Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Hamilton and Vettel say they will continue to speak out

Formula 1
Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel say they’ll proceed to talk out on points regardless of opposition from FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

The boss of Components 1’s governing physique steered final week that drivers mustn’t impose their opinions on others.

Hamilton stated it was vital the game continues to be a platform “to spark extra conversations”.

Vettel stated variety and environmental issues have been “greater than us, greater than the game can ever be”.

Ben Sulauyem stated in an interview with GrandPrix247: “Vettel drives a rainbow bicycle, Lewis is captivated with human rights and [Lando] Norris addresses psychological well being.

“All people has the correct to suppose. To me, it’s about deciding whether or not we should always impose our beliefs in one thing over the game on a regular basis.

“I’m from an Arabian tradition. I’m worldwide and Muslim. I don’t impose my beliefs on different individuals? No means. By no means.”

A day after the interview was printed, he appeared to row again on his remarks, posting on Twitter: “As a driver, I’ve at all times believed in sport as a catalyst of progress in society.

“That’s the reason selling sustainability, variety and inclusion is a key precedence of my mandate. In the identical means, I worth the dedication of all drivers and champions for a greater future.”

Hamilton and Vettel have been outspoken on variety points lately, whereas Vettel has additionally began to champion environmentalism.

Hamilton stated it was “constructive” Ben Sulayem had clarified his remarks.

He stated he was “proud” of his Mercedes workforce for utilizing logos on their automobile at this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix to advertise Satisfaction month, including: “I encourage all of the drivers to be extra outspoken and use their platform.”

Vettel added: “It is very important specific and point out [these topics], increase consciousness, making individuals conscious there are many issues we are able to enhance on.”

Their remarks got here within the official information convention earlier than this weekend’s race in Baku.

And later there was a clumsy second when the drivers have been requested whether or not they had confidence in Ben Sulayem and the FIA.

Hamilton and Vettel have been alongside Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Williams driver Nicholas Latifi. Initially, none of them needed to reply the query.

Ultimately, after each Vettel and Hamilton refused to be the primary to reply, Alonso stated: “I’ve full belief within the FIA president.”

Alonso, who has been outspoken in his criticism of a few of the FIA’s race-management selections this 12 months, added: “Perhaps we noticed a couple of issues initially of the 12 months that weren’t as constant as we requested for.

“There’s room to enhance however I’ve full belief within the FIA president that he’ll repair the issues that have to be mounted.”

Leclerc stated: “I want to see a bit extra consistency. There’s room for enchancment and now we simply must make issues higher.”

Hamilton added: “On Mohammed, it is an enormous function and large sneakers to fill. There are many issues he desires to do and alter.”

The drivers’ remarks come towards a backdrop of growing unhappiness inside F1 about the best way the FIA is working the game, to the extent that industrial rights holders Liberty has explored whether or not it might sideline the governing physique, lowering it to a ceremonial function.

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