Former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes that Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel is not sufficiently focused on the pinnacle of motorsport.
Vettel has scored points on 10 occasions in 29 races since his arrival at the British side at the beginning of last season, and they currently sit eighth in the Constructors’ Standings following a difficult start to the year.
In recent years, the German has placed more emphasis on using his prominent position to campaign for environmental awareness as well as social justice.
The 34-year-old helped some children to make a bee hotel in Austria last year, before staying behind after his disappointing British Grand Prix to collect litter left behind in the grandstands.
Vettel wore a rainbow t-shirt and mask ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix to protest their anti-LGBT laws, and held an all-women karting event in Saudi Arabia amid discriminatory laws there.
He has perennially stood by the LGBTQ+ community, and recently said that the pinnacle of motorsport would welcome a gay, lesbian or transexual driver.
The four-time world champion has shown support for Sir Lewis Hamilton aid the racist abuse he continues to receive, so his career has very much transcended racing in the last couple of years.
After watching Vettel accept that campaigning for ecological sensibility while racing in F1 made him a “hypocrite,” Ecclestone does not believe that Vettel is as focused on racing as he was when he won four titles on the trot with Red Bull.
Further the 91-year-old is no convinced that the German ought to be using his career to support other causes.
“He’s not that focused,” Ecclestone said.
“Before, when he was winning races, he didn’t know what was going on in the world and didn’t care. Now he cares and he thinks about the future of the world.
“I think he’s right, but I don’t think he should use his position for that reason.”
With a little doubt lingering over whether Vettel will remain at Aston martin beyond the end of this year, team principal Mie Krack conceded that they currently have other priorities at the moment.
“We haven’t started concrete talks with Sebastian yet because we currently have so many other problems to solve,” the German told Bild.
However, if Vettel wants to stay, a deal can pretty quickly be drawn up for him.
“For us, a contract extension with Sebastian is clearly plan A. If he wants it, he will also drive at Aston Martin in 2023,” added Krack.
Vettel conceded before the start of the 2022 season that Aston Martin’s results would be a determining factor as to whether he stays or leaves, but their best finish has been a P6 through the former Ferrari and Red Bull driver in Baku.