Vettel skirts ‘personal doubts’ Saudi Arabia question
Sebastian Vettel has implied he is uneasy about visiting F1’s next venue on the calendar in Saudi Arabia.
The Aston Martin driver has spoken freely this year on a number of key issues beyond F1, including the environment and LGBTQ+ rights.
The four-time champion also recently questioned aspects of F1’s revenues given the human rights records of particular countries visited on the calendar. ‘It’s wrong we go to certain places because if you had morals then you would just say no,” remarked Vettel.
Questioned after Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix whether he was looking forward to the next race in Saudi Arabia, a country that has been accused of ‘sportswashing’, Vettel replied: “No.”
After a slightly nervous giggle, he added: “I don’t know. It’s a new track, so we will see.”
Then asked whether he had “personal doubts about visiting the country for obvious reasons”, Vettel smiled and replied: “Next questions.”
Vettel endures frustration in Qatar
In visiting Qatar at the weekend, Vettel left that particular country that has also been accused of human rights violations, with a top-10 finish for the third time in four races.
Vettel started and finished the race in 10th although he knows it should have been so much more but for falling to 18th out of turn one.
Explaining what unfolded, Vettel said: “I was a bit squeezed, didn’t have anywhere to go, tried to go round the outside but it was sandier than I expected.
“There was a lot of dust, a lot of cars around, and I lost the car on the entry to turn one trying to recover some positions and went wide, and lost basically all the positions. I had to give way to the cars on the inside. It was a struggle.
“It’s frustrating because the car was quick once we were in free air, having the same pace on the softs as the cars in front.
“We came from 18th back to P10 which is a reasonable recovery but not ideal because we lost too much ground at the start.
“I overtook an AlphaTauri and a McLaren, so it was a strong race but obviously starting on the backfoot hurts.”
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November 23, 2021 at 05:08PM