Sebastian Vettel has opened up about his surprise appearance on BBC TV political debate programme ‘Question Time’ this week.
It emerged during last Thursday’s show that the four-time former World Champion would be among the guests on the next panel in Hackney, London.
For those unfamiliar with the programme, hosted by Fiona Bruce, a panel, comprising UK politicians and others including business people and media personalities, answer selected topical questions asked by members of the audience.
Vettel has been chosen for the panel due to his strong views on a variety of subjects unrelated to Formula 1, such as LGBT rights, climate change, sustainability and human rights.
The 34-year-old said he would boycott this year’s race at Sochi if it went ahead – it was subsequently cancelled – due to events in eastern Europe, while last week he wore a T-shirt saying ‘Miami 2060, 1st grand prix under water, act now or swim later’.
Asked what kind of issues he wants to raise on ‘Question Time’, the Aston Martin driver said: “I don’t know, I’m fairly open. But yeah, I think it’s a difficult… not a difficult, a different format.
“And yeah, looking forward to it. I think there’s a lot I can learn. Obviously, I have my opinion. I’m not saying it’s always right or wrong.
“But I think it will be interesting because it will be a very different setting and probably different sorts of questions or topics to be spoken about.
“So yeah, fairly open at this point. And yeah, it really was coincidence, and I think it was an interesting, or it isn’t an interesting opportunity because it’s just different and looking forward to it.”
Vettel wore the T-shirt relating to Miami’s sea level position on stage at the opening ceremony for last week’s inaugural grand prix in the Florida city.
“It’s not a political message, I don’t want to be political. I think it’s a very human message,” he told Sky Sports.
“I find it alarming and I’m surprised we go to a place that will not be here in 50 years and everyone acts as if it’s business as usual. That’s very disturbing to me and I think the situation is very serious, and obviously I want to express my feelings with that T-shirt.
“It’s really just what I feel, I’m not trying to take a political stand. We are in trouble and need to act now, otherwise there will be a lot of suffering.”
The edition of ‘Question Time’ featuring Vettel will be shown on BBC1 at 10.40pm BST on Thursday May 12.