Sebastian Vettel has admitted worries over the climate crisis have him questioning whether racing in F1 is the right thing to do.
The four-time world champion, who has championed several environmental initiatives and regularly spoken about his climate concerns, became the first active F1 driver to join the BBC Question Time panel last night.
Asked by host Fiona Bruce whether being an F1 driver makes him a hypocrite, Vettel, whose Aston Martin team has sponsorship with Saudi oil giant Aramco, said: “It’s the case.”
“There are questions that I ask myself every day. I am not a saint. I am very worried about the future and these topics, about energy, energy dependence and where we let’s go to the future.”
“When it comes to energy, we have to stop being dependent, and we can, because solutions exist.”
“You know, in Britain you have a gold mine you’re sitting on, which is wind, and you have the ability to augment your energy supply with wind, solar.”
“Every country has its strengths and its weaknesses. If you go to Austria, they have the Alps and they have water, they can pump it, store it and collect it. But going back to your question, yes it is true, it’s something that’s been on my mind.”
When asked if he meant if he should race in F1, Vettel, whose contract is due to expire at the end of the season, replied: “Yeah, and travel the world. Some things are in my control, and some things aren’t.”
“It’s my passion to drive a car. I love it. Every time I get in the car, I love it.”
“When I get out of the car, of course, I also think, ‘Is this something we should be doing, traveling the world, wasting resources?’ On the other hand, you know, we were entertaining people during Covid.”
“We were one of the first sports to start again, just as everyone’s head was about to explode, there was Formula 1 racing again.”
“I’m not saying that Formula 1 has the only huge position in the world to provide entertainment. There are a lot of people – if you’re talking about entertainment, sport, culture, comedy – a lot of people who couldn’t not play, and if we didn’t have that entertainment, in general, we’d probably be crazy.”
“But there are a lot of questions I ask myself. There are a lot of things I do because I feel I can do them better. Do I fly every time? No, not when I can take the car or the train. But there are some things in my control and some things out of my control.”
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