Sebastian Vettel says the FIA Formula 1 World Championship should do more to help promoters reduce their carbon footprint if they are to fulfil their ambitions of being a carbon-neutral sport by the end of the decade.
Back in 2019, Formula 1 announced ambitious plans to run to a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030, and they are looking into what they can do to reduce their carbon usage when it comes to logistics, renewable fuels and the reduction of waste.
The current hybrid power units are amongst the most efficient engines in the world, and the sport are turning to renewable fuels from 2026, which will help the reduction of their carbon usage.
However, Vettel says the sport needs to go even further, perhaps giving some of their profits to promoters to help reduce their carbon footprints, particularly when it comes to getting to and from the event and reducing wastage whilst there.
“Any type of event that attracts a big crowd has to live up to the responsibilities that come with our times,” Vettel is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com at a summit hosted by World eX.
“Obviously we attract big crowds in Formula 1. I think that the sport got more popular in recent years with a new fan bases, especially in North America, making the sport bigger and grow.
“But with that there’s more people that need to get to the track, that need to be managed when they are at the track. So yes, there’s a lot that can be done, similar to other big 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.
“In the end we need to take some of the sort of turnover or money that Formula 1 in particular makes and try and 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.”
Politicians and activists have targeted Formula 1 surrounding its pollution and carbon footprint in recent years, but Vettel insists it doesn’t matter if its driving cars or attending music concerts, the problem still remains.
The German, who will retire from the sport at the end of the 2022 season, says it is important to find a way to change the way Formula 1 is viewed from the outside, and what better but to make big changes to assist the reduction of its carbon footprint.
“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 added.
“But it comes back to the question of relevance. And if we don’t find a way to really help shifting change, and contribute to the fact that everybody benefits from what we’re doing for fun, and the innovation in engineering that comes with it, then I think very soon the question will come up: ‘Okay, what is 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 is up to us to be ahead to be a lap ahead and not get lapped, so to say, with the enormous power that we have.
“We’re 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 that everybody even outside of motorsport one day benefits, whether then the answer is electric, or hydrogen or something else.”