Jul.9 (GMM/Inautonews.com) F1 drivers have little time to be themselves in public.

That is the claim of Sebastian Vettel, who has recently been criticised by Bernie Ecclestone for epitomising the ‘character-less’ modern grand prix driver.

While the F1 supremo hailed the public extrovert Lewis Hamilton, he said the likes of Vettel and Nico Rosberg are “bad for business” by being too private.

But Vettel thinks the problem is that drivers today are too busy.

“In the past, the drivers could be open because they had less to do,” the Ferrari driver told the Italian broadcaster Rai.

“I’m not saying they were lazy, they just had less responsibilities.

“Gone are the days when you get out of the car, light a cigarette, tell your mechanics ‘Make the car faster’ and then meet a couple of nice girls in the hotel.

“The drivers almost have no time to be more open. We barely have time to relax and reflect.

“But I don’t see this as a specific problem of formula one, but of other sports nowadays too,” Vettel added.