Home » F1 » F1 champion Sebastian Vettel wears helmet having Ukraine’s flag to show protest against Russia’s invasion

F1 champion Sebastian Vettel wears helmet having Ukraine’s flag to show protest against Russia’s invasion

Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel had a Ukraine flag emblazoned on his helmet in protest at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when he drove his Aston Martin in testing in Bahrain on Thursday.

Sebastian Vettel helmet having Ukraine's flag
Photo: Sebastian Vettel helmet having Ukraine’s flag

The 34-year-old German had spoken out forcefully a fortnight ago when Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion, declaring he would refuse to drive in the Russian Grand Prix.

The September 25 race was quickly cancelled and a week later Formula One terminated their contract declaring there would be no further race in Russia.

Vettel’s helmet bore not only the Ukrainian flag but also a dove — the symbol of peace — with the words “Peace and Love”, “No war” and the words to John Lennon’s legendary song “Imagine”.

Vettel had also joined 17 of his rival drivers — the exceptions being seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and Haas’s Kevin Magnussen, who has replaced the sacked Russian driver Nikita Mazepin — to pose behind a Ukrainian flag and a banner bearing the phrase “No war”.
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Haas terminated both Mazepin’s contract and that of Russian title sponsor Uralkali — the company of which Mazepin’s father Dmitry is an executive director — last Saturday.

Hamilton, who for two years now has taken the knee prior to races in an anti-racism protest, had posted an Instagram message of support for the “courageous Ukrainian people” and called for donors to support British NGOs.

The taking the knee — an act which was not copied by all the drivers, some of whom preferred to stand and wear T-shirts with anti-racist slogans — has been scrapped for this season.

Testing in Bahrain takes place from Thursday to Saturday on the circuit where the campaign for real kicks off on Sunday week. It follows a first testing session in Barcelona last month.

Press Release, Source: AFP

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