Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Hamilton & Vettel confirm that they will continue to speak out
Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton say they will continue speaking out on issues after Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of the FIA, asked them whether they should.
Last week, the boss of Formula 1’s governing body suggested that drivers shouldn’t “impose their beliefs on others.”
Hamilton stated that it was vital the sport remains a platform to “spark more conversations.”
Vettel stated that diversity and environmental issues were more important than we are, bigger than any sport could ever be.
In an interview with GrandPrix247, Ben Sulayem stated that “Vettel rides a rainbow bike, Lewis is passionately about human rights, and Lando Norris addresses mental well-being.”
- “Everybody has the freedom to think. It is about deciding whether or not we should place our beliefs in something above the sport.
- “I’m from the Arabian culture. I am both Muslim and international. Do I impose my beliefs upon others? Never. Never.”
- He posted on Twitter, “As a driver I have always believed that sport is a catalyst for progress in society.”
“That’s why I make it a priority to promote sustainability, diversity, and inclusion as part of my mandate.” As such, I appreciate the efforts of all champions and drivers for a better tomorrow.
Hamilton and Vettel were vocal in recent years on diversity issues, while Vettel started to advocate environmentalism.
Hamilton stated it was positive. Ben Sulayem clarified his comments.
He stated that he was proud of his Mercedes team’s use of logos on their cars at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. This was to promote Pride Month.
Vettel said, “It’s important to express and discuss [these topics], raise awareness and make people aware that there are many things we can improve upon.”
- They made their remarks at the official news conference that took place before the race in Baku this weekend.
- Later, the awkward moment came when drivers were asked if they believed in Ben Sulayem or the FIA.
Hamilton and Vettel were joined by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Williams’ driver Nicholas Latifi. At first, neither of them wanted to answer the question.
After Hamilton and Vettel refused to answer the question, Alonso finally said that he had complete trust in Hamilton, the president of the FIA.
Alonso has been vocal in his criticisms of some of the FIA’s race-management decisions this past year. He added: “Maybe, we saw a few items at the start of the year that weren’t as consistent as what we requested.”
- “There are still areas for improvement, but I trust the FIA president to fix what needs fixing.”
- Leclerc stated that he would like to see more consistency. There are many areas for improvement, and we need to do better.