“Driving anywhere in the world”: Vettel is still diplomatic in Qatar

“Driving anywhere in the world”
Vettel is still diplomatic in Qatar

When the Formula 1 entourage stops in Qatar, the opinionated drivers are allowed to speak freely in the field, according to the organizer. Sebastian Vettel, who has already made numerous clear announcements this season, has not yet made use of the promise.

The four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has avoided criticism of the Formula 1 race in the desert state of Qatar. “It’s more of a question for the whole of Formula 1 and not just for me as an individual,” said Vettel on Thursday. Before that, 34-year-old Hesse had been asked at a press conference whether he would rather take the position of moving to the controversial emirate to drive a change or simply stay away. Vettel called it “a difficult question” that “concerns us all”. By that he meant the entire Formula 1 community.

On this Sunday (3 p.m. / Sky and in the live ticker on ntv.de) For the first time, a Grand Prix of the world’s most important motorsport series will take place in Qatar. This year the Losail International Circuit is still stepping in for the canceled race in Australia. A long-term contract for ten years from 2023 has already been concluded. “We drive the cars all over the world,” said Vettel simply. There are places “that we know and whose cultures we feel closer to” and others too.

Qatar, the small country on a peninsula on the Persian Gulf, has for years been heavily criticized internationally for its disregard for human rights and the exploitation of migrant workers. Those in power have long been accused of trying to improve the battered image through extensive involvement in professional sport. The Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place exactly one year to the day before the opening game of the World Cup. The human rights organization Amnesty International recently appealed to Formula 1: “The drivers and their teams should be ready to draw attention to human rights in Qatar in the run-up to this race.”

“Some topics belong everywhere”

The organizer had promised that the drivers would not have to fear a muzzle. “The drivers are free to express their opinion on contentious issues,” said Qatar’s Motorsport Association President Abdulrahman Al Mannai: “We are happy to support the drivers in expressing opinions on their platforms. For us in Qatar this is not an issue because they are free are to say whatever they want to say. ” Record world champion Lewis Hamilton, one of the most opinionated pilots in the world with enormous range, had announced: “I don’t think we should go to these countries and ignore what is happening there,” said the seven-time world champion.

Sebastian Vettel had also repeatedly expressed himself critically in the past few months and, for example, set an example for diversity with rainbow colors on the helmet at the Hungarian Grand Prix. “I find it embarrassing for a country that is in the EU to have such laws or to vote on them,” said the 2010 to 2013 world champion. He criticized Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government for banning information about homosexuality and transsexuality, for example: “I think there are a few topics that you can’t hide from. Some topics are so big that they really belong everywhere and should keep everyone busy. “

source site-59