Sebastian Vettel has explained why he has developed an interest in speaking out on various issues in a way that he did not do earlier in his F1 career.
The four-time world Champion is known for using his voice to address a range of concerns. In May, Vettel paid a visit to London, where he spoke to inmates at Feltham Young Offenders Institution as he viewed their new motor mechanics workshop.
He also met school children at the Oasis Nurture School, before ending the day by appearing on BBC political debate show Question Time.
Additionally, Vettel has regularly spoken about his concerns for the environment, and has become an ally for underrepresented groups in motorsport.
This has involved supporting the LGBTQ community, with the German having recently suggested that Formula 1 is ready for an openly gay driver.
Vettel thinks everyone should care about such issues
When asked where his desire to speak out on these kinds of issues has come from – given that it was not really something he did to the same extent during his Red Bull days – Vettel argued that it should not just be him who is taking an interest.
"There's no sort of one experience that kicked it off," Vettel told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I feel I shouldn't be the exception. I feel that we should all feel like this, because it is addressing all of us. It is already impacting on all of us today, and it will do more so in the future. The younger you are, the more so, and for generations to come, even more so.
"I often get the question, why is this important to you? This is not important to me, this is important to all of us, and I don't see why it cannot be.
"How can you ignore [it]? Even if you don't care, which I can see some people do not, but you don't have that luxury anymore to not care, because it's the foundation of all of what we do.
"So, without drifting away, I see this [as] extremely important."
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The life events that gave Vettel a different perspective
Whilst Vettel does not single out any one experience as contributing to his activism work, he admits that having children made him think more about the future.
"[In terms of] why, yeah, looking back, there was a time where obviously I wasn't as aware," the Aston Martin driver explained.
"But I think the moment you become more and more aware, the moment I became a father, you're thinking more about the future. So certain things probably do change.
"But, like I said, unfortunately, kids today, kids like Max [Verstappen] or the next generation [of] young drivers, or even younger than Max and kids after that, they will not have that luxury of not caring. Even if they don't, it will impact them.
"And I think it's for all of us to think of what we can do to shift change, to raise awareness, and it's something we cannot run away from.
"Unless you want to race on the moon, which I don't think is as exciting – there's not much downforce on the moon!"
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