Sebastian Vettel admits that he is not looking forward to racing in Saudi Arabia for the next round of Formula 1.
The Aston Martin driver has been very vocal about social issues over the last few years. Earlier this year, he criticized F1’s decision to race in the Saudi Arabian capital. He even went as far as questioning how ‘clean’ the money F1 earns from these countries actually is.
“It’s wrong we go to certain places because if you had morals then you would just say no,” said Vettel.
Vettel openly spoke about issues such as LGBTQ rights this year. Saudi Arabia is a country that is known for suppressing the rights of these people. As a result, Vettel and many drivers are reluctant to visit the country in 2 weeks.
Sebastian Vettel wearing the rainbow flag at the #HungarianGP, in a country that recently voted anti-LGBTQ laws.
Mad respect. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/w9GfIG9VVc
— Fiona ‘Gráinne’ B. (@Grainne_Fiona) August 1, 2021
Last week, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton spoke about how F1 must address the ‘human rights issues’ in the countries they visit.
How Sebastian Vettel will be received in Saudi Arabia following his comments is yet to be seen. However, the former Red Bull driver was honest about his opinions based on his personal beliefs.
Sebastian Vettel does not want to race in Saudi Arabia
In a recent interview, Vettel was asked if he was looking forward to racing under the lights in Jeddah. The four-time World Champion replied with a curt, “No.”
After a brief pause, he continued, “I don’t know. It’s a new track, so we will see.”
A reporter then asked whether his apprehension to race in Jeddah was because of his personal beliefs for ‘obvious reasons’. Vettel avoided answering this question. Instead, the German just smiled and said, “Next question”.
Amazing that Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel stood up for LGBTQ+ ppl in Hungary but we need that same energy when F1 is in Saudi Arabia where homosexuality is still illegal and punishable with chemical castration, life in prison and even death.
— Jason Reid (@JasonReidUK) August 1, 2021
The 34-year-old has been widely praised for taking a stand against global issues. He believes that it is ‘time for professional athletes to raise their voices’.
“Times have changed, and we cannot duck anymore,” he said. “We cannot hide anymore behind the curtain of performance and professional interest.”
F1 is set to make its debut in Saudi Arabia in 2 weeks. The Jeddah Street Circuit is labelled as the fastest street circuit and will become a permanent addition to the calendar from 2022.