simplistic here but I have worked with that particular royal family and their moderate stance and actions from the first Gulf War was at complete odds to others in the ME)

            But, Hamilton races there and as someone said recently

            Hamilton grrrr grrrr

            It’s all his fault…

          3. @drgraham TLDR, but I do believe you are actually defending Bahrain and SA’s human rights record, incredibly.

            I knew you would want to deny that the sun is bright if it meant you could get one over whoever was criticizing your deity, but never thought you would actually do it.

          4. Well perhaps @balue if you did not tdlr then you may have realised I have not done any such thing and further, have probably done more active work on criticising their positions than anyone you are likely to know. To the extent of refusing a £25m contract until things changed in one such country for example.

            My issue is broad sweeping statements picking on the flavour of the media moment with no actual understanding of the reality of what and how long change in such environments takes.

            Clearly you have chosen to simply not read or understand and persue your closed agenda.

            Nothing new here lately.

          5. @balue

            Oh and my deity?

            Really?

            Which one would that be given your tdlr?

  4. The problem for the FIA here is that they’ve done a ‘Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax’. Had they left this alone, it would have passed and nobody would have thought twice…especially after the mad race we had. However, they’ve stirred this up so that it’s generated more column inches and debate than it ever should have.

    1. Maybe this is a good thing.

  5. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
    3rd August 2021, 14:04

    I think it’s a much bigger problem that a certain group of people is denied their human rights based exclusively on their sexual orientation/gender/race, than a driver pointing to that discrimination during the anthem of an oppressive regime.

    Also, the FIA would shoot itself in the foot if they in any way tried to penalise Vettel, and the bad press would just go on, and on, and on…

    1. the bad press will come anyway, once the racing will hit Saudi Arabia…
      (also, sorry for mis-clicking “report comment” instead of reply, I think a bit of distance between the buttons would help @keithcollantine)

      1. At least I always click the correct one!

    2. Also, the FIA would shoot itself in the foot if they in any way tried to penalise Vettel, and the bad press would just go on, and on, and on…

      Agreed. Which may be a good thing overall. In the US, this is referred to as the Streisand Effect where in the attempt to hide or censor information, you actually draw more attention to it. The FIA I think have overplayed their hand here. They can’t have a video with drivers saying how sport can make a difference, how the drivers race to be global citizens , that they have a platform to make change, how it is up to them to make a change for the better, and then say that that video message and moment of silence is all that they are allowed to do.

      1. @g-funk I don’t think that is all they are allowed to do though. While there are only certain opportunities during the race weekend, nothing is stopping the drivers or teams from continuing on a message during and away from race weekends via social media and what have you. Displaying rainbow colours on cars and helmets etc etc. Having messages on their websites. It is endless as to what drivers and teams could do with their time towards causes and F1 has no desire to restrict that. This is merely about the National Anthem period, those few minutes of observing the National song of the country that is hosting their event.

  6. We race as one. Shouldn’t the helmets, suits, cars all be painted the same and every car have the number 1?

    Other than that I see no problem with the t shirts as they don’t race as 1.

  7. This kind of stuff should never have started.

    F1 is a lovely bit of escapism, bringing real world political issues to the forefront is spoiling it.

    These causes are lovely but don’t think for a moment that what they are doing is brave…. what’s the worst that could possibly happen to them? they don’t get to race? not that that would ever happen.

    Repeating a popular message by wearing a tee-shirt without any real negative consequences is not bravery. And it’s not going to persuade any government to change it’s mind.

    Sorry about the little rant, I’m just love racing, not political activism.

    1. I’m sorry but you live in the same world the rest of us do. Other people’s lives and freedoms are worth far more than your disinterest or annoyance at a gesture that would be easy for you to just ignore and move on from. It doesn’t impact the racing at all.

      1. @davidhunter13

        You are just ignoring his argument and repeating yourself. That is not debating.

    2. +1

      Reply moderated
    3. Agreed. Drivers can go wild on social media supporting anything they like, but the FIA should put a stop to this as it will never end.

      No more nonsense kneeling, and have the drivers wear their racesuits only on the grid.

      F1 is already enough of a circus without the drivers looking like clowns.

      1. Amen Brother…

        Reply moderated
    4. Sooo True…

      Reply moderated
    5. Sorry about the little rant, I’m just love racing, not political activism

      You do realize that singing the national anthem before a sporting event is an act of political activism in itself that has been around for more than 100 years, right?

    6. When (or if) they all go to Saudi Arabia, then you’ll see what’s the worst that could happen. This is a state that will quite happily murder journalists, imprison and torture women for driving, has the death sentence for anyone who deny’s the state religion, not to mention their secret police enforcing their morality laws.

      I can fully envision arrests or even worse for drivers or team members, who even suggest or attempt such actions.

      1. @tambeau I disagree. I think that Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel are some of the few people who could get away with doing this. The world will be watching. This is how pressure comes to change repressive regimes.

        1. @ferrox-glideh But they won’t. Hamilton has already shown his stance when it comes to repressive regimes is nothing (even when called to do so), and I bet Vettel won’t either.

          1. I think that the opportunity here is too good for them to miss, the climate is ripe, and Vettel and Hamilton have little to lose by doing so. The pressure that their level of fame can bring to bear on Saudi Arabia is substantial, something that politicians cannot seem to get away with (because of oil and oil money), and something that gets less famous people “disappeared”. I bet they will protest in some way. In any case, we shall see.

          2. If it’s as bad as you say it is (And I fully believe you) – then what would you do as Hamilton or Vettel, or any driver? Protest and run the risk that some members of your team will be executed on jumped up charges or not protest? When it gets to a certain level of tin pottery, and you know revenge will be exacted on your actions against innocents, it’s not quite the same equation as protesting within the EU

        2. I would like to think that either Lewis or Seb will make some kind of subtle protest when they get to Saudi. Of course the FIA and Liberty will be ultra-hot on this as they know going there has already caused a storm. So the drivers might be given a very firm direction to not do anything out of line.

          I expect if anyone thinks they can get away with it they will. Even if it is only a few words in an interview.

    7. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      3rd August 2021, 16:39

      I agree with you. I said something along these lines last year when that American racist event happened, and I was bashed for it. Drivers can do and support what they feel like in their personal lives, but I feel they should refrain from bringing it to the track.

    8. @napierrailton – You want escapism which is perfectly understandable but ultimately, it’s what everyone wants. The LBGT community wants escapism from being treated differently because of their sexual orientation. Many others want escapism from being treated differently because of the colour of their skin but they don’t get it. It’s always there.

      Having it shoved in your face during things that you enjoy is exactly what they are facing every day so that’s kind of the point. They don’t get to escape from their problems so whilst that’s the case, you can’t escape from it either.

      1. @petebaldwin That is a fine way of thinking about this situation. Cheers!

      2. @petebaldwin

        You are now just admitting that these activists are hurting people to get their way. “If someone doesn’t get this, no one should get it.” I’ve even seen the same logic be used to defend physical violence. There is no limit to the mistreatment you can justify to ‘make someone feel how bad others have it.’

        This is an utterly toxic way to get your way and invites retaliation.

        Also, by politicizing F1, you are also denying people from the LBGT community the escapism that you claim to want to provide to them. The entire idea that they couldn’t escape using F1 is a rather absurd fantasy. As usual, people like you claim to speak for the LBGT community without having any actual legitimacy to do so.

        1. @aapje – Well firstly I think there’s a significant distinction to be made between someone wearing a colourful t-shirt as a message of support towards a group with a certain sexual orientation and physical violence…. There is very much a limit to justifying mistreatment of others. Two wrongs don’t make a right – I’m just not convinced wearing a shirt during a national anthem is really that much of a wrong… It’s certainly less of a wrong than discriminating against someone for a characteristic they cannot help or control.

          Ultimately we’ll have to agree to disagree – if you think wearing a shirt in support of a group of people (and this isn’t a BLM shirt where some claim it has ties to violence etc – this is an entirely peaceful cause) is “utterly toxic” then we’re so far apart on our view of things that we’ll just argue over and over.

          I don’t believe that politicising F1 is a good thing or that doing things that make people unhappy to get your cause noticed is generally a good thing but it’s not like people haven’t tried to address these problems through other means first. It’s been a multi-decade fight and the situation has generally been improving (slowly) but when you see a country try to make a giant leap backwards like Hungary are doing, it’s good that people are making their view heard.

          If Vettel got his point across on Twitter, at best it would be a footnote in the weekly F1 roundup on here. Instead, we’ve reached 100 comments so if nothing else, in the Racefans bubble, it’s got people talking.

          1. @petebaldwin

            I didn’t call wearing the shirt toxic, I called your logic toxic, where you justify making people’s lives worse to coerce them to help others. Again, that kind of logic can be, and has been, used to justify way worse things.

            Note that you yourself argued that this kind of activism harms peoples ability to escape, which you seemed to regard as a universal human need. That you are now pretending that it’s just about wearing a shirt is not a very honest way of debating.

            Debating is rather pointless if you are not going to respond to my actual arguments and are going to ‘forget’ what you argued before.

          2. @aapje

            Classifying Vettel’s T-Shirt as “making people’s lives worse”, in the same context when discussing the abuses towards human’s rights of the Hungarian government is MASSIVE jump in logic. They’re so far apart in both shape and scale that they have no place in this discussion.

            To make it clear: no, in no way, shape or form is Vettel’s remotely comparable, and claiming it “makes people’s lives worse” is nonsensical. Massively so.

          3. How is seeing Sebastian Vettel wearing a colourful T-shirt for 2 minutes longer than you wanted him too “making life worse” again? Do you get migraines when you see rainbows, or maybe you don’t have a colour tv licence and the inspector can see the colours through the window?

    9. +1

      Reply moderated
    10. I’m with you on this one Napier, we enjoy F1 for the racing and get enough controversy from the internal politics of the grid.
      If drivers broke the protocol rule then they should take the punishment, not sure it’s enough at the moment to put anyone off doing it again, but if they make it harsher next time they can have no complaint. What’s the point of having a set of rules around procedures if drivers and teams ignore them. They all sign up to race under FIA & Liberty contracts, lets just get on with the racing………..please.

  8. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    3rd August 2021, 15:09

    Keep going Vettel! I’ve no doubt that other drivers will join you in support! They can’t disqualify the whole grid…

  9. They want to avoid political controversy, but how come displaying Shell, Petronas and Castrol doesn’t court controversy? Especially so given the current environmental concerns around the world? Yes, I’m being slightly tongue in cheek but if a paid sponsor had used the logo and colours of Vettels shirt then I assume there would be no problem? Because of money

  10. It’s really been nice to see Vettel use his fame for causes like this. I hope that Seb wears the same shirt in Saudi Arabia. He is becoming a role model.

  11. It’s a minefield as to what they can and cannot do. Probably best to skip all these things before the race using Kimi’s excuse before Beazil 2006 for missing the Pele Schumacher presentation but maybe theres a rule on that to.

    Reply moderated
    1. If Vettel had done that I believe he’d have got exactly the same punishment, for not attending the national anthem ceremony (as he did at Suzuka in 2017).

  12. Again, is Seb an activist or a virtue signaler? While he’s standing in front of journalists he says he doesn’t care if they disqualify him & he’s proud to wear the shirt during the anthem, but when he’s standing in front of the stewards of the meeting in an official capacity he says he ‘forgot’ to remove the shirt. That isn’t activism. Good luck inducing change that way. If he truly cares for the cause he supports it might require personal sacrifice – that is, saying what he believes when it counts & not just when it’s convenient.

    1. @Griffin

      Indeed. The lying is rather telling.

    2. Nah. It’s still a strong statement that took balls to make. Maybe you’d rather he immolated himself? That would have been an effective sacrifice…

  13. Ultimately this gravitates towards who will have the control of the education of children. Had this specific power not been private to the state, this wouldn’t be a problem in the first place. That is the real human right issue.

    Anything besides this is merely proselytism.

  14. If Lewis can do the knee and the BLM T-Shirt (both of which I totally support) then why can’t Seb dress as a rainbow?

    1. He can. They can all protest what they like, just not during the official national anthem.

      Given what’s going in MotoGP I wonder how SA having their own team and drivers within F1 will go down with those on here who feel strongly about these issues? Think a Ferrari engined team with Ham as TP and driver.

      1. Ahhh OK.
        I do not do television so I miss bits like this.

        Only tuxedos and bow ties for the anthem ;)

  15. I think the rules are clear. Drivers need to respect host countries. Hungary not even the worst country on lgbt discrimination to hold F1 this year. Actually, 95% of the UN members have not written into their constitutions that sexual orientation-based discrimination is prohibited.

    1. I agree with this, unpopular as it may be. The FIA told them to remove their shirts – they didn’t. They disobeyed the rules of the governing body. It should be punished, like any other infringement. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t go into someone else’s house and tell them they should become Muslims, or that they should support abortion rights. It’s not my place to do so. F1 and it’s drivers should respect the countries in which they race and earn their millions. If they don’t want to race there, don’t go.

      1. I guess the point is that the drivers mentioned above did get punished, and they accept that punishment, but they will continue to do what they feel is correct anyway. It wouldn’t be much of a protest if it didn’t have repercussions.

      2. In this case disobeying F1 was the right thing to do. If penalties were issued it would be F1 that would be criticized and the drivers would be lionized. F1 did this to themselves by launching a ‘we race as one’ campaign. What did they think it meant??

  16. Steve (@machinesteve)
    3rd August 2021, 18:36

    ‘We Race as One’ has a nice corporate blandness about it that keeps the boardrooms happy. Expecting them to actually act on that, then it becomes a different story. The problem with F1 is not that its drivers support causes, it is the way in which the corporate-minded executives (and by extension all of us who watch), make greedy deals with revolting governments that restrict their people’s freedoms. Bahrain, Saudi, Hungary, China, Azerbaijan, Russia the list of oppressive regimes with bad human rights records goes on and on. Where next Minsk, Pyong Yang, Dushanbe?

    1. Yes, it has to begin somewhere.

  17. I still say that politics etc should be kept out of sport events and if Vettel really wanted to make a statement he would not have joined the race. At the end money talks above principals and with posing with a pride shirt it’s just scoring easy “points”.

    Reply moderated
    1. Vettel speaking out against oppression of homosexuals in Hungary is not politics it is advocating for human rights. Politics is what created the problem in the first place.

  18. I fully support Vettel’s right to protest the heck how he wants, as long as he does it respecting the Formula 1 regulations, just recalling this is a private business and its rules are enforced. Having said that, my opinion is that his over the edge tone (like describing current Hungary as if it has become Nazi Germany or something that much horrible), does make some people happy but it usually falls on deaf’s ears for anyone outside the progressivist bubble who is not an alt-right bigot. The left’s speech, so widely spread in most of western media nowadays, made everyone numb about yet another nationalistic populism threat that may bring WW3 or another genocide like in the past that not ideologically attached people find it hard to identify where the authoritarianism really is and how to fight it. Some will dishonestly think that I don’t regard Hungary’s govt as wrong, but that’s their rhetoric strawman after being left without words to say anything better. So no, someone needs to criticise those politics that are destroying free speech in Hungary as well, and I’d recommend you to do the most effective way possible, not with lies, overstatements, or exaggerated emotional appeals. And finally, not with hypocrisy. If Vettel or Hamilton are really ballsy like some suggest, they should make a protest against the Chinese govt, that is a mjor threat attacking the free access of information even beyond China’s borders. Should they do it, I’d take it back, evetything that I questioned about Vettel’s character (well, at least about his courage). But my guess is that in the Chinese GP next year their balls(y) will wither, if they ever had any.

    Reply moderated
  19. What kind of human being do you have to be to condemn that another human being, in this case the multiple champion of Formula 1, Sebastian Vettel, wears a T-shirt with a clear meaning in favor of all human beings?
    I think the best that the Fia authorities and the business owners of the category can do is punish Vettel.
    That puts the issue in the headlines of all the media that would not otherwise give you a line.
    Congratulations to Vetel and Hamilton for their worthy attitudes.

    1. You seem to imply that the goals justify the means, what is flawed reasoning. If the rule says you can’t dress t-shirt there it doesn’t matter if it reads “a clear meaning in favor of all human beings” or “Jesus will come back” or whatever message, no matter how pretty it might look.

      1. Some would say rules are made to be broken, which applies to protesting. Vettel said he doesn’t care of they penalise him for it and that shows he is a good human going against a rule that prevents peaceful protestation of blatebt inhumane rules. I hope he does it again, even 2 times. That will bring the issue to the fore. The FIA would have to stand down to not be accused of promoting bigotry. There is no way in hell the FIA would ban Vettel for a race if he does this 2 more times, imagine the media and social backlash. Vettel and Hamilton are heros to millions, and their political actions as successful sports men is what we need more of to make society more accepting of every one.

        1. kpcart

          Some would say rules are made to be broken, which applies to protesting.

          Which rules, in which way and how much can those be broken? That’s the problem. It easily makes no distinction of a peacuful person protesting and a mob vandalising things because they felt they were collectively wronged.

          Vettel said he doesn’t care of they penalise him for it and that shows he is a good human going against a rule that prevents peaceful protestation of blatebt inhumane rules. I hope he does it again, even 2 times.

          Masi made clear he can do it one hundred of times that he won’t face a true penalty beyond a reprimand if it isn’t combined with a driving reprimand, warning or penalty. Seb is either inadvertently or dishonestly trying to blur the lines between the penalties he received. The aim is, of course, promote himself as a martyr.

          That will bring the issue to the fore. The FIA would have to stand down to not be accused of promoting bigotry.

          Only radicals would call them that. That’s why they’re not stressed out about it.

          There is no way in hell the FIA would ban Vettel for a race if he does this 2 more times, imagine the media and social backlash. Vettel and Hamilton are heros to millions, and their political actions as successful sports men is what we need more of to make society more accepting of every one.

          After all, their own rules prevent that from happening. You should be a little bit more well-informed before posting a comment, just a recommendation. As for millions supporting their political actions, I’d be fond of them doing most of those too, if not for their over the edge tone and disregard for rules while doing it. Not making any good for the message to be spread beyond their echo chamber. Nevertheless, I still support their right to protest with the tone they see fit, regardless of how crazy it might look, if they don’t overstep simple rules that are easy to be followed, aren’t involving aggression against anyone and allow them to express themselves in plenty of ways in an enviroment they don’t own (Formula One Group does) but have significant tolerance with their protests. It’s a lie they can protest in Formula 1, just need to do it in a reasonable way. If they want to completely run riot with the fashion of those protests, their (not too shabby at all) properties allow them to do that with ease.

  20. Asking for a friend regarding the various support & causes T Shirt wearing thing.
    Will ALL the drivers wear “F1 Against Barbaric Primeval Beheading Death Sentence.”
    When they attend F1’s Saudi Arabia & Abu Dhabi Grand Prix’s?

    1. @wildbiker You can be 100% sure they won’t.

    2. So which method does you imaginary friend find acceptable. Hanging, lethal injection, any other particular fancy?
      Anyway, I heard they were saving the death penalty protest up for COTA.

    3. Each country has issues. USA and England have terrible human rights history, and are arguably no better than the countries you mentioned. But F1 drivers do not have to stand up against everything. You should be happy that some of them at least stand up for some issues in society. Vettel and Hamilton are doing more than they need to do and are free to stand up for any issue they want, like you are doing also.

      1. kpcart

        USA and England have terrible human rights history, and are arguably no better than the countries you mentioned.

        Terrible in comparision to what? To nirvana? Then I agree. But in comparision with other countries those were never badly ranked, what is just sad because it shows that the norm in the world are dictatorships, not well regarded democracies. Now don’t be ridiculous to come here and suggest that nowadays UK or USA are level with the likes of Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and China. Western countries plus democratic East Asia and others parts of the world with roots on liberalism tries to diminish repressive practices from govt. In stark contrast, the countries mentioned beforehand do nothing at best to stop their autocracies to supress freedom and threaten the life of innocent people within their territories, in an overtly manner. I agree it’s frustrating that a crumbling giant, no longer the free land it used to be like the USA is the role model for morality in the world, there’s so many fundamental flaws being pilled up within them, but they still do more against totalitarianism than the totalitarian themselves, and it’s appalling frustrating to see so many people struggling to grasp the most obvious things.

        1. As a kid I dreamed of living in England – it spent most of its Empire banning the slave trade even against its own financial interest and I wanted to live amongst the descendants of those people – remember that before that, slavery was a fact of life in every culture worldwide.

          Of course now I’ve been here for 40 years and the dream has well and truly been given a reality check, but for all its many wrongs, the UK has a lot to be proud of when it comes to human rights. Now please reinstate my rights to go to Europe without having to beg for permission from two governments, thanks.

    4. @wildbiker That T-shrit might need to come with a backbone.

      Reply moderated
  21. “Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing…” A few weeks ago i had to take a stand against those that wanted to loot, burn, destroy and steal. We all have to make a choice to stand for what we believe is a worthy cause. Some choose to do it in a simple way, others in a more daring way. Some with great sacrifice. Even giving their lives. Then there are those who will have their heads in the sand. Believing all is well & ok. That we should not ruffle the feathers. Or go against the flow of the river.

    1. Sometimes it takes doing seemingly bad things to create good change, sadly it can be the only way for certain people to try to create change for the better, and in return they get vilified more by many

      1. Sometimes it takes doing seemingly bad things to create good change, sadly it can be the only way for certain people to try to create change for the better, and in return they get vilified more by many

        Maybe because with that line of reasoning we got Stalin, German Voldemort (I think if I spell his name here the comment might be removed), and many other totalitarian dictators who on their mind meant good. How terribly naive you are.

  22. Vettel should be banned and showed to be a special kind of dishonest and hypocrite.
    But he will not be banned, i also do not expect him to wear message t-shirt in China, Bahrain, Russia, Saudi Arabia etc. anything about any other countries he drives on. Including not only about whatever acronym is valid today but women and children rights for example.

    1. He has chosen which human rights he wants to support, he does not need to support all of them. Naming those countries you did is racist and political, no country is perfect
      Your comment is full of out dated conservative hate. Society progresses, yet some people choose to stay with hate against their other human beings.

    2. At the 2021 Bahrain GP, during the “We Race as One” slot Vettel wore a t-shirt with this message:

      SCIENCE
      IS REAL
      BLACK LIVES
      MATTER
      NO HUMAN
      IS ILLEGAL
      LOVE IS
      LOVE
      WOMEN’S
      RIGHTS
      ARE HUMAN
      RIGHTS
      KINDNESS IS
      EVERYTHING

      1. anon
        Did he and hammy criticise the Bahrain government as well? Why didn’t Vettel wear that t-shirt in the anthem cerimony there too? I think Bahrain is way worse than Hungary, so not an excuse. But I take it back and accept Vettel is ballsy if he criticises CCP in the next Chinese GP! Would he be brave enough to do it? I pretty much doubt it, but I still can be proved wrong as a challenge. ;)

        1. The Hungary gay people ban is like a couple weeks old you know…

          1. @ryanoceros Nice excuse, Vettel will need one when a protest in fact would require bravery.

    3. Hah, you can’t do jack squat against him.

  23. National anthems and patrioct are the stupidest things we do as humans. We are all one people in the nation of planet earth. Good on Vettel and Hamilton for what they are doing. They will be considered pioneers one day when the walls of oppression and hate come down.

  24. Sergey Martyn
    4th August 2021, 13:17

    Trying hard to get back some attention to himself – and coming out is his (or her?) last resort.
    What a rainbow sissy…

  25. Might I suggest that if race suits must be worn for the national anthems, drivers should all invest in rainbow themed “One Love” race suits?

    Reply moderated
  26. Instead of saying “I hate your views”, please show some basic respect with simply saying “Hello” when first meeting our business partners and hosts. Basically that’s all that FIA expects from the drivers.

  27. “Disqualify me, I’m happy to,” he said on Sunday. “I keep the shirt on for the national anthem in support of those people that suffer in this country because some make laws that I think, rather than protecting children, is probably threatening these children and compromising the way they grow up. That’s why I’m happy to take any penalty they want to give me for that.”

    Keeping the shirt on was a solid move, but I absolutely love his response to the reprimand. He’s got a huge platform to speak up for things and it’s so great to see him utilizing it. F1 doesn’t occur in a vacuum and it’s awesome to see drivers speaking up for important issues. It is possible to enjoy the sport and be invested in human rights issues.

  28. If F1 starts penalizing drivers or teams for speaking out for basic human rights they will end up wishing they had not. It will not end well for them.

    1. Or they may end up finding more mature ways to speak out. Honestly, this T-shirt keeping looks like a kid’s rebellious action after reading the headlines. FIA now teaches what his parents should have taught: There are a few things you simply don’t do to your host. If you find their legislation or anything else so untolerable you cannot resist the urge to protest during their national anthem, then don’t accept them as your host, boycott the event as a whole.

  29. Folks, why don’t we just all agree that the whole F1 Circus is exactly that, a Circus. They can allow one person to stand up for what he chooses, but the others must not, unless it is what they are told to stand up for.
    Even the racing is a farce, A driver lands up hitting the barrier at around 50g through another drivers mistake and the driver at fault get a 10s penalty. Can’t get enough fuel out of you car after the race and you get disqualified…Really, no warning, no grid drop for next race, no time penalty, just straight you out.
    And this is somehow reasonable punishment for the indiscretions…
    It is absolutely ridiculous. F1 has turned into a total political W**k

    Reply moderated
    1. Err i think its because if they cant test the fuel then the team can maybe cheat by adding performance gaining additives…

      1. The point being made is the relative degree of punishment, not if or if not, sorry you missed the subtle difference.

        Reply moderated
  30. I see, BLM is ok, Rainbow love matters is not?

    Offcorse, imagine pulling this kind of stunt in say Soudi Arabia… Maybe Yemen lives matter?

    This is where issuea can show up, with sportsmen trying to wear something in protest.

    Either allow everything or nothing, just maybe set a disclaimer in terms and conditions for any race host… That members of the sport will be allowed to speak their mind.

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