“I wanted to send a message”– Sebastian Vettel talks about the importance of sending across the message of LGBTQ+ in today’s world.
Sebastian Vettel displayed staunch support for the LGBTQ+ community during the Hungarian Grand Prix when the government over there reportedly released a law allegedly stigmatizing the people of LBTQ+.
The four-time world champion dawned his mask in pride colours and had a customized T-shirt with ‘same love’, and now Vettel, while talking about his support to the community, claims it was an important message to send.
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
“I wasn’t nervous or embarrassed by the rainbow colours, or of what people think,” Vettel says. “I wanted to send a message, and I was very proud to do it,” said Vettel in a special episode of the BBC’s LGBT Sport Podcast,
“I remembered I’d seen in the news that the current government doesn’t have the most progressive views on certain things,” Vettel says when he speaks to the BBC via a Zoom call.
“There was a lot of debate about the laws that prohibit access to all ages getting a wholesome education and leaving some parts out, which I think is completely wrong.
“So the idea was born that we have this moment before the race where we are able to put out certain messages, and I thought it was a good opportunity to send out a small sign.”
Inspired by a beautiful song
Vettel then talked about the T-shirt he wore at Hungaroring, inscribed with two words- ‘Same Love’, and he claims it’s a nice way to clear people’s wrong perceptions.
“It’s the name of a beautiful song by Macklemore, and I think it explains in a nice way some of the wrong perceptions people have,” Vettel says.
“It doesn’t matter your skin colour, it doesn’t matter your background, it doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter who you fall in love with. In the end, you just want equal treatment for everybody.”
I was surprised that it was such a big deal
Aston Martin’s chief communications officer talks about how he was the only gay in F1 village 30 years ago, but it upsets him to know that people from LGBTQ+ are still a rarity in F1.
“I joke that, when I arrived nearly 30 years ago, I was the only gay in the F1 village,” says Bishop. “Now I’m not that, but LGBTQ+ people in Formula 1 are still a rarity.”
“So to have someone like Seb, who is a straight man who completely understands that one should be able to live and let live, and love and make love to whoever you like, is very heartening. It’s what we call allyship, and as I said to Sebastian, it meant a lot to me.”
On the other hand, Vettel received much support on social media for his actions, and even his contemporary Lewis Hamilton joined in to support LGBTQ+ people’s rights in Hungary.
“I was surprised it was so much of a big deal,” Vettel admits. Ideally, there wouldn’t be any reaction because it’s just normal. There are countries still arguing about whether gay marriage should be legal or not legal.”
“I think there’s enough marriage for all of us, you know. It makes no difference to straight people whether gay people are allowed to get married or not, but it makes a huge difference to gay people to be able to get married like everyone else.”
“So yeah, I was surprised – but it shows that there’s still so much that needs to be done.”