Vettel: This is not the sport I fell in love with


Just days after rubbishing claims that he is to retire at season end, a clearly disappointed Sebastian Vettel admitted unhappiness with the current state of the sport, revealing a frustration the clearly goes beyond it.

Admitting that he more or less had to be forced to attend the official post-race press conference, far less the podium ceremony, the German was a million miles away from the man we had witnessed just twenty-four hours earlier celebrating his hard-won pole position.

"I was just thinking that I really love my racing," he said. "I'm a purist, I love going back and looking at the old times, the old cars, the old drivers. It's an honour when you have the chance to meet them and talk to them; they're heroes in a way.

"So I really love that but I just wish I was maybe as good, doing what I do, but being in their time rather than today," he added.

"It's not just about that decision today," he admitted, "there's other decisions... Just hear the wording when people come on the radio, that we have now. We have an official language, I think it's all wrong. I think we should be able to say what we think but we're not, so in this regard I disagree with where the sport is now.

"You have all this wording 'I gained an advantage, I didn't gain an advantage, I avoided a collision'. I just think it's wrong, you know, it's not really what we're doing in the car. It's racing, it's common sense. If there's a hazard on track, obviously you slow down because it's quite unnatural to keep the pedal to the floor and run into the car and then say, 'ah, it's wrong that the car was there'.

"I rejoined the track and then Lewis obviously had to react," he continued. "I don't know how close it was or close he was. Once I looked in the mirror he was sort of there but for me that's racing and I think a lot of the people that I just mentioned earlier, the old Formula One drivers and people in the grandstands and so on, would agree that this is just part of racing... but nowadays, it's just... I don't like it.

"We all sound a bit like lawyers, using the official language. I think it just gives no edge to people and no edge to the sport.

"Ultimately it's not the sport that I fell in love with when I was watching. Obviously it hurts me today because it impacts on my race result but I think this more of a bigger criteria.

"Tomorrow, when I wake up, I won't be disappointed. I think Lewis and myself we share great respect and I think we've achieved so much in the sport, I think we're both very, very blessed to be in that position so one win up, one win down, I don't think it's a game-changer if you've been around for such a long time, but as I said, I'm not happy about all this complaining and stuff that we see so many times."

Asked if such decisions made him question his future in the sport, he replied: "I don't know...

"I'm not ready for this kind of question..." he continued. "I don't know, I just feel that nowadays we look at so many things that maybe we didn't look at in the past because nobody was really making a fuss. Now, obviously it's worth making a fuss for everything because you have these decisions.

"I sympathise in a way with the stewards," he admitted. "I've said many times when I've been in there that they are sitting in front of a piece of paper and they're watching the race and they also came back to me and say we agree but look, we have to do these kind of things so I think just the way we are doing these things now is just wrong.

"But it's our times, we have regulations for everything. We need to have this jacket when... I don't know, it's clear there's a hole when walking down a pedestrian walk and there is a hole in the street because they're doing construction work and there needs to be a be guy who guides you to the other side of the road, otherwise it's the construction company's fault that you fell into the hole and broke a leg, but I think you're just an idiot if you walk into that hole and break you leg but that's a little bit how my theory is nowadays. The approaches are drifting apart."

Asked about the moments after her parked his car, he said: "I parked the car in parc ferme, a different parc ferme, the one that is not for the top three and then went to get weighed and then at that point didn't really want to join anything that was obviously happening after that.

"I wasn't very heated up, obviously angry and disappointed but I think everybody understands why, but I think it's a matter of respect to show to Lewis and Charles and also the representative for Mercedes on the podium, to be part of the podium.

"Certainly it wasn't the place where I wanted to be," he admitted, "because at that point you just want to get out but yeah, also sitting here is not of my free will but I have to be here."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Montreal, here.

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Published: 10/06/2019
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