Sebastian Vettel has expressed his hope that a recent visit to London will increase awareness of the lack of opportunities young people face in deprived areas.
During his week off between the inaugural Miami Grand Prix weekend and the Spanish Grand Prix, Vettel visited London, where he met with young offenders in HMP Feltham, opening up a mechanics school before talking to the inmates personally, telling them that they could get jobs in the sport. Not long after his visit to the prison, Vettel met school children in Lower Marsh, opening up a therapy room before rounding off his day with an appearance on BBC’s Question Time in Hackney alongside the Attorney general for the UK, Suella Braverman.
During this morning’s press conference in Barcelona, which MotorLAT attended, Vettel discussed his hopes for the visit’s legacy while also expressing his hopes that more opportunities would be created.
“The trip to London, as I said, was very interesting; obviously, I visited the boys’ prison in Feltham, then the school in Waterloo and then I had the evening with question time. It’s always interesting to meet different people in different circumstances and different age groups. What I take from it is that I’ve been very, very lucky where I’ve been brought up I’ve had lots of love around me, my parents taking the time and having the opportunity to look after me, (I) visited the kids in Waterloo which is in London one of the biggest & richest cities in the World.”
“But yet you go off the main road just by a block or two you find kids that a lot of their path is already drawn and they might not have anywhere near the opportunities and possibilities or love that I had and enjoyed so they might find themselves in a dead-end road and be stuck there... which is shocking because as I said, there is so much possibility around in London, so much money around in London and yet so much you can still improve. It’s not a London problem; generally, in big cities around the World, you have the same (problem).”
“I find that very inspirational, and it really kicks off the need that we have to do something, and if we can raise awareness, raise attention, that’s a good thing, and ultimately, if we can just help a few of those kids it’s already a big achievement, but ideally, a lot of these children have a better life then maybe it would look on paper.”
The four-time World champion, a keen motorbike enthusiast in his spare time, has been spotted in the paddock with a bandage on his left knee. He later revealed that the bandage had been placed on his knee because of a recent motorbike accident.
“Yeah, I hurt myself on a motorbike last week, it wasn’t that bad, but it’s better to cover (up).”