Sebastian Vettel regrets that the intense rivalry amongst modern day Formula 1 drivers prevents strong friendships to develop within the sport.
— Sebastian Vettel (@FansOfSebVettel) August 4, 2015
The four-time World Champion compared past generations of drivers with his own present lineage, underlining how great friendships and humanity were an important part of the sport decades ago despite fierce rivalry.
The German believes a lack of time and prevailing self-interest are a deterrent to developing any meaningful relationships amongst his peers, calling the situation “sad”.
“There is not much time for the drivers to hang out, everyone puts their own interest before everything else. It is sad,” Vettel said.
“It is different times today than it was 30 or 40 years ago, when you had a lot of things happening which naturally puts the group together. Now everyone has their own life much more, looking at how busy we are at the track.”
In an era dominated by the politically correct, and agendas set by sponsors, drivers are not awarded much free movement over a Grand Prix weekend. Several drivers appear to enjoy a strong camaraderie however, with Vettel himself often spending time with team mate Kimi Raikkonen away from the race track.
Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber were also close when the Australian was active in F1, while Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were childhood friends who grew up karting together, although their present day relationship is obviously strained on the backdrop of their intense competition at Mercedes.
“In the end we share a common passion, even if it is normal some of the guys you don’t like,” Vettel concluded. “It is like a school class – there are some guys you like and some you don’t like, but it doesn’t mean you can’t hang out.”
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