A few years ago, an article recommending a trip to South Florida appeared in the headline. “The Magic of a Miami Vacation: The Colorful Change Between Worlds,” she said. Sebastian Vettel’s visit was supposed to feel similarly, no one in F1 switches merryly between worlds and roles as he does. On this long weekend in Miami, he’s taking the differences to the extreme. It started for Vettel with a political protest, continued with a gesture of solidarity, then got punished – and finally broke down markedly with Mick Schumacher. A young driver for whom Vettel feels responsible as a mentor, if only because he was once introduced to Formula 1 by his father Michael.
It all started with Vettel wearing a T-shirt to welcome the American crowd. It read “Miami 2060 – First Underwater Grand Prix.” Work now or swim later. There was also an illustration of a diving mask below sea level. When asked, Vettel made it clear that he did not understand that the issue of sea level rise did not exist in the city of Miami, which was severely threatened. Even if no more carbon dioxide is emitted overnight, the effect won’t become noticeable until years later, he cautioned. “There’s this effect that follows the same thing,” Vettel explained. “It’s important to understand that it’s really dangerous for a lot of people to lose their homes here, and South Florida is going to look very, very different in the future. The Everglades are going, Miami Beach going. The people who live in Miami who live and work are the ones who will be affected first.”
Now it can hardly be complained that Vettel is moving outside the realm of science with this assessment. At best, it’s arguably a hard-to-tolerate contradiction when the four-time Formula 1 world champion has been happily cruising around a racetrack for years emitting carbon dioxide to make money, while at the same time warning people are emitting less CO2 into the atmosphere to vanish.
However, you can also see it this way: Here someone is using his exposed status as a motorsport fan valued by all petrol chiefs around the world and turning to his disciples to encourage them to steer clear of the track he himself knows so well. Who better to reach Americans in their 5.4-liter minivans than a racing driver? So it is the classic subject of the conversion from Saul to Paul. But Vettel is already doing evangelism while Saul is still a bit shy. Transformations in life do not always happen as quickly as they do in the Bible.
Vettel’s race to catch up, which is worth watching, ends after crash with Schumacher
After this experience, Vettel spontaneously wore gray boxer shorts over his racing suit in the same color before free practice. British Green Race stuffed. That seemed so absurd. However, it was meant to be understood as a protest against the punishment that race director Nils Wittich had threatened all those wearing jewelry or non-fireproof underwear in the cockpit, contrary to regulations. And a message of solidarity in support of Lewis Hamilton, who is in fact the only driver with holes so developed that he couldn’t take them off even if he wanted to.
Two days later, Vettel was sent to the pit lane by Wittich before the start. Yet not because of his installation art in the Unterbuchsee. Vettel was not allowed to pass the traffic lights from parking lot 13, which he qualified for because measurements of petrol temperatures in their company’s cars showed he and teammate Lance Stroll were cooler than allowed. The catch-up race from the end of the field, some of which was worth watching, ended for Vettel on the fourth-to-last lap.
He overtook Schumacher at the end of lap 53 and crossed the start and finish line in ninth place before turning into the first corner. Schumacher braked late and sat next to Vettel from the inside, but he couldn’t catch up and hit Vettel’s right box with his left front wheel. The race is over for him, Schumacher got a new front wing and finished 15th.
The commissioners came to the conclusion that no one was to blame, it was just a racing accident. Since Vettel had the front wing in front at the moment of the accident and Schumacher interfered with the curve very hesitantly, one could argue with good arguments that Vettel “heard” the bend, they say. But Vettel said, “I thought I had the curve and was ahead, I wasn’t expecting it. When I saw him, it was too late. I’m sorry we went out together. To settle.” “If I had seen the pictures, I would have passed it more,” Schumacher said.
You have to know that without a crash at the 26th Grand Prix, Schumacher would have scored the first points in his young Formula 1 career. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait until 2060.