Sebastian Vettel taught Lando Norris "not just about racing things," says McLaren driver
Sebastian Vettel ended his distinguished career in F1 last month and the German has left his impression on the sport forever. Lando Norris recently discussed how Vettel taught him about more than just racing during their time together.
In conversation with Sky Sports, when quizzed about what Vettel had done for the younger drivers, Norris talked about how Sebastian Vettel's impact went beyond the sport. The German normalized the ability to talk about off-track stuff for the McLaren driver. Talking about the impact Vettel had on him, Norris said:
"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. 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."
Talking about the values Vettel stood for, he continued:
"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."
Lando Norris admitted that while many other people that are part of the sport are criticized for speaking about social issues, Vettel was someone who still opted to speak out. He added:
"I guess some people are criticized [for speaking out about issues] 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 [for] the last few years. A four-time World Champion, one of the best drivers in Formula 1 ever. Things like that, I feel honoured to be part of."
Vettel taught how to use the voice of an F1 driver: Lando Norris
Lando Norris further talked about how it was the German who taught him the importance of an F1 driver using his voice on important issues like mental health. He said:
"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, 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."
Sebastian Vettel retired at the end of the 2022 F1 season, but his impact on the sport will continue to be felt for a long time, on and off the track.