Vettel: F1 must ask itself if money comes over morals

Four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel says the series needs to join other top-level sports in asking whether the chase for increased revenue should come above any moral concerns.

Vettel: F1 must ask itself if money comes over morals

F1's recent addition of races in Saudi Arabia and Qatar has prompted renewed concerns about regimes with poor human rights records using grand prix racing as a sportswashing exercise.

However, F1 chiefs and the FIA have long argued that sports should remain neutral, and that racing in such places can have a positive effect by highlighting potential issues.

However, Aston Martin driver Vettel thinks there comes a point where F1 has to make a decision on morality grounds, and not just because it wants to try to increase profits.

Speaking to selected media including Autosport in a wide-racing interview on human rights, sustainability and tolerance, the German said that profits should not be the sole factor in deciding where events are hosted.

"I think the trouble is that ultimately a sport, and it's the same as a country, is governed by individual people," he said.

"Individual people have individual opinions, and backgrounds, whatever, so it is of course difficult. But we have to find the perfect people to sort of govern our sport, and then apply the right path going forward.

PLUS: Why re-energised Vettel isn’t just making an impact at Aston Martin

"There's more than just that interest, there's obviously huge financial interest, in going forward. But I think at some point you need to ask your question, and people in charge need to ask themselves the question: do you have a moral?

"Do you therefore say no to certain things? Or do you just say 'yes' to any big deal that's around the corner, but for the wrong reasons?

"I think that's the bigger picture stuff that people in charge ultimately need to ask themselves."

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, and Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, on the grid

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, and Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, on the grid

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Vettel has been a strong campaigner this year on a number of issues, including the environment and highlighting LGBT rights.

And while F1 has made a lot of its We Race As One campaign, Vettel believes that it needs to put actions behind its words, and do more than a simple ceremony before every race.

"I think there are certain topics that are too big to neglect," he said. "I think we all agree that – and this doesn't matter where you come from – it's only fair to treat people equally.

"I think there are obviously countries that have different rules in place, different governments, different backgrounds.

"Now, I can't speak for all the countries and be an expert, because I don't know. But obviously there's certain aspects in certain countries that I think I know about.

"We go to some of those places, and we roll out a huge carpet with nice messages on it. But I think it takes more than just words, I think it takes actions."

Asked if F1 should be more militant, Vettel said: "I don't know what exactly is the best way to not just communicate on a flag that lies on the track for a couple of minutes.

"But certainly I feel that our sport could apply a lot of pressure and could be of immense help to spread that fairness around the globe even more.

The drivers stand in support of the End Racism campaign prior to the start

The drivers stand in support of the End Racism campaign prior to the start

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

"Because in the end, I think it's not right to judge people or to apply certain laws and to differentiate people just because they happen to love a man instead of a woman or a woman instead of a man.

"I think any form of separation is wrong. Imagine we would all be the same, I think we wouldn't progress.

"I mean, imagine all the cars would look the same in Formula 1. It would be boring: not just the same colour, but also the same aero bits. Now going more into our language, it would be absolutely boring, we would never make progress.

"And the same goes for us. I think we have evolved so much as human species, because we are all different in a way, and I think we should celebrate the difference, rather than be afraid of it."

shares
comments

Related video

Sainz backs Ferrari grid penalty call despite strong Turkey form

Previous article

Sainz backs Ferrari grid penalty call despite strong Turkey form

Next article

Mercedes form has eased fears over 2022-triggered slump

Mercedes form has eased fears over 2022-triggered slump
Load comments
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021