Lando Norris, like Sebastian Vettel, has been outspoken about a variety of topics while competing in Formula 1. The McLaren racer, though, is not counting on filling the void left by Vettel’s retirement.
Lando Norris acknowledges that he doesn’t believe he can go into Sebastian Vettel’s shoes as a spokesperson for more important concerns.
In recent years, Vettel has developed a reputation for speaking out on a variety of issues, from environmental concerns to demonstrating his support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Norris is one of a number of F1 racers who have spoken out about various issues; the British racer previously discussed his battles with mental wellbeing.
While Norris has been motivated to continue using his platform in this way by Vettel, who will depart Formula 1 at the end of 2022, he thinks that he lacks the necessary expertise to fill the role that the four-time World Champion will depart.
How Norris views himself in a “proactive” role
When questioned if he would like to adopt a similar stance to Vettel in regards of being proactive in speaking out about matters outside of F1, Norris responded to the media, including RacingNews365.com: “A little bit.
“I’m not going to fill his boots. I don’t think anyone in their first five years of Formula 1 is going to fill the boots of a guy who’s in their final year of Formula 1. And the Seb of now is a very different Seb [to] five-10 years ago.
“The ruthless Seb doesn’t look so ruthless anymore. If Multi-21 came back, he might abide by it this time!”
Norris understands that every racer has a different perspective on serving as a spokesperson in light of Vettel’s change in attitude.
“It’s very difficult, and I don’t think you can put pressure on any young driver to say, ‘Why aren’t you doing what Seb’s doing?'” the 22-year-old continued.
“Because young Seb wasn’t doing what Seb’s doing now, and everyone’s different. Some people want to stay out of it completely, and some people want to help.
“There’s no reason why I wouldn’t want to speak up and say things. It’s just [that] in the world we’re living in now, it’s not easy to just say what I feel and give my opinion, because there’s so many people who will criticise that opinion.”
Norris respects Vettel’s strategy
Norris has expressed his respect for Vettel’s use of his voice to speak for issues that are important to him.
“I would love to [be proactive], because I believe Seb’s saying everything and doing everything he can for the best reason,” Norris said.
“He’s creating chit-chat and he’s creating headlines, which is his whole thing he’s trying to do.
“[It] might look silly with having some bees on your helmet and stuff like that, but he’s creating stuff out of it and he’s doing exactly what he wants to do, and I have a lot of respect for that.
“Big boots to fill. I’ll try a little bit, and I’m sure everyone will try a little bit. But it’s tough, because he’s also a great guy and a great person.”
Aston Martin, Daniel Ricciardo, F1, F1 2022, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Lando Norris, McLaren, Sebastian Vettel