Sebastian Vettel has taken a defiant stance after receiving a reprimand from the FIA for failing to remove a t-shirt he had worn during the We Race As One moment for the national anthem.
The Aston Martin driver showed his support for the LGBTQ+ community at the Hungarian Grand Prix by wearing a rainbow-coloured top featuring the slogan 'same love', having previously joined Lewis Hamilton in speaking out against the anti-LGBTQ law in Hungary. During the pre-race moment where the drivers pledge their support for We Race As One, guidelines issues by the FIA's race director state that drivers are free to wear a "GPDA issued WRAO t-shirt or any attire conveying a message in support of the WeRaceAsOne values".
However, when the national anthem is played after this, the guidelines state that drivers should "remove their t-shirts and move to their name card position for the National Anthem, wearing their race suits". Following the Hungarian Grand Prix, Vettel, Lance Stroll, Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas were all summoned to see the stewards for failing to remove their t-shirts during the anthem, and all four were given reprimands. The stewards said in their rulings for each driver: "The driver explained that he forgot to take off the WRAO t-shirt in time during the national anthem because of the onset of rain."
This same wording was used for Vettel, even though he wore a different t-shirt to the standard We Race As One piece. Before the stewards' decision was announced, Vettel admitted that he had no regrets about what he did.
"I heard it’s because I left my shirt on for the national anthem," Vettel told Sky Sports F1 when asked about possibility of being summoned to see the stewards.
"I’m happy if they disqualify me. They can do whatever they want to me, I don’t care. I would do it again."
Throughout the weekend in Hungary Vettel showed support for the LGBTQ+ community, having used a helmet with a rainbow-coloured design as well as wearing shoes featuring a rainbow flag.
The 34-year-old had a strong race at the Hungaroring and finished a surprise second behind Esteban Ocon in the Alpine. However, Vettel was later disqualified after the FIA were unable to take enough of a fuel sample from his Aston Martin car at the end of the race. Aston Martin intend to appeal the decision.