Sebastian Vettel warns Formula 1 it’s at risk of becoming ‘irrelevant’

Sebastian Vettel admitted his increasing passion for environmental issues played a part in his decision to retire.

Sebastian Vettel warns that Formula 1 could become outdated and irrelevant if it doesn’t become more environmentally friendly.

Vettel has become an activist for environmental issues in recent years, repeatedly calling for the sport to become greener and admitting his passion for the cause played a part in his decision to retire from racing at the end of this season.

He has often stated that he doesn’t believe that F1 is doing enough in that area, and the Aston Martin man has warned that support and interest in it from those that aren’t already fans could wane as a result if that doesn’t change soon.

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“It comes back to the question of relevance,” he said at the inaugural World eX summit.

“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.”

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The German picked out the increasing size of crowds in attendance at race weekends as a specific way in which the sport could damage the environment if it doesn’t take action.

He says that as the popularity of the sport increases, so too does its responsibility to ensure its as green as possible. 

“Any type of event that attracts a big crowd has to live up to the responsibilities that come with our times,” the four-time World Champion said.

“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.”