Formula 1 is suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. Last season, drivers with positive tests dropped out, spectators are no longer there and this year’s season opener in Australia also fell out of the calendar and had to be postponed to Bahrain.
In the Arabian Gulf state, Sebastian Vettel would already have had the opportunity to be vaccinated against the virus. But the 33-year-old family man decided against it and gives a remarkable reason.
The thoughtful German has already attracted attention with statements on social issues or environmental questions. The four-time Formula 1 world champion spoke out clearly to RTL when it came to vaccinations against the Corona pandemic.
“Formula 1 had the offer to be vaccinated in Bahrain. I deliberately refrained from doing so because it’s not my turn yet,” Vettel told the broadcaster.
It is questionable whether the vaccine he would use might not benefit someone “who should be on it sooner”, says the experienced driver.
“But it’s a matter of principle. There are many people who want to be vaccinated. Many are waiting. Younger people are not as much at risk as older people. I will get vaccinated, but only when it’s my turn,” Vettel continues, making his position clear.
Drivers like Sergio Perez or Vettel’s Ferrari successor Carlos Sainz accepted the vaccination offer. Some teams gave their employees the option of receiving the first dose. Only AlphaTauri made the vaccination compulsory for its employees, and tyre manufacturer Pirelli also vaccinated all its employees at the first race weekend of the season.
The reason for Vettel’s clear statement was that at that time vaccinations had already been given at major events in Bahrain, while locals had not yet received a dose. Thus, for every vaccinated foreign visitor, theoretically one local would have to wait longer. Only 1.6 million people live in the kingdom.