Sebastian Vettel has admitted that he is questioning his future in Formula 1 not because of the poor performance of his team, Aston Martin, at the start of the season, but because of the negative impact of his sport on the environment.
Formula 1 cars themselves are hybrids and are on track to ban fossil fuels from the combustion engine by 2026 (the mix currently contains 10% biofuels). But the biggest problem, as the four-time champion pointed out, is the displacement of tons of equipment from one side to the other, in a schedule that is determined from a commercial rather than a logistical point of view. The last four stages were held on different continents: Saudi Arabia in Asia, Australia in Oceania, Italy in Europe, and Miami in the Americas.
“It’s my passion to drive, I love it, every time I get in the car I love it. When I get out of the car, of course I think ‘Is this something we should do?'” “Traveling around the world is a waste of resources,” the German pointed out.
“We’re entertaining people. During the pandemic, we were the first to start over. When everyone’s heads were about to explode, we had Formula 1 racing again. I’m not saying that Formula 1 has that huge prestige in the world to provide entertainment. [Mas] Whether it was a sport, or culture, or comedy, a lot of people who couldn’t perform, and a lot of people missed it. I think if we didn’t have that, we might go crazy. But there are a lot of these questions I ask myself, because I feel like I can do better.”
Since his time at Ferrari, Vettel has started using means of transportation other than planes to go to races closer to where he lives in Switzerland. And at the beginning of last year he put up for sale several cars from his collection, acknowledging that this had to do with his concern for the environment, among other reasons.
The pilot is very active in issues related to the environment as well as social injustice, and has been using his image to draw attention to various causes. However, he questions whether it would be hypocritical for him to talk about these matters and continue to tour the world with F1.
“There are things I ask myself every day. I am not a saint. I am very worried about the future in terms of such topics as energy and energy addiction and where we are heading in the future. But there are certain things I can do and other things that are beyond my control.”
These statements were made in a very different environment than Vettel is used to. He participated in a traditional UK talk show, the BBC’s Question Time programme. Each week a committee discusses different topics, with at least one member of Parliament attending.
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