F1 | Russian GP | Vettel assures racing next year with Aston Martin was "not in doubt" as he says raising awareness "is not an agenda"
Sebastian Vettel spoke during media day on Sochi ahead of the Russian GP about what the future holds for him in 2022 with Aston Martin and told his mind on raising awareness within F1 to various issues.
Aston Martin’s drivers’ pairing for 2022 official was made official the week after the Italian GP at Monza, confirming Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll will continue with the ‘British Racing Green’ Team for next year. On media day ahead of the Russian GP, the 34-year-old German spoke about the confirmation that he will race in the category in the 2022 season, in what will be his fifteenth year on F1.
When asked if whether signing a contract extension with Aston Martin was ever in doubt, he answered: "Not really. I think in the end the excitement for next year, the new cars, new regs, and I think where the team is going, everything looks very promising. We don't know until next year, but it's great to be part of that."
"Next year, a lot of things are changing; I don't think anybody is guaranteed to win. But I think the challenge, working with the team, I think the spirit in the team is great, I like the guys.”
After a fabulous 2020 season that set the team that once was Racing Point P4 in the constructors’ standings, the now rebranded Aston Martin is looking ahead to next year, being currently P7 on the championship: "It's been a great season, maybe not in terms of results, but in terms of working. Morale is high, so a lot of things that excite me. Obviously, there are some things over a period of years that you enjoy less, like being here now and answering questions, but yeah."
"I think four or five years horizon is fair in terms of looking back to other teams, how long it took other teams to climb to the top, the vision and the commitment that team has is impressive. And the commitment is very high. So you know, it might be less, but you never know, it might be longer. But I feel that where the team is going, it's a very promising direction and I feel it will happen. So time will tell."
Sebastian Vettel has now become one of F1’s most outspoken personalities, raising awareness about environmental topics, playing a big role in favor of the LGBTIQ+ community, and continuously supporting the Black Lives Matter movement by kneeling during every pre-race ceremony race. The German driver was questioned on whether he knows the impact he’s having on people that never felt so welcomed into the sport before.
"One, I would say it's obviously nice to hear that people feel encouraged and in a way inspired. Two, it's quite sad, isn't it? That's still that threshold that people feel that sometimes they can't overcome, just because of how we behave on average, and what we stand for.” Vettel said.
“I think it's quite sad because there have been so many opportunities to learn from, so many people pushing for great causes, for the right causes, but yet, so many people are holding on to the past and just not willing to open up to embrace the differences. I mean, not everybody is the same, we are different, but that's a good thing, it's something we shouldn't be afraid of, something we should rather embrace and celebrate because is what makes us, us. So I'm a bit split, like happy and sad at the same time.”
“I'm not conscious and it's not an agenda, it's: whatever I say is what I stand for, it's not because it's maybe what people would like to hear or what could be good to say in a certain moment. And it's always, more the actions that define us, rather than the words.”
“If I talk about helping, then... if somebody falls down, I should be the one helping him or her up. And not just talking about 'it's important to help people'. I think that's much more important. Do good, but you don't have to talk about it, and if other people talk about it, if they want to, that's fine, I don't mind. We're on display here, when we are racing, but I think it matters a lot more who you are as in, what defines you as a person.” He concluded.