• Vettel and Raikkonen swore in live broadcast interviews
• FIA sends ‘friendly’ letter to all Formula One teams
Formula One drivers have been told to mind their language after the world champion, Sebastian Vettel, and the race winner, Kimi Raikkonen, turned the air blue on the podium at last Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
A spokesman for the governing body, the FIA, said on Thursday that a private and “friendly” letter had been sent to all teams’ communications directors about the bad language.
The letter reminded them that it was “very much our collective responsibility to make sure drivers are aware such language has no place during media events”.
Vettel and Raikkonen swore live on air in their podium interviews with David Coulthard.
The letter added that swearing in broadcast interviews “shines an unwelcome beam of adverse publicity on their teams and sponsors, the sport and FIA”.
The FIA letter said the governing body understood that “in the ‘heat of battle’, adrenaline, elation and disappointment make for a dangerous and heady mix.
“But F1 drivers are not the only ones being interviewed in such conditions: I think of boxers, rugby and football players who are routinely interviewed live on television after a gruelling sporting effort. They manage to avoid inappropriate language.”
The FIA introduced the podium interviews, conducted by a former driver, this season in an effort to give more to fans at the circuit. Drivers had previously only waved and sprayed champagne after the race before being whisked off to talk to the media.