Sebastian Vettel says racing in F1 while also denouncing environmental issues or promoting sustainability does not make him a hypocrite.
In recent years, Vettel has often been vocal about the sport’s need to become more sustainable, a compulsion born out of the German’s active interest in the environment and sustainability issues.
But are the four-time world champion’s views on the environment and climate change really compatible with a profession that arguably only adds to the planet’s carbon footprint?
“I still rave about V12 engines,” Vettel told F1-Insider. “The sound and the vibrations are unique. But I’m only talking as a racing driver romantic.
“But as a human being, I know that we can no longer be wasteful with our resources.
“There are probably people who are now pointing the finger at me and saying I’m hypocritical because I’m a Formula 1 driver. Because we race and because we travel to most places by plane.
“But racing is my profession and my passion. My point is that there are ways to make the whole Formula One business much more environmentally friendly and sustainable, too.”
Vettel’s move to Aston Martin this season was followed by an endorsement deal with team sponsor and Austrian water company BWT with whom the 53-time Grand Prix winner is promoting the unnecessary use of disposable water bottles.
Vettel believes the deal is right in line with what F1’s objectives should be regarding its sustainability efforts.
“It’s not about doing away with things, but making them better and acting more responsibly, that you can live sustainably and still pursue your passion,” he said.
“I think always questioning yourself is the start of that. The future concerns us all. But when I put on my helmet, I still want to be faster than the others.
“Otherwise I couldn’t and wouldn’t do the job anymore. Otherwise, there would be no reason to lower the visor anymore.
“My job and my passion are still racing. And after so many years, I also know what it takes to set the right priorities.
“I’ve always been the type of person who, when I tackle something, wants to do it right. But I’m only talking about the time when I’m actively practicing my sport.
“We have to be clear that in the end, nature is the most important thing of all.”