Formula One star Sebastian Vettel is angered by Canadian politics in his latest environmental campaign. Because Vettel’s protest against the mining of oil sands in the Canadian province of Alberta was described by local Energy Minister Sonya Savage as “hypocrisy”.
So what was Vettel thinking when he entered the Formula 1 paddock at the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal with a special T-shirt and helmet design?
The four-time world champion says it happened of his own free will. “No one has contacted me. I just read a lot about this topic because there’s a lot going on. And I think we live in a time where we see a lot.”
Why did Vettel make oil sands an issue?
So he decided to draw attention to the issue of oil sands. O-Ton Vettel: “What happens in Alberta is a crime, because many trees have been felled there. In theory, everything is destroyed to extract the oil. It’s the way it happens with oil sands.” It’s terrible for nature. And Canada has been emitting significantly more greenhouse gases since the project began.”
To convey this message, Vettel designed a T-shirt that read: “Stop mining the oil sands. [Das ist] Canada’s Climate Crime.” Appropriately, he used a helmet design in Canada that shows, among other things, an oil pipeline.
Because the exploitation of nature in this form goes against the grain, Vettel says: “As far as I’ve read, this project has been in existence for almost 20 years. I think the prime minister said that no other country can do these. Will not leave resources unused. Land.”
Vettel wants to “create awareness”
“Every country and every person can have their own opinion and stance. My personal opinion is: I disagree. Science shows that fossil fuels are limited. We live in a time when it shouldn’t be allowed and it isn’t anymore should be.”
With their campaign, they wanted to “create awareness,” Vettel says. Because he thinks that “many people in Canada and around the world” do not understand what is happening there.
“Then [die Aktion] Just a small gesture,” says Vettel. “I am thinking of future generations and the world we are leaving. It is only proper to take care of this world and not destroy it.”
How is Canadian politics reacting?
Neither the action nor Vettel’s statements are well received by Alberta Energy Minister Savage. The politician sharply criticized Vettel on social networks, and with these words: “I have seen a lot of hypocrisy over the years, but it shoots the bird.”
“A racer complains about oil sands, but he is himself sponsored by Aston Martin, which is funded by Saudi Aramco. Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil producer. It is said to be the biggest carbon emitter, And has since 1965.”
That’s why Savage turns the table and says: “Instead of demonstrating the oil sands project, which is on its way to climate neutrality, people should first reduce their own CO2 footprint. Maybe in Formula 1.” With the pedal car?”
This is how Vettel reacts to the allegation of hypocrisy
Vettel acknowledged this reaction to his action, saying: “It’s okay, I’m a little disappointed that politicians go on a personal level, because it’s not just about me, it’s about the bigger picture.”
“And I’m a hypocrite about what I do. We all have different passions. That’s how I live my life.”
Then the ex-champion refers to Formula 1’s efforts to make vehicles more sustainable “without relying on fossil fuels”, as Vettel puts it.
“This future is exciting. And the important thing is that we take this step and move away from fossil fuels so that we can base our lives on renewable energy. That’s what I’m about.”
Vettel: Why all of a sudden without a special helmet on Sunday?
But was he still the same after Sunday’s race in Canada? Then suddenly Vettel competed not with his particular helmet design, but in the usual colours. When asked why that was so, Vettel told Sky: “I don’t want to say anything about it right now, I have more than one helmet.”
‘Sky’ in turn reported that Vettel had been asked by his Formula 1 team Aston Martin not to use the special design on Sunday – possibly in response to statements from Canada’s Energy Minister Savage.
Vettel is asked if he has succumbed to team pressure. Answer: “Any other questions?” And Vettel laughs, then the interview is over.
What team boss Mike Krack says about it
Team owner Mike Krack, however, answers questions from reporters – and denies that Aston Martin Vettel has banned the campaign helmet.
Crack continues: “He wanted to attract attention with the shirt and helmet. At some point he decided he created this attention. That’s all. Then he dropped it again. He can’t wear the same shirt every day.” You, we can’t either.”
Krack is asked if it was Vettel’s own decision. Answer: “He usually tells us in advance what he’s going to do well. And then we agree on how it can be done. In the past it was usually a Friday thing or a Friday and It was Saturday.” And: “He can make decisions independently. We talk about it.”
So if Vettel wanted, the final question from the Aston Martin team boss was, could he wear the special helmet on Sunday as well? Crack confirms and says “He’s a free man!”
As such, Vettel has repeatedly taken a stand on certain issues in recent times. For example, in Hungary, he wore a rainbow shirt to promote greater diversity, and at the first Miami Grand Prix he drew attention to rising sea levels.
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