Vettel: Drivers don’t have to shout ‘sh*t’ 10 times

Jon Wilde
Close-up of Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin cockpit. Yas Marina December 2021.

Close-up of Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin cockpit during the Abu Dhabi post-season test. Yas Marina December 2021.

Sebastian Vettel says emotions sometimes get in the way of his efforts to set the right language examples to children with his team radio messages.

As a father of three with his wife Hanna, the 34-year-old Aston Martin driver is fully aware of the responsibilities he has considering the most colourful radio messages tend to be broadcast to TV viewers – albeit with the obligatory beeps if the mark is overstepped.

The four-time former world title-holder, who has become an increasingly high-profile champion of social and environmental causes, says there is nothing wrong with trying to be a “saint” – but the high-pressure environment of the cockpit makes it difficult to fulfil that aim.

“When I started, nobody cared what I yelled into the helmet because hardly anyone could hear it,” said the German during an interview with F1-Insider.

“It’s different today. I often got headwind for my emotions. It’s comparable to the first reactions of football players on the pitch.

“I think you should live out your feelings and stand by them. But you don’t have to shout ‘sh*t’ 10 times. You don’t have to be a saint. But you should at least show you want to be one.

“I also want to demonstrate a certain language for my children. But emotions remain important, especially in sport. Sometimes you are happy, sometimes angry, sometimes sad.

“There is no shame in showing exactly that. But what is decisive is the way you show it.”

In regard to parenthood, Vettel has echoed the words of his friend and former team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in saying he could not see himself becoming a Jos Verstappen-type figure and doing everything he could to turn any of his children into a Formula 1 superstar.

“I want my children to be happy, no matter what they do. I have zero expectations,” said Vettel.

“I’ve seen so many people who have a lot of money and still aren’t happy, and vice versa. The bigger the bank balance, the greater the happiness…that formula is not true.

“I know many people who chase after big money but when the chequered flag falls, there is no pot of luck. Luck is when you have fun. And that’s what I want for my children.

 

“I know it sounds romantic, especially if you have money yourself. But it’s what I believe in.

“If it’s really the case that they want to drive, I would support them in that. But I wouldn’t be sad if that’s not the case either.”