Vettel: Climate crisis makes me question racing in F1

Sebastian Vettel says the ongoing climate and energy crisis facing the world makes him question whether he should be racing in Formula 1.

Vettel: Climate crisis makes me question racing in F1

Four-time F1 world champion Vettel appeared on the British television programme Question Time on Thursday night to discuss a number of current political and global issues, placing a heavy emphasis on the energy crisis.

Vettel has emerged as an important voice within motorsport in recent years about the climate issues facing the world, as well as other important social and political matters such as LGBTQ+ rights and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

During the show, Vettel stressed the importance of countries not being dependent on sole energy supplies, citing Germany’s reliance on Russian energy and the position it leaves his home country in since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

When the host of the show pointed out to Vettel that he drove in a “gas-guzzling” sport, it was met with some laughter from the audience.

Asked if racing in F1 made him a hypocrite when it came to highlighting the need to save energy, Vettel replied: “It does, and you’re right when you laugh, because there are questions that I ask myself every day.

“I’m not a saint. I’m very concerned when it comes to the future, so these topics when it comes to energy, energy dependence and where we’re going in the future.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Vettel added that it was “something that I’m asking myself” whether he should be racing in F1 and “travelling the world”.

“There are certain things that are in my control, and certain things are not,” Vettel said. “It’s my passion to drive a car, and I love it. And every time I step in the car, I love it.

“When I get out of the car, of course I’m thinking as well, is this something we should do? Travel the world, wasting resources?”

But Vettel also highlighted the importance of F1 as a source of entertainment, believing that people “would probably go mad” without things to enjoy.

“There’s a lot of questions that I ask myself,” Vettel said. “There’s a lot of things that I do because I feel I can do them better.

“Do I need to take a plane every time? No, not when I can take the car. There’s certain things in my control and certain things outside my control.”

Vettel was joined on the Question Time panel by Conservative MP and attorney general Suella Braverman, Labour MP Shabana Mahmood, economist Miatta Fahnbulleh and comedian Geoff Norcott.

Helmet of Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

Helmet of Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

Photo by: JMD Jens Munser Designs

The quintet responded to questions from the audience on a number of topics including the cost-of-living crisis, the Northern Ireland protocol from the Brexit agreement, Finland’s application to NATO and the ‘Partygate’ scandal that engulfed British prime minister Boris Johnson.

Vettel highlighted the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine as being a key issue that nations must address, as well as saying the UK government had to deal with the consequences of pushing to get the Brexit agreement finalised.

Relating to Partygate and Johnson’s breaking of the law during lockdown, Vettel said: “I think that when you are in that position, there’s certain things that you just can’t pull off.

“In the end, it is the prime minister who made the law and then breaks the law. I’m just thinking, if I’m a father of three kids and I’m trying to explain something to them that I think is really important on how to behave, and I do the exact opposite, what do you think they would make of it? I’m the least credible person in front of them then.

“We all do mistakes, we’re all human. But there’s just certain things that I think come with office or that job that you can’t do.”

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