Vettel seeks 'credibility' for green advocacy

Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel reveals the design for a bee hotel close to the Red Bull Ring.

Sebastian Vettel has explained that it's important that any comments and remarks he makes about the environment have genuine credibility, rather than just being about gaining publicity.

With Lewis Hamilton taking a prominent role in activism to end racism, this season has seen Vettel strongly championing green issues, and more recently he has also been an prominent supporter of LGBTQ+ concerns.

While using his fame as a four-time world champion is a crucial part of his effectiveness, Vettel does not want to give the impression that it's just a matter of generting hollow media coverage without personal relevance.

“I’m not doing these things to just have people look at it,” Vettel told media including Autosport in Russia last week.

“The first thing that I always want to ensure is that actually whatever I do it makes sense," he continued. "[That] it actually helps the place where we are and whatever we are doing.

“It’s great if people are taking interest and it therefore inspires others to maybe do similar," he added. "To think about it or question their activities and their behaviour, to just see how they could possibly contribute.

“But I think the first priority is always to make it credible for me, that it does make sense," he stressed.

"It’s great to say what we should do and talk about it, but I think you need to do it as well yourself," he said. “Otherwise I think it’s not authentic.”

Vettel also explained that it was important for him to promote a cause that was right for the venue they were at.

In Austria he took part in an initiative to build a 'bee hotel' to help the insect population having competed an internship in bio-farming learning how to cultivate organic produce.

“I [felt I] should speak about the initiatives for the bees. We’ve created some space or place for them to live and come back to, to that’s always the prime interest."

Vettel chose Russia to make a stand about LGBTQ+ rights in the wake of the country having just passed a new law banning any media content about homosexuality or gender reassignment being shown to under 18-year-olds.

And in July at Silverstone he quietly took part in a litter collection initiative alongside F1 fans which was caught in social media footage.

Vettel's new spirit of advocacy has coincided with his move from Ferrari to Aston Martin, but former boss Mattia Binotto says that the 34-year-old German was already showing a wider sense of awareness about such concerns even while he was at Maranello.

"By the last couple of seasons he was becoming more sensitive to those topics," the Ferrari team principal stated. "He was discussing them, so certainly we were aware of it.

"He's putting certainly a lot of effort and focus on it, so it's not a surprise - but great to see," he added. "It's great to see that by getting older, normally you are getting older and more sensitive."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter