Sebastian Vettel has said Formula 1 will “disappear” as a sport if it does not embrace environmentally friendly concepts.
The four-time world champion accepts that his role as an F1 driver is at odds with his advocacy of changes that will benefit the planet, but Vettel is keen to see his sport move forward and adopt a ‘greener’ stance.
When asked whether he understands criticism he has received for driving in F1 despite highlighting the need to protect the environment, Vettel told Motorsport Total: “Sure, and I think it’s valid because Formula 1 is not green.
“I think we live in a time where we have innovations and possibilities to arguably make Formula 1 green as well, and not lose any of the spectacle, of the excitement, of the speed, of the challenge, of the passion.
“If anything, we have so many clever people and engineering power here, we could come up with solutions. But the current regulations, I think they’re very exciting, the engine is super efficient, but it’s useless.
“It’s not going to be an engine formula that you will buy on the road in two years when you decide to buy a new car, for example.
“Therefore, you can argue, what is the relevance? I think there are certain things that people are talking about for the future of the sport in terms of regulations, that could shift the change and shift into more relevant changes.
“And I feel if they come, that’s a good thing for Formula 1, and it’s also a vital thing. But if they don’t come, I think I’m not so optimistic.
“If they don’t come, I think that Formula 1 will disappear. And probably rightly so.”
The Aston Martin driver, who has spent parts of this season building bee hotels and picking up litter, continued: “We are at the stage where we know we’ve done mistakes, and we have no time to keep doing mistakes.”
“I feel that we could use our resources, meaning the intelligence that Formula 1 has, with all the clever people on board, the resources, the facilities, and also the money that Formula 1 has to spend.
“I mean, let’s not forget we spent the last nearly 10 years on an engine that is super efficient, and we’ve squeezed a lot of power out of it, but it has basically no relevance to the normal person on the road and the next generation of cars, but had huge costs.
“Probably each manufacturer spent more than £1billion developing that engine in those years. That money can be found again, or some of that money is around to hopefully push the right causes.
“So that’s where I sit and say: I don’t know what exactly the best solution is, but I feel we have to start doing it now, rather than discuss for another five years, and in the meantime do five years of nothing.”
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