While most Formula 1 drivers took part in virtual racing and online gaming during the pandemic lockdown last year, Sebastian Vettel interned at an organic farm in Switzerland. As drivers flaunted new hobbies and skills on social media, or streamed their online games on Twitch, Vettel ditched millennial lockdown trends to further his interests in agriculture and farming.
The 33-year-old four-time world champion was present at Bio Bienen Apfel’s event in Austria as its ambassador where he made the revelation. Speaking about his lockdown farming internship he said:
“I had more time available than planned, I thought about what I could do and what I was interested. The topic of agriculture / farming interests me. So I took the chance last year to learn more about this topic and I found it very exciting to learn it in practice.”
"One must have the courage to open up new horizons" - Vettel
When asked about his interest in farming, Vettel explained:
“I became interested about it as an athlete through nutrition. What can you do to eat healthier and squeeze more performance out of your body At some point you realise that not every vegetable is the same, not every apple has the same nutrients, and then you ask why. Then you realise very quickly where the apple comes from and how it is grown - and that's how the doors opened for me.”
As a result of the internship, Vettel started practicing farming in his own space at his residence in Switzerland. On his attempt at growing a meadow in the shape of a heart, he said:
“Since I didn't want to settle for a small heart, I then staked out the heart a bit bigger.”
Sharing a sustainable mindset similar to his counterpart Lewis Hamilton, Vettel said:
“Formula 1 and environmental protection are not a contradiction in terms. To be prepared for the challenges of the future, one must have the courage to open up new horizons.”
Vettel’s current interest and Bio Bienen Apfel’s primary focus is to stabilize the bee population by protecting their habitats and growing them naturally. Speaking at the event in Vienna, he said:
“I support the Bio Bienen Apfel project because I am convinced that everyone can make a contribution. We need to take a step forward for bees.”
With maturity beyond his years and negligent interest in the internet and the world of social media, Vettel's practical interests in farming and agriculture are justified. Unlike his social media and tech-savvy Formula 1 counterparts, his odd relationship with technology and his choice to use his downtime to learn more practical skills don’t come as a surprise.