President of the Automobile Club de Milano, Geronimo La Russa, has reminded Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel that he was a “guest” at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend.
At the start of the 2022 season, Formula 1 was looking for ways that it could reduce its carbon footprint, as part of its plans to go carbon neutral by 2030.
One of the ideas they came up with was a ban of military flyovers, but the wording of that ban, evidently, was not particularly well thought out.
All promoters and organisers need to do is affirm that the aircraft they are using are not “military,” and they will be allowed to perform a flyover before the race.
The Italian Grand Prix is steeped in Formula 1 tradition, one of which being its flyover of multiple aircraft along the pit straight at the start of each race in Monza.
The smoke they produce resembles the Italian flag, or the Frecce Tricolore, and it was performed ahead of the race in Monza on Sunday.
Vettel has long been an advocate for environmental awareness. He cycles to the racetrack when he can, helps pick up litter, and is constantly immersing in ecologically friendly practices.
President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, reportedly asked that the pre-race tradition be upheld, and Vettel spoke out against the carbon dioxide-producing festivities.
“I heard the president of Italy was insisting to have the fly-by, I mean, he’s about 100 years old, so maybe it’s difficult for him to let go of these kind of ego things,” said the German, quoted by RaceFans.net.
“The fly-bys, we were promised that they are gone and it seems that the president just has to change his mind and F1 gives in despite the boards around the track about certain goals when it comes to making the world a better place.”
The four-time champion feels that the promise to ban flyovers should be respected by everyone, and no exceptions should be made.
“If you have a goal then you shouldn’t do like all the countries and just neglect the fact that you won’t achieve it, you should stick to the word you put out. But time will tell,” added Vettel.
As a former Ferrari driver, Vettel has a great appreciation for the atmosphere created in Monza, but this is still achievable without unnecessary pollution.
“It is a great circuit, a great atmosphere, [but] I hope they stop doing the fly-bys,” he explained.
The aircraft used this year, according to Redaelli himself, were powered by 25 percent biofuel, and La Russa had no time for Vettel’s complaints.
“A fall in style. I was always taught that the president of the Republic is listened to and not commented on, especially if you are a guest of a foreign country,” he said, quoted by MSN.com.
“The overflight of the Frecce Tricolori are an Italian pride. And even yesterday in Monza they confirmed themselves as one of the most awaited and applauded attractions.
“A liking that also concerns those who followed the Grand Prix on television and certified by the flood of likes that the posts published on Social with the Frecce Tricolori protagonists have obtained and continue to obtain.”
Vettel took his first victory in Monza with Toro Rosso in 2008, and won there twice more with Red Bull in 2011 and 2013.
The German stood on the famous podium three times while racing for Ferrari, was criticised for starting a needless dispute.
“It is unfortunate that a former world champion, who moreover won his first GP precisely in Monza, has slipped on a controversy as useless as it is specious,” added La Russa.
“It only remains for him to apologize to President Mattarella and to all Italians.”
Max Verstappen won in Monza on Sunday, extending his championship lead to 116 points over Charles Leclerc, who finished second for Ferrari.