Drivers bring special Vettel option into play

Several Formula 1 drivers have raised the possibility that Sebastian Vettel could continue to serve as director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) after his retirement. Vettel, who has announced that he intends to retire from Formula 1 at the end of the 2022 season, has been a member of the driver community board since 2010.

He is currently one of three directors alongside Mercedes driver George Russell and Anastasia Fowle, who is also the organization’s legal advisor, and the chairman, ex-Formula 1 driver Alexander Wurz.

In the press conference ahead of the Hungaroring event, Alpine driver Esteban Ocon said that Vettel was “a great ambassador for all drivers” who “raises his voice when it comes to our safety and all the things he wants to do in relation to the… Driver not liked”. Ocon adds: “In that regard, I hope he doesn’t stray too far from the paddock.”

“Seb is a guy who often just tells it like it is”

When asked whether a possible replacement for Vettel in the GPDA would have to be similarly open in terms of driver questions and whether there was such a candidate in the current field, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas explained their thoughts on Vettel’s possible whereabouts in his role.

“We’ll see if he wants to continue,” says the McLaren driver. “Certainly he did a good job. Seb is a guy who often just says it like it is and I don’t mean that in an aggressive way, he’s just very honest and direct.”

“And when it comes to issues like safety, we don’t need to beat around the bush. So I think he’s really good character for the position. I think we’ll discuss that internally and see who could be a good replacement . But, yes, he was great for us,” said Ricciardo.

Bottas: “I hope he continues”

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas says: “I feel like it’s quite hard to replace Seb in that kind of role because he’s who he is. He’s really direct and doesn’t sidestep things. He says the Things just the way they are and loudly questions a lot of things.”

“I hope he continues. I’m not sure if he’s keen but it would be great if he could continue,” hopes the Finn.

An example of Vettel’s commitment to driver safety was Belgium 2021 when McLaren’s Lando Norris flew off after the Eau Rouge in qualifying and Vettel stopped on track to check on the Briton’s health.

Recently, the Aston Martin driver was also fined €25,000 on probation for leaving the drivers’ briefing early at the Austria weekend, unhappy with the focus being on issues such as track limitations rather than the general issues the driver.

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