Climate change makes me question my F1 future says Vettel as he talks Putin, Brexit and more

2022 F1 season

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The notion that sport and politics shouldn’t mix was always unrealistic at best.

It’s easy to forget how regularly that idea was once expressed. In the space of a few years it has come to seem positively archaic. We have grown used to seeing Formula 1 drivers speaking out on a range of issues: diversity, racism, climate change and human rights to name a few.

Among this new generation of drivers who understand real political matters, not just those of F1’s paddock bubble, Sebastian Vettel has always been among the most outspoken, thoughtful and well-informed. He demonstrated that in his appearance on BBC political discussion show Question Time on Thursday night.

The long-running political programme airs on the most-watched television programme in Britain. The Aston Martin driver’s appearance on it was a coup not just for Question Time, but Formula 1 as well. Vettel was at his charming and intelligent best, demonstrating his grasp of a range of subjects far beyond his regular business of tyre pressures, ride heights and everything else which makes a racing car go quickly.

What would have been an impressive enough appearance had it been made by of F1’s British quartet was all the more so coming from someone who is neither a native English speaker nor steeped in the political culture of the United Kingdom. Here’s what the four-time world champion had to say.

Rising cost of living

Drivers showed support for Ukraine after Russia’s invasion
Rocketing energy costs, in particular as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was the first talking point tackled by the panel. Vettel brought his insight of the same discussions in his homeland, which is especially dependent on Russian gas, and made the case that his country should have weaned itself off polluting, Russian-source power much earlier.

“There’s exactly the same debate and the same questions, they are very fair, being asked in Germany,” he said. “Certainly the latest developments with the situation in the Ukraine, with the war in the Ukraine, have sparked a lot of talk because the energy prices have gone up and therefore people have less money in their pockets, which I think is very easy and clear to understand.

“Now, the question is, what do you do with it and how do you fix it? And I think it’s a bit of a bigger picture thing.

“In truth, it’s probably fair to say that actions should have been taken long time ago already, and we shouldn’t depend on prices that basically the UK – or Germany or any country – doesn’t dictate. It’s the prices that we and people and households all over the UK, Germany, other countries depend on.

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“There’s a really ongoing and interesting debate and certain terms have to have certain them express a certain things have been mentioned like how do we source our energy? Where do we get our energy from? And I think it’s pretty similar in the UK you have a mixture of gas, coal and oil.

Environmental awareness is a priority of Vettel’s
“Obviously Germany is very dependent on Russia and now potentially in trouble. What do we do with it? Is it is there going to be an embargo? How do we go forward? What do we do if Russia turns the tap off?

“A lot of questions, but the truth is that we should have tackled these dangers and threats already a long time ago. We shouldn’t be as dependent and we have to shift into the next gear and get ready for the future, not just for the reason of becoming independent and protecting these households that we’re speaking about but also to look after the bigger picture and making sure that we live on a planet that is as enjoyable to it tomorrow as it is today.”

Vettel, who has often urged action on climate change including at last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, said cleaner energy sources are part of the solution, but acknowledged Germany’s reaction to the situation could lead to a reaction from Russia.

“It’s a very tricky one because obviously you don’t want to provoke Russia to act in a way that has consequences on all of us,” he said. “Germany’s so dependent [on Russian gas], the truth is we’re far too dependent, and there’s exactly the debate: How far do you go?

“Is it actually possible to turn off the tap tomorrow? Probably yes, for a while, because now the summer is coming, but what do you do next winter? We don’t have gas terminals to store gas, for example.

“So as I said, in truth, I think it’s now it’s a bit late to raise these concerns because I think there’s a lot of people that have raised these concerns a long time ago. And the energy that we use today, we are far too dependent.

“We should think of energy like ‘peace energy’ or ‘freedom energy’, which is renewable energies. So that’s, I think, the future, not just for an independent way of protecting households and protecting people that can’t afford to pay the bills, but also to shift into the future.”

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Finland applying to join NATO

Vettel on the podium with Putin in 2018
The subject of Russia came up again in a discussion over Finland’s desire to join the NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – countries. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted fears of an attack in another country it shares a border with.

Vettel met Russian president Vladimir Putin on several occasions at the Russian Grand Prix, which F1 cancelled after the outbreak of war in February. The driver expressed sympathy for the people of Ukraine, and regret that the threat Putin posed had not been recognised sooner.

“I know a lot of Finnish people and Finland has a long border with Russia,” said Vettel. “Finland has been in war with Russia, a long time ago. So I can completely see the need for protection.

“The example with the playground [bully] I think is a good one. You want to be protected, as many kids as you can be. I think the trouble really is that you don’t know who you’re dealing with. I mean, in a way you do, and there were so many signs. And therefore we can question now what brought us into this mess and who is at fault and should we have seen the signs earlier and so on.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Sochi Autodrom, 2021
F1 raced in Russia from 2014 to 2021
“But one thing we mustn’t forget is that Ukrainian people are suffering today and tomorrow and for probably a long time, and hearing from first-hand from some of the families that were fleeing from Ukraine and trying to look for shelter, I cannot imagine the suffering. I have to be honest, because it’s something that I cannot relate to.

“I’ve grown up in a time where there was never a war, let’s say so close – obviously you travel the world, you see so many places and you know that it’s a privilege to be living the way we are in Europe.

“So I think the first thing is, rule number one, is we have to take care of Ukraine. There’s been a long and heated debate in Germany: Should we supply weapons or shouldn’t we? In the end, it turned out yes, and Germany is supplying weapons.

“But the threat obviously is that you don’t know, it might escalate now, it might escalate tomorrow. You don’t know what Putin and Russia – or Putin, mostly – is going to do. And that’s the sort of uncertainty. But I think in the bigger picture, we need to do anything we can to stop him and help people who feel threatened or especially the people that suffer, like the Ukrainians.”

He described how his own country had wrestled with the decision of whether to send arms to Ukraine.

“That is exactly the debate in Germany: What are we doing? We need the energy, otherwise what about the economy and what about us and so on. But on the other hand, is that money financing the war and hurting people? So that’s the very difficult point.

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“When you think about it, the more it gets sort of complicated and not so easy to answer. But in the meantime, like I said, you mustn’t forget the people. The people are dying, people are suffering. So we must come up with a solution.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Hungaroring, 2021
Vettel supported LGBTQ+ rights in Hungary last year
Vettel returned to two of his favourite themes: That his country had erred by allowing itself to become too dependent on Russian energy, and that renewable energies offer a solution.

“The dependency was wrong, to install that dependency in the first place,” he said, addressing a panel which included members of parliament from Britain’s two main political parties.

“I mean governments, you are part of dealing with that every day. You’re not alone. There’s a lot of people who consult you, a lot of experts, no matter what it might be. If it’s on energy, there is energy experts that consult you and help you and guide you. I find it difficult to imagine to be an expert on everything, you cannot be.

“So you depend on the people around you and you pick the people around you and then you should make the best compromise. With Putin and Germany, I think there’s plenty of reason to say, well, the choices we made were wrong. Now it’s obvious to everyone, but it was already obvious to the people consulting back then.”

“I think in the UK you are very dependent on Norway as an energy supplier,” he added. “So of course Norway looks a lot more stable and safe, but you don’t know within a decade Norway might [change] – I don’t think so – but what I mean is you never know which people will be in power, will be in charge and what they might go for.

“You have a good example with Brexit, just saying in terms of the consequences and so on, it’s not that easy. It might get popular like say ‘oh yeah, let’s get out, let’s vote out’. And then people don’t know or don’t understand what they’re voting for.”

On his future in F1

Vettel made his F1 debut 15 years ago
The Question Time host Fiona Bruce put it to Vettel that it was hypocritical for him to express concern about the environment while participating in a “gas guzzling” sport such as F1.

“It’s true,” he admitted, as some members of the audience chuckled. “And you’re right when you laugh.

“There’s questions I ask myself every day. I’m not a saint, I’m very concerned of when it comes to the future, these topics, when it comes to energy, energy dependence and where we’re going in the future – to finish my point earlier – on energy we need to stop being dependent and we can because there is solutions in place.

“In Britain you have this sort of gold mine you’re sitting on, which is wind, and you have the ability to increase your energy supply with wind power [and] solar. Now, not every country has its strengths and weaknesses. If you go to Austria, they have the Alps and they have water. They can pump it up, store it pumping and get it back down.

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“But getting back to [the] point, yeah, it is true, so it’s something that I’m asking myself.”

He admitted part of his concern about continuing to racing in F1 is the pollution caused by “travelling the world” in a calendar which visits over 20 countries per year.

“There’s certain things are in my control and certain things are not. It’s my passion to drive a car, I love it, and every time I step in the car, I love it. When I get out of the car of course I’m thinking is this something that we should do, travelling the world, wasting resources?

“On the other hand we are entertaining people. During Covid we were one of the first sports to start again, when everybody’s heads were about to explode, there were Formula 1 races back on. I’m not saying Formula 1 has this huge position in the world to deliver entertainment, there’s plenty of people if you talk about entertainment, sports, culture, comedy, a lot of people couldn’t perform and then a lot of people miss that and I think if we don’t have that in general, we would probably go mad.

“But there’s a lot of these questions that I ask myself. There’s things that I do because I feel I can do them better. Do I need to take a plane every time? No, not when I can take the car. But like I said there’s certain things in my and certain things outside my control.”

Johnson

British prime minister Boris Johnson’s refusal to resign despite being found to have broken the law by breaking Covid-19 restrictions in June 2020 has been a major point of discussion in Britain for weeks. Vettel approached the subject from his point of view as a father.

“I think that when you are in that position there’s certain things that you just can’t pull off. In the end it is the prime minister who made the law and then breaks the law.

“I mean, if I’m just thinking, I’m a father of three kids and I’m trying to explain them something that I think is really important on how to behave, and I do the exact opposite, what do you think they will make of it? I’m the least credible person in front of them then.

“We all do mistakes, we all are human. But there’s just certain things that I think come with office or with that job that you can’t do.”

Brexit

Given his concern over issues such as climate change which have implications far beyond individual countries, Vettel admitted he found it hard to understand the 2016 referendum which led to Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, which he argued will only make it harder to address global problems.

“I’m generally interested and sometimes I’m sitting and listening to this and I’m thinking, well, you’re missing the bigger picture. You’re speaking about the energy costs earlier and the bigger picture is clear that for the future it is not sustainable to pump oil, gas and coal out of the ground.

“The solution is you have to do the shift moving forward. And in a way, it’s the bigger picture. Obviously, there was a push, three little words, ‘get it done’ or ‘get Brexit done’, and this is sort of the consequences you deal with now.”

He said Britain’s decision to leave the EU looks “not good” to many people in Germany.

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“I think the majority of German people don’t understand,” said Vettel. “I think there’s some things might be better, some things might be worse, I’m not the best judge here. But what I can see is that looking at the size of problems that is ahead of us on so many levels, whether it is the environment, social justice, looking after people, we need to do this together. We will not pull this off just [as] one of us. And that’s where I don’t understand the push for Brexit and say that ‘we will take care of ourselves and everything will be great’.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Miami International Autodrome, 2022
“There’s always an option to talk to each other” – Vettel
Other members of the panel had discussed one of the complications arising from Brexit which remains unsolved in the second year after Britain’s departure from the EU. “I’m not familiar with all the exact details but in the bigger picture now you’re in this mess, well, you’ve got to deal with it,” said Vettel.

However he urged all involved to pursue constructive discussions. “I guess doing what we’re doing this evening, just talking to each other, there’s always an option to talk to each other. So if there’s something you’re upset about, talk to each other and talk to the EU. I mean, you did that for a long time, longer than you thought you would need to talk to the EU to sort this out, but maybe it’s good to go back and talk it again, I don’t know.”

As an advert for the value of civilised, informed debate, you could hardly have asked for a better example than Vettel’s contribution to Question Time.

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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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59 comments on “Climate change makes me question my F1 future says Vettel as he talks Putin, Brexit and more”

  1. So many contradiction on what Seb was saying. But he was so good on its delivery. Very clear and articulated. He could be the next chancellor.

  2. Former Soviet countries joined Nato and the EU on their own accord, because they never want to relive the Soviet period.

    In Hungary there is a museum dedicated to the war and soviet years, it is called the House of Terror.
    It is all in the name!

  3. The situation is indeed a bit more complicated than Seb describes and could have been avoided had NATO not provoked (and now repeats it which shows an alarming and worrying lack of intelligent leadership from the EU). Still all is no justification whatsoever for causing suffering to any people.

  4. LH44 for life
    13th May 2022, 7:50

    YAWN, you might as well have any neoliberal politician or political commentator and they would parrot the same things. The only positive is this fraud can stop pretending to be a 4xWDC and now start pretending to be a right on political commentator like Bono.

  5. I haven’t watched Question Time for years, since it became a vehicle for manufacturing social media outrage rather than a forum for sensible (if partisan) political discussion (and also because I have kids now and it’s on past my bedtime). But it sounds like Vettel’s contribution was more like the good old days.

    I suspect Vettel will enter politics when he’s done with F1.

  6. You are very right Gmacz, Vettel is a tool just following what the media is saying… it’s far more complicated than that.

  7. I completely agree with you.

  8. This is such a stupid argument to make. Nobody’s been “progressively surrounding Russia” since the 90s. What’s been happening is that autonomous nations have applied and been accepted to NATO of their own free will, and they have made said applications because of the legitimate threat of Russia eventually trying to evade and take their sovereign land away from them. As has now been perfectly demonstrated by Russia, a failure to do so and attempting instead to make a treaty with them to keep their sovereign land, is not reliable. Russia is not trustworthy to honour said treaties.

    NATO isn’t “placing their weapons on the Russian border either.” It’s a collective that exists solely to ward of a legitimate threat that Russia creates. If Russia were to, for example, honour sovereign nations and not invade them, perhaps there would not be a need to have a collective defense against the threat of that happening.

    Russia is pretending the NATO is some kind of expanding threat to them, but the reality is, NATO is a defensive measure that’s a result of Russia’s illegal threats of expansion. Breaking their treaty with Ukraine has caused Finland to reconsider their treaty with Russia as well, given how little such a treaty is apparently worth to Putin and his Kremlin. They now have to find another means of preventing an invasion by Russia.

    The bully analogy is apt, as is the similar mafia analogy of “nice store you got here, would be a shame if something happened to it,” because the entire argument for the invasion of Ukraine is “do what Russia wants, or else!” Russia has no legitimate say about what Ukraine wants, who they want to join or not, or what they do within their borders. There was no threat of Ukraine, nor NATO, nor EU, invading Russia.

    1. invade, not evade*

      Edit-button, any day now.

    2. What’s been happening is that autonomous nations have applied and been accepted to NATO of their own free will

      If you really believe those countries have joined NATO with their own free will, then I have a bridge to sell you :)
      FYI : I’m against the Russian invasion of Ukraine to begin with.

      1. On the Marbles
        13th May 2022, 11:05

        You already bought the bridge and crossed it to the fantasy land at the other side. Those countries lived under Russian/Soviet domination for decades, finally got free and have watched those who ran the Soviet state apparatuss slowly regain control of Russia and its military machine; they know full well why they chose to join NATO.

      2. I’m sure they would have preferred not feeling threatened by Russian nationalism and not needing to join a defensive alliance to protect against it.
        /rolleyes

    3. So which countries has Russia threatened to invade recently? Meanwhile USA and their puppets HAVE invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Yugoslavia and by their proxy funding and bombing Syria, Yemen, Libya.
      But I guess your mainstream media tells you they’re the good guys…wake up

      1. “So which countries has Russia threatened to invade recently”

  9. Don’t you find this an incredibly self-revealing line of argument?

    If Russia feels threatened by countries in the USSR’s former sphere of influence banding together in support of any of them being attacked, what does that say about Russia’s intentions?

    1. @proesterchen Without wanting to excuse or justify Russian atrocities in Ukraine, the straightforward answer to that question is that Russians don’t see NATO as a defensive alliance. Russian paranoia about foreign powers being an existential threat to them goes back hundreds of years, however ludicrous it may seem from the outside.

      1. What do you think the options are when your neighbour is nuclear-armed, has a huge standing army, a -if I may take your phrase- long-standing paranoia and a history of attacking its neighbours. (including yourself, in the case of Finland)

  10. I love the guy. He seems like a lovely character. He had so much success at such a young age but he never became arrogant. One of the great personalities of F1.

    On another topic – leading on from that last point – I do miss having a bad boy in the sport. It was fun when Villenueve was around to ridicule and hate. Everyone is so nicey nice these days.

    And yet another topic: Is Ocon still highly rated? I haven’t seen anything from in while he’s been in F1 that has impressed me more than other drivers who have since been demoted.

    1. @shimks If you don’t feel there’s a “bad boy” in F1 currently, just invent one in your head. It’s what much of the fandom has been doing, particularly over the last 12 months or so.

      1. Now that gave me a good chuckle @red-andy! Watching various communities on Reddit shift their hate as predictably as the tide is great entertainment once you get used to it.

      2. Haha, very nicely put, @red-andy!

  11. I’d like to see the drivers posting for the same picture next time NATO/USA invades a country. There have been more than a few chances for that.

    The problem in today’s public is how biased they are, leading to having double standards. When NATO does it, than it’s OK, but God forbid some other country does it.
    I don’t accept it. War is war, invasion is invasion, war crime is a war crime, period. I make no differences.

    This invasion particularly is hyped because it’s the last phase of USA’s plan to finally destroy and invade Russia (remember they have huge reserves of natural energy resources… sounds familiar?). And we’re all pawns in their little chess game. Europe is suffering.

    For the last 20 years Putin was pushing hard politically into making any sort of partnership with NATO. All his efforts were ignored, because USA/NATO never wanted to have partnership with Russia. The deal with Gorbachev, when he was to dismantle USSR, was for NATO never to expand on east. Did they keep their promise?
    No, they kept cooking Russia with pressure until it finally broke. Now we have USA shipping huge quantities of arms to Ukraine to fight for their causes. There’s a big number of mercenaries there as well. Nice freaking situation…

    Since the war started we have another ugly situation and that is – discrimination of everything that is Russian. For example, Daniil Medvedev is the first tennis player in the last 18 to be number 1 and not to have last name Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Murray. Huge achievement. Now he’s not allowed to play at Wimbledon and regain the No1 status, just because he’s Russian….. just because of that and nothing else.
    Now, what exactly is he to blame? Did Putin ask him whether Russia should invade Ukraine or no? Did he have any saying in what was going to happen or not? Did he choose to be born in Russia? But we’ve made him suffer, didn’t we? Why?
    Mazepin was kicked out of F1 just because he was Russian. There were other reasons that I believed he didn’t deserve to be in F1, but being Russian certainly wasn’t one of them.

    There are millions of Russians who don’t support Putin nor this war and the public is discriminating them, as well. That just puts us further away from the healthy solution.

    Seeing F1 drivers demanding “No War” in this situation, but missing the opportunity to do the same for Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and so on, just makes me wanna puke. They should just stay out of it all, they should just shut up and drive.

    I feel very sad for the war in Ukraine and the suffering of both Ukraine and Russian people, but I don’t think the stop/go button was in Kremlin. I think it was in Washington.

    1. Do you really believe the USA wants to invade Russia?

      There are plenty of things wrong with US foreign polices, but they do not want to invade Russia, they want to live in a peaceful world.

      1. @biskitboy
        The US thrives when other countries go to war. The only peace they want is within it’s borders

    2. NATO has never invaded anyone.

      NATO =/= USA.

    3. but I don’t think the stop/go button was in Kremlin. I think it was in Washington.

      Rubbish!

    4. @sermilan This isn’t really the forum for it, but please explain where NATO (as a body, not individual states) has attacked and invaded any place that wasn’t actioned as a result of NATO’s rules (i.e. you attack a NATO country, NATO responds – this was the impetuous for involvement in Afghanistan, as they were harbouring some of the instigators of the 9/11 attacks) or a UN resolution, which resulted in the deployments to Bosnia, Kosovo and Libya..?

      1. Actually, you just said it. The attack on Yugoslavia/Kosovo was not based on NATO rules or on UN resolution, it was a clear-cut aggression (I have actually lived in the USA at the time and had the means to follow background dealings, it did not put USA in a very good light). The attack on Syria likewise. You can also add attacks on Iraq (not the first one, Saddam started it, but the second) and on Libya by France & Britain that originally was based on UN approval, but went way beyond what it legitimized. Just for the sake of completeness, the attack on Afganistan, while provoked, was not according to NATO/UN rules. But I would give the States a pass on this one, bin Laden asked for it. The real mess and questionable moves came later.

        I am not trying to endorse the original post, there are some parts that made me cringe (i.e. I do not think USA wanted to attack Russia militarily), but the fact is that NATO countries have been violating international law since late 90’s fairly often and Russia has been repeatedly pointing out that if the West does not sort itself out, then Russia will have to adjust to the new way of doing things that we promote by our actions.

        This does not absolve Putin from deciding to attack Ukraine (which, justice apart, I also see as a serious miscalculation on his part, a miscalculation for which the whole Europe will pay). But this decision was made in a specific atmosphere, in a specific set of circumstances, and facts show rather pointendly that it was predominantly West that pushed towards these circumstances.

    5. CD (@clipperdael)
      13th May 2022, 11:16

      Just when you thought the comment section couldn’t get any more ridiculous. Sigh…

      1. Remember when it used to be focussed on the racing?

        All this arguing is so tiresome.

        1. CD (@clipperdael)
          13th May 2022, 12:50

          I could certainly do without the regurgitating of Russian propaganda or the mindless parroting of the Kremlin’s factually false talking points. How about a deep dive on Hamilton’s jewellery instead? A new perspective on last season’s finale? The pros and cons of triple-header weekends?

  12. Luke S (@joeypropane)
    13th May 2022, 9:38

    Mazepin wasn’t kicked out of F1 because just because he was Russian, it was because his sponsorship was directly related to Putin…. and he was garbage (both as a driver and a person).

  13. Gotta love Seb. He speaks with his heart.

  14. Can’t wait to see Lewis Hamilton discussing vaccine passports on Newsnight and Lando Norris hosting Have I Got News For You …

    1. I’d say that HIGNFY would be a car crash, but then Prescott managed it…

  15. if Russia was placing their weapons on the US border with Mexico would they declare this is about Mexican autonomy and ignore it.

    That already happened by the way with the Cuban missile crisis when the Soviet Union countered the American deployment of missiles in both Turkey and Italy with the deployment of their own missiles in Cuba. That was the closest the world has come to a full scale destructive nuclear war. Consequently Cuba has been suffering the most enduring embargo in the history imposed by the United States.

    On another note, there is no denying that the EU has failed badly since the early 90s when the modern union was founded to implement a security and defence policy first to protect its own members and second to counter the global American pre-eminence. The misleading narrative parroted even by high ranked EU officials considering the Ukraine invasion as the first attack on Europe after WWII forgetting that the old Yugoslavia which was failed badly by the EU and NATO is indeed a European country says it all.

    The USA realizing the potential threat that the EU could pose have worked their way into its institutions (Council, Parliament, Central Bank…) thanks also to their British allies. The institutions are captured by a network of organizations and associations that are pushing their own agendas. With the Americans placing their puppets everywhere in Europe inside the institutions and the members, the entire EU has been reduced to an institution serving the US agenda in Europe.

    The thing is these brain washed EU leaders sucking up to the United States have no idea about the fact that the US could care no less if the entire continent will be nuked by Russia. The Americans care only about their interests and have historically showed no compassion towards their puppets especially when the far left captured democrats are in charge. I think the only time they have come to the rescue of one of their puppets is when they saved the Italian war criminals from the Nuremberg trials. They want Europe to fight Russia on behalf of them, plain and simple.

    The Ukrainian crisis have exposed the western hypocrisy with regard to treating the same issue with double standards. Everyone is triggered Ukraine is invaded and Putin is committing war crimes, though nobody cares about happened in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya… and still happening in Palestine. Ukraine have sent troops to Iraq in 2003 and Zelensky has previously said that he stands with Israel when they were butchering the Palestinians. Mind what you approve to others because it may happen to you.

    By the way, the apartheid state have just committed another barbaric crime that just went unnoticed. They have shot and killed Shireen Abu Akleh, one of the best-known war reporters on the planet, while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank. Strangely, no one is triggered and Israel is classified 86 in the press freedom index.

    1. The misleading narrative parroted even by high ranked EU officials considering the Ukraine invasion as the first attack on Europe after WWII forgetting that the old Yugoslavia

      You might want to freshen up your memory on what exactly happened in (the eventually former) Yugoslavia in the decade following the fall of the iron curtain.

      Hint: Yugoslavia didn’t get invaded by a neighbour.

      1. @proesterchen
        Does this deflect from the fact that there was a war inside Europe after WW2 ?

        Hint: Yugoslavia didn’t get invaded by a neighbour.

        Another hint : It was bombed by NATO because the ethnic cleansing that was happening there threatened to destabilize the entire region with refugees and not because of the ethnic cleansing itself.

        NB : I’m against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Though, I refuse the selective western approach based on the nationality of the aggressor and the victim. Every aggressor must be first stopped and held accountable, period.

        If the United Nations and its organs (United Nations Security Council, International Court of Justice…) have been loyal to their founding principles and treated every single act of aggression in the same way then Putin wouldn’t have had the guts to invade Ukraine. It’s OK for the USA, UK, France, Israel,… to invade other countries but the same countries get triggered when Putin (and potentially China with Taiwan) is using their tactics.

        1. Who invaded Yugoslavia? No one, that’s who.

          Who invaded Ukraine? Russia. Twice. In less than a decade.

          Anyone trying to minimize Russia’s attacks on Ukraine misses a simple point: They were unprovoked, unjustified, illegal invasions of an independent nation.

  16. Seb is very intelligent and articulate, and in an era of increasing expectations of social responsibility, F1 should be glad to have him represent the sport’s image.

    Though I wonder why public figures like him, or any sportsperson, are asked such wide-ranging questions on areas outside of their expertise in the first place. Obviously Seb has volunteered for the show and did his research, but I find it bemusing why his opinion on NATO, for example, deserves such a pedestal. Thankfully he chose the right point in his career to become so outspoken, otherwise he’d get Lewis Hamilton levels of vitriol!

    1. @ciaran This is the point of QT – most of the people invited on, including government ministers, are prospected for opinions that extend beyond their experience and briefs*.

      * – Heck, Suella Braverman barely understands hers!

  17. Nobody in good conscience wants to be threatened by the most violent, corrupt, and backwards country in Europe.

    This is why the likes of Poland, Turkey, the Baltics have always allied with the West if they could. They know what’s up.

    It’s ironic that you use your freedom to spread Russian propaganda here. Try and criticize their government living there to see what happens to you.

    1. Try and criticize their government living there to see what happens to you.

      Recently, a leading Turkish opposition figure has been banned from politics and sentenced to almost five years in prison, for a… Tweet.
      Turkey is a good example on how democracy works especially with Erdogan in charge :)

  18. Can’t imagine that’ll go down hugely well with his employer…

  19. Is it available somewhere to watch/listen? (from outside the UK)

    1. Only f you can change your internet (I think its a VPN)

  20. Vettel a typical example of emasculated Germans

  21. Interesting & decently insightful views on different matters, even those outside his direct expertise area.

  22. Yawn. Check it out, the new face of manoeuvring masses. More of the same, as usual.

    Whenever a sportsman bumps into politics he is being used, directly or not, by “professionals”. Otherwise, he’d be politician himself.

    That is why sports and politics shouldn’t mix.

    Needless to say sport unites, politics divides.

    1. @niefer reading through this comments section daily it is definitely not united.

      1. Spot on, @justrhysism!

        Not that I’m agreeing with you… ;-)

      2. lol, this was funny, @justrhysism x)
        Of course, what happens around here has nothing to do with sport itself, but I do appreciate the joke, great timing!

  23. José Lopes da Silva
    14th May 2022, 10:23

    Inevitably, if you put Vettel talking from a liberal international standpoint, you’ll have the liberals praising him and the nationalists and the communists bashing him in the comments.

  24. I understand where he is coming from but I see no need for racecar drivers to feel guilty for doing their job they love. Sure, we all as individuals should act responsibly, but it is up to politicians and industry leaders to work for implementing big systemic changes. To me, drive-through establishments are worse…it is normal here to see lines of cars idling for half hour to get their take out lunch…every day around every corner. Nobody seems worried about that and instead, everything is getting drive-through…from bancomats to pharmacies.

  25. I guess being world champion makes you Woke..

    Being Woke makes you less able to win championships.

    Just look at Seb and Lewis. They certainly got woke to the point it deteriorates their ability to win.

    It is time to retire, and let young guys who are not burdoned with woke thoughts do the racing.

    Meanwhile Seb should run for office and make actual difference in this world, if people are up for it.

    1. What part of Seb’s comments have anything to do with wokeness?

      They certainly got woke to the point it deteriorates their ability to win.

      This may be the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a while. Being aware of racial injustice makes a driver less capable of winning?

      These comments get more inane with every passing day.

  26. The fact these comments are seen as remarkable or newsworthy shows how little progress we have made as a species to fight global warming. It still seems that people find it radical to acknowledge anthropogenic climate change or that we need to do something about it before the planet is less habitable or inhabitable.

  27. Vettel looking for a graceful exit?

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