Professional racing driver Sebastian Vettel has told young offenders during a prison visit with the Attorney General that “prejudice” about their criminal records should not prevent them from working in Formula One.
Vettel, who drives for Aston Martin in Formula 1, made a pit stop at HMP Feltham, a prison and institute for young offenders in west London, and on Thursday cut the ribbon to open a new auto repair shop for inmates.
The workshop will train young offenders in car maintenance and repair to help them find a job after their release.
Vettel, 34, who remains the youngest F1 world champion after winning his first title in 2010 aged 23, told perpetrators that if they worked hard enough, they could achieve their dreams.
A young offender, who did not want to be named, asked whether one could still get jobs in Formula 1, the highest class of international racing, even with a criminal record.
Vettel said: “I don’t understand why not. There are obviously prejudices in the world. The world is changing and changing for the better, but what I’ve found in general is if you’re good enough. There shouldn’t be any prejudice holding anyone back.”
The F1 star also revealed he’s a fan of British trains after a young offender revealed he dreams of working on the railways if he gets off.
Vettel said: “Well there is a future, a big future. I don’t know, in the UK, but in Germany there is a lot of debate as to whether it is necessary to fly very short distances, to be honest it probably isn’t. I’ve been on a train in the UK, it works really well.”
Vettel was joined by Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and Prisons Secretary Victoria Atkins, who unveiled the new facility.
Mr Raab told the PA news agency: “We’re down here at the Feltham Youth Offender Institute with Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin.
“It’s a great example of everything we want to do to get offenders working, to give them the skills in this mechanical shop, because we know that offenders who can get the skills and get a job, far less likely to re-offend.
“We’re generally changing the whole focus of prisons so they’re really trying to give offenders the best chance of finding work outside, getting the skills inside because that gives them the best chance of going straight, to themselves turn lives around.
“But it’s also the surest way to curb recidivism and protect the public.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/sebastian-vettel-dominic-raab-justice-secretary-aston-martin-london-b2077965.html Vettel tells young offenders they could get jobs in Formula 1