‘Who is the controller?’ Sebastian Vettel sends warning to Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel has been vocal about sustainability in recent years.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel has questioned just how seriously Formula 1 is taking its push to go carbon neutral by 2030.

The pinnacle of motorsport switched to turbo hybrid V6 engines in 2014, decreasing the engine’s dependence on fossil fuels.

A synthetic fuel is set to come into play by the year 2036, and this will see the engines emit no more carbon than the amount used to create the fuel in the first place.

Then, by 2030, the aim is for F1 to be completely net zero on carbon emissions, and this transcends the racetrack.

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At F1’s base in Biggin Hill, the workers will have adopted entirely sustainable ways of travelling to and from work, as well as practices at work that are not harmful to the environment.

Getting drivers, team members and freight to the races is also set to be done in a more efficient way, and all broadcasts will also be net zero.

The British Grand Prix last year was the scene of the first-ever carbon neutral broadcast in F1 history, so the sport has shown evidence of steps being taken in the right direction.

However, the proposed clampdown on circuit flyovers at the start of races has failed, and that drew criticism from Vettel during the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

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Further, for the first time ever, F1 will embark on a 24-race season in 2023, and a lot of the races are not geographically sequenced, so the teams will be travelling more than three thousand kilometres over the course of the year, and this is without flying back home between events.

Therefore, Vettel warns of the inevitable conundrum as to what Formula One Management (FOM) will do if they do not achieve their carbon neutral pledge.

“The question is what happens if they don’t meet the targets?” he pondered while speaking with Auto Motor und Sport.

“Who is the controller? If Formula 1 controls itself, that’s a nice slogan but not particularly credible.

“In the end, it is important that you are also prepared to take a slice of your own profits in order to take credible steps with it.”

The four-time champion is pleased to see the sport adopting new practices, but he asks that they stop pretending that sustainable fuels was their innovation.

‘Formula 1 is experiencing a boom right now, also due to the Netflix series [Drive to Survive], and now people are desperate to take advantage of this boom,” said Vettel.

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‘The [e-fuel] technology is already there, it’s not a new technology.

‘Formula 1 likes to claim it is a technical pioneer. They would have been pioneers if they had unpacked it 10 years ago, but better late than never.”

Vettel will retire from F1 at the end of the 2022 season, and he will be replaced at Aston Martin by Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.