Vettel takes issue with pushy 'selfie guy' and 'boring' sponsored trophy

28 October 2019 - 17:48 By Reuters
Second-placed Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari celebrates on the podium after the F1 Grand Prix in Mexico City on Sunday.
Second-placed Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari celebrates on the podium after the F1 Grand Prix in Mexico City on Sunday.
Image: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has renewed his call for Formula One to have better race trophies after criticising the sponsored one handed to him at Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix.

The four-time world champion also took a dim view of race mascot "Mario Achi", a white-helmeted character dressed as a Mariachi musician, trying to join the champagne celebrations with a selfie stick.

"I think it's a shame. You have such a great race and they've put so much effort into the race, and then you get these ... trophies that look boring," the German, who finished second, told reporters.

He suggested something more traditionally Mexican would be a good idea. "I mean, there's Heineken written everywhere," he said of the current trophy. "So get something nice - like they had when Formula One used to race here, before we came back."

There was no immediate response from race organisers or sponsors.

The Mexican Grand Prix returned to the calendar in 2015 after a 23-year absence. Dutch beer company Heineken is a title partner.

Sebastian Vettel took a dim view of race mascot 'Mario Achi', left, trying to join the champagne celebrations with a selfie stick.
Sebastian Vettel took a dim view of race mascot 'Mario Achi', left, trying to join the champagne celebrations with a selfie stick.
Image: Clive Mason/Getty Images

The Ferrari driver has criticised race trophies in the past, speaking of the disappointment he felt when some of them were presented. "I care. I think for me they are part of traditions and when I look back at old pictures, I see the old guys lifting the trophies in the different countries," he said in Hungary last August.

"If we have the title sponsor trophies on Sunday then that looks super-boring. I don’t get the point either, because you have the billboards everywhere. Why do you need the trophies saying the same thing again?"

On Sunday Vettel was seen pushing away the Mexican mascot as he tried to join him, race winner Lewis Hamilton and the Briton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the celebrations.

"I didn't like the selfie guy when he tried to push into the picture, so I pushed him away," said Vettel. "I'm not big into selfies anyways."

The post-race celebrations in front of the main stadium grandstand also had a novel feature, with a lift bringing Hamilton's winning Mercedes on to the podium with him.

"I think it was nice to elevate the car as well," said Vettel. "It's a very nice way to do it, to involve the whole stadium and the crowd and the other things, so I liked most of it - except the selfie guy and the trophies."


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