October 28, 2019 / 2:48 PM / 21 days ago

Vettel takes issue with 'selfie guy' and sponsored trophy

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has renewed his call for Formula One to have better race trophies after criticising the sponsored one handed to him in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Mexican Grand Prix - Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit, Mexico City, Mexico - October 26, 2019 Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel during press conference after qualifying third REUTERS/Luis Cortes

The four-times 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 one. “So get something nice like they had when we used to race, 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.

The Ferrari driver has criticised race trophies before now, 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?”

Vettel was seen pushing away the Mexican mascot as he tried to join him, race winner Lewis Hamilton and the Briton’s Mercedes team mate 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 onto 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.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge

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