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Drivers must be role models, says Domenicali

NEWS STORY
05/02/2021

Citing drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nikita Mazepin - albeit for entirely different reasons - F1 boss, Stefan Domenicali says that drivers should be role models for the sport.

While the seven-time world champion is known well beyond the race track limits for his activism on a whole host of issues, Mazepin made the headlines late last year before even making his F1 race debut.

The Russian, who has already garnered a somewhat unfavourable reputation for his actions on and off track, posted a video on social media which showed him apparently groping a young woman.

Following an outcry on social media, Haas launched an investigation into the incident which it and F1 described as abhorrent, however, to the disappointment of those who had launched the #WeSayNoToMazepin hashtag on Twitter, the American team subsequently said the mater had been "dealt with internally" and "no further comment" would be made.

Using both men as an example, Stefano Domenicali told members of the media that drivers must be role models for the sport.

"Lewis is an incredible driver, an incredible man and an incredible athlete," he said of the seven-time world champion. "But there is more than that.

"He has given F1 a different dimension that is beyond the sport," he continued. "He is a massive ambassador for F1. He is also an ambassador for other values and issues that are really relevant.

"Lewis is really very important to F1 because he is embracing other values and bringing them into the discussion, and putting his face to issues out of the normal sport."

Referring to Mazepin, he said: "I would say that it was pretty clear what Mazepin did was not acceptable. We need to make sure that in the discussions that we will have that they understand we cannot joke about certain things. It's not possible.

"We cannot lose the opportunity in making sure they understand they are more than drivers, they have a big responsibility because they are the face of our sport," he continued. "They have to understand that their behaviour and their words and a lead-by-example approach is what I am expecting to share with them.

"I want to share how I believe we should work together also in using our platform and their role model to push for issues that are important for our society. They are too important not to understand they are role models that they have to embrace."

The Italian also voiced his hope that Hamilton will soon sign on the dotted line for Mercedes.

"I really hope that we can have this announcement soon because what he's going to fight for this year is something that from a sporting perspective is incredible. I can imagine the pressure and the dynamic on how he wants to reach this new record because that would be an incredible story to tell."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 06/02/2021 2:59

"'
OOOPs... Should read 'pasted on the back of steering 'wheels'...mea culpa."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 06/02/2021 0:50

"@ Flyinglap...good post. I share your opinions. F1 is rapidly disintegrating into a platform for all the latest, in vogue, 'social engineering movements' spreading inexorably across the world. Goodness me...what next?

It's hard to keep up but the latest is Norris, banging on about mental health! Every minority wants a share of the pie and it's diluting the very F1 'raison d'etre'. It's becoming such a mess. Even during the races we are visually assaulted with social slogans pasted on the back of the steering rules so if we want to either ignore or push to one side to concentrate on the action we can't! It's in our faces whether we like it or not, and that is wrong. I have no problem with people voicing their own opinions. On the contrary, that's the sign of a healthy society. Just keep it all out of F1...

"

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3. Posted by flyinglap, 05/02/2021 23:11

"Domenicali is already on the job (the really important one, the one he is being paid for), i.e. telling the drivers (and therefore, us all as well) about "the issues that are important to society". F1 has officially become a platform for spreading "universal values", it is not a sport awarding bravery, skill, brains and technological progress anymore, not even the cynical business that it used to be in its old "corporate" days under Bernie Ecclestone. And may we ask, who is deciding which are those "important issues", and "important" by whose standards, and in view of what ultimate agenda? Really?! Hamilton "good", Mazepin "bad"; are we supposed to be treated like 2-year olds now? I only hope that F1 soon becomes the target of a hostile takeover, as that might be the only chance for things (and for racing) to improve. As things stand, it is becoming increasingly pathetic, and it really pains me to write this. By the way, I suppose that a character like James Hunt would not be considered a proper "role model" today, according to Domenicali."

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4. Posted by The edge, 05/02/2021 18:01

"I seem to remember a certain FIA staff member who didn’t set a very good example"

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5. Posted by Lapps, 05/02/2021 14:27

"Agree with kanji. Please keep your politics, of any stripe, out of our Sport. If it is permitted, where will it end?"

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6. Posted by kenji, 05/02/2021 14:05

"I'm afraid that i don't agree with Dom here. F1 is the very top echelon of motor racing. That's where it starts and that where it [ should ] finish. To embrace political agendas is totally wrong and should not be entertained."

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