With the 2022 season officially complete, meaning four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel is now classed as a retired Formula 1 driver, many drivers have begun to speak on what the German meant to them.
Lando Norris is the latest of a number of drivers to speak about the former Aston Martin driver, with the McLaren star highlighting that he will “learn” from what the 35-year-old did during his time in the sport.
Norris’ comment is in reference to the German’s incredible work off-circuit over the last few years, where Vettel was an ally to a number of communities and campaigns, such as the LGBTQ community and campaigns like climate change.
He would often wear a t-shirt, face mask, or helmet in support of something that needed to be spoken about more on a global platform, with the 53-time Grand Prix winner having used his voice, too, at every given moment.
He was also the first driver to take a knee with Lewis Hamilton in response to ‘Black Lives Matters’, which began following the inhumane death of George Floyd.
Norris discussed Vettel’s legacy and its impact on the younger generation, for which he is arguably a part of.
“I think probably one of the most important things is, nowadays, it’s not so much about what you do on track, it’s the off-track stuff,” Norris told Sky Sports F1.
“That is just as important now, in many ways, the influence we can have on youngsters, on the new audience that we have in Formula 1.
“I’m maybe a bit more shy than what Seb is and has been in Formula 1, but I’ll learn.
“It’s about speaking the truth, speaking about honesty and standing for your opinions, and not just about racing things.”
As well as being in awe of Vettel’s off-track actions, the 23-year-old also spoke about how much of an honour it was to race against one of the greatest F1 drivers of all-time.
Vettel is third on the all-time list for most victories in the sport, behind only Hamilton and fellow German Michael Schumacher.
Norris also added how he is hoping to “learn” how to use his voice after feeling like he can “always do more” to support others, something which a number of drivers will likely feel.
“I guess some people are criticised [for speaking out] because Formula 1 is about racing at the end of the day, but at the same time I think I’m lucky to have been able to race against Seb the last few years,” added Norris.
“A four-time World Champion, one of the best drivers in Formula 1 ever, things like that, I feel honoured to be part of.
“But also the off-track stuff, [there’s] a lot that I’ve learned from Seb. I just need to learn to voice and just [use] what voice I have, I guess, more importantly.
“[I can use my voice for] the things I can speak out on, and I guess mental health has been one that I’ve done a lot of, but I can always do more.
“There’s plenty of other things for me to speak about, but they’ll come with time, so I thank Seb for all of that.”