‘Seb belongs in a kindergarten’: Vettel criticised for ‘peculiar’ actions

Sebastian Vettel protested the FIA's clampdown on fire retardant underwear during the Miami Grand Prix weekend.

Former Formula 1 driver Christian Danner was left confused by the actions of Sebastian Vettel in Miami after the 34-year-old protested the underwear and jewellery regulation.

Vettel has long been an advocate for positive changes in the pinnacle of motorsport, including environmental sensibility, and he wore a t-shirt to the opening ceremony in Florida warning that the 2060 Miami Grand Prix will be the “first grand prix underwater” if habits do not change.

Then, when Sir Lewis Hamilton was “targeted” by the reinforcement of the jewellery regulation, the German wore a pair of underpants over his race suit ahead of practice to ridicule the directive that scrutineers have the right to check the drivers’ underwear before sessions to make sure that they are fireproof.

READ: ‘I’m not a saint’ as Vettel declares his concern over the future

Six-time race winner Ralf Schumacher described his compatriot as “childish,” and Danner agrees there was a degree of immaturity to Vettel’s actions.

“He has a peculiar way of doing things that I personally can’t understand,” he told Motorsport-Magazin.com.

“When he makes fun of these FIA underwear requirements and then jumps around in the pit lane with his pants on, then I have to say honestly, it’s kindergarten.

“If I was team boss, I would have told him to take a two-week break and go where he belongs at the moment, which is kindergarten. When he’s done there, he’s welcome to drive again.”

Vettel has managed one points finish thus far in the three races he has contested this season due to a woeful Aston Martin car that has handled horribly and displayed erratic pace.

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Danner believes that the 34-year-old should be more focused on trying to extract performances from the car on track rather than arguing with the FIA.

“I know many drivers who have driven bad cars in their careers,” he explained.

“Is that why they ran through the pit lane in their pants? No! They were happy when the FIA took care of something and put it in the regulations.

“I think Seb is still a good F1 driver. But he has changed a bit in the last few years and is no longer as focused as he once was, but there are a thousand things that interest him more.”

The two-time points finisher elaborates that he support’s Vettel’s sustainability push, but concedes that he believes the four-time champion sometimes forgets how fortunate he is to race for a living. 

“I have nothing against him getting involved in environmental politics, that’s all fine,” continued Danner.

READ: Important to avoid ‘verbal abuse’ between Hamilton and the FIA

“But somewhere the seriousness for a Formula One racing driver is already rooted in the fact that it is a privilege to drive his car and many forget that.”

Aston Martin are introducing a B-spec car to this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix that they hope can improve their performances having scored six points between Vettel and Lance Stroll in the opening five races.