Sebastian Vettel wants F1 to help promoters put on greener races

Sam Cooper
Sebastian Vettel and Stefano Domenicali are surrounded by cameras. England, July 2022.

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel and Formula 1 president Stefano Domenicali are surrounded by cameras. England, July 2022.

Sebastian Vettel has suggested Formula 1 should use some of its profits to help promoters put on greener events.

The four-time former World Champion has become one of the most vocal drivers on the grid in recent years when it comes to raising awareness of causes he believes in.

One of those causes close to Vettel’s heart is the environment and the growing impact of climate change. In the past, he has spent his free time clearing up rubbish from the Silverstone grandstands and helping to set up bee farms, as well as appearing on BBC’s Question Time to answer and pose questions on the issues.

As he gets set to leave Formula 1, it would be no surprise to see the German try his hand at campaigning – and he may look at where he has just come from considering F1’s cost to the environment.

 

What’s next for Sebastian Vettel?

Sebastian Vettel has plenty of offers on the table but he may choose to leave sport entirely and focus on off-track issues.

Vettel has highlighted the growing crowds present at a race weekend and while he no doubt will think that is a good thing for the sport, he is concerned what impact it could be having on the environment.

“Any type of event that attracts a big crowd has to live up to the responsibilities that come with our times,” he said at the inaugural World eX Summit.

“Obviously we attract big crowds in Formula 1. I think the sport got more popular in recent years with new fanbases, especially in North America, making the sport bigger and grow.

“But with that there are more people that need to get to the track, that need to be managed when they are at the track. So there’s a lot that can be done, similar to other big events.”

Vettel suggested using some of the money in F1 to help promoters put on greener and cleaner events.

“Obviously, how people get to the event, public transport is not just a big topic in general but also coming and going from events, so there’s lots of things I think we can do,” the 35-year-old explained.

“In the end we need to take some of the sort of turnover or money Formula 1 in particular makes and try to reinvest to the promoters and give them the chance to decide for a better, greener, cleaner solution when it comes to handling crowds and dealing with the event.”

Vettel also suggested Formula 1 was at risk of being “lapped” when it comes to not acting quickly enough on the environment.

“Ultimately it doesn’t make a big difference whether we are driving cars or having a music concert or doing other things, looking at the big crowd and the footprint of the crowd itself,” he said.

“But it comes back to the question of relevance. And if we don’t find a way to really help shift change, and contribute to the fact everyone benefits from what we are doing for fun, and the innovation in engineering that comes with it, then I think very soon the question will come up ‘okay, what’s the point?’

“We get the point because we love it, we are motorsport enthusiasts and you don’t need to explain it to us. But if you zoom out and speak to a crowd that has nothing to do with motorsports, very rightly I think these questions will come up in the future.

“So it’s up to us to be ahead, be a lap ahead and not get lapped, so to say, with the enormous power we have.

“We are spending a lot of money in motorsport, but with that comes a lot of innovation and engineering and power that can be channelled in a better direction so everyone, even outside of motorsport, one day benefits, whether then the answer is electric, hydrogen or something else.”