Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel said he’s sorry about the fuss about his swearing. He also says don’t be so sensitive.
Vettel, the drivers’ championships leader with two races to go, is seeking his third consecutive Formula One title this week at the US Grand Prix. Vettel caused a stir last week after the race in Abu Dhabi when he and winner Kimi Raikkonen cursed during live television interviews.
Formula One officials sent a letter to the teams reminding them that such language “has no place” during media events and brings bad publicity to the world’s most popular motorsport series.
Formula One may be trying to appease American viewers who are often sensitive about profanity on television and broadcasters who could be fined by federal regulators. In NASCAR, drivers can be fined or lose points for swearing in live interviews.
“I think if you are sensitive you should watch, I don’t know, some kids’ program,” Vettel said on Thursday. “You have the remote control in your hand, so you can choose.”
Vettel said his swearing was unintentional, adding, “I think it’s a bit unnecessary to create such a big fuss. But anyway, if I said some things that weren’t appreciated, I apologise.”
Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone didn’t seem concerned about the drivers’ behaviour.
“The language drivers use is passive compared to what you hear on TV or in general,” Ecclestone told The Associated Press.
Ecclestone also noted that Vettel, who is German, was not speaking in his native language.
“And the language he used is probably the language he uses all the time with the team. That’s how it is,” Ecclestone said.