Sebastian Vettel is sticking by his decision to shy away from social media despite the overwhelming presence on the internet’s various platforms of all of his F1 colleagues and their teams.
For a driver of any status, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts are tools of self-promotion in the world’s digital era.
Even Vettel’s former Ferrari teammate, the quiet Kimi Raikkonen eventually embraced the social media craze, but the Aston Martin driver still believes the platforms are made for entertainment rather than information.
“Social media is a great way to reach a lot of people,” Vettel acknowledged, speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport. “But it depends on what you want to achieve; if you want to show off the socks you wear or if you want something more.
“If I have an important message, I don’t think I need my own platform, the message still gets through. I’m interested in taking action.”
And the two-time world champion has taken action this year and conveyed a few messages that were well publicized… on social media.
Last month in Austria, the eco-conscious Vettel set up a competition for local schools in Styria involving the creation of a bee hotel in the shape of an F1 car. At Silverstone a few weeks later, the 34-year-old concluded his British Grand Prix weekend by picking litter out of the grandstands.
In another effort to deliver an important message, Vettel sported a gay pride T-shirt at the Hungarian Grand Prix and voiced his concerns over a piece of legislation recently passed by the Hungarian government that aims to ban the representation of homosexuals and transgender individuals in schools or entertainment programs destined to under 18-year-olds.
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Vettel obviously isn’t afraid to speak up and use his notoriety to draw awareness to specific environment or societal issues.
“F1 has this ability to communicate the right messages,” he added. “I’m not saying F1 has to educate, because that would mean thinking it has the truth in its pocket.
“But it certainly has to say that we should all do our bit to solve problems, even huge ones like climate change.
“We have to realise that there is no turning back. F1 cannot just be about fast cars and the best technology, it must not just talk, it must act fast.
“I think I’m in a position where I can inspire people. Even if I could do it with just one, that would be enough. It wasn’t a specific campaign, I did it for myself, and at the same time to give a signal.”
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