AUSTIN, TEXAS (AP) - Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel says he’s sorry about the fuss about his swearing. He also says don’t be so sensitive.
Vettel, the championship points leaders with two races to go, is seeking his third consecutive Formula One title this week at the U.S. 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 world’s most popular motorsport series.
Formula One may be trying to appease an 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 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 apologize.”
Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone didn’t seem concerned about the drivers’ behavior.
“The language drivers use is passive compared to what you hear on TV or in general,” Ecclestone told The Associated Press.
“And the language he used is probably the language he uses all the time with the team. That’s how it is,” Ecclestone said.
Ecclestone said he still hopes Formula One can stage a race in New York-New Jersey in 2014 and even mentioned Los Angeles as a possible race site in the future.
Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix in Austin is Formula One’s first race on American soil since 2007. Another race, the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey, which was to run on a street course set against the Manhattan skyline, was originally scheduled for June 2013. That race was postponed last month for at least a year.
“We’re trying to get something sorted out in New Jersey-New York. Maybe we can do something in (Los Angeles) in the future,” Ecclestone said. “I’m hoping we can resurrect (New York-New Jersey) in 2014.”