Vettel angry with Monza fly-bys: 'They promised they were gone'

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Sebastian Vettel has accused Formula 1 of reneging on a promise to do away with pre-race air displays and "giving in" to the demands of Italy's president who insisted that fly-bys - which everyone loves by the way - take place at Monza.

Formula 1 has committed to becoming net-zero carbon by 2030 as part of its wider sustainability strategy.

But Vettel, whose name appears in the headlines these days more often for his 'green' activism than for his results on the track, loves to get into F1's hairs when it comes to the sport's carbon neutral initiatives, which he believes are never good enough.

And sure enough, last Sunday's fly-bys by the Italian Air Force's spectacular Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team, which took place at the insistence of venerable 81-year-old Italian president Sergio Mattarella, drew the self-righteous ire of the four-time world champion.

"I heard the president was insisting to have the flybys," Vettel told the media. "He's about 100 years old, so maybe it's difficult for him to let go of this kind of ego things.

"The flybys – we were promised they were gone, and it seems that the president has to change his mind and F1 just gives in despite the boards around the track and the certain goals on making the world a better place."

Vettel insisted that Formula 1 needs to stick to its agenda and not give in to demands that aren't consistent with its environmental commitment.

"They [F1] just need to be moving away from being influenced," added the Aston Martin driver.

"If you have a goal, you shouldn't do like all the countries and neglect the fact you won't achieve it. So, you should stick to the word you put out. But time will tell."

Vettel's green activism - that many consider as peak hypocrisy - recently sparked some hard suspicions from Formula E racer Lucas di Grassi.

After Vettel criticized the all-electric series and called into question its environmental credentials, di Grassi launched a scathing attack on the German, calling his environmental activism "green washing" and "not what he truly believes".

Formula 1 hasn't responded to Vettel's fly-by complaints, but it's likely that the sport's top brass feel that the 2022 season - and indeed his career in F1 - can't end soon enough for the good Mr. Vettel. We would agree...

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