Lewis Hamilton gets Sebastian Vettel backing as F1 called out for ‘lack of courage’

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Sebastian Vettel has backed Lewis Hamilton’s calls for Formula One to be more sustainable and do better to cut their carbon footprint with a huge 23 races planned this season. Hamilton has often spoken out about how the sport could do more to help save the planet, raising serious concerns about the rising temperatures and how F1 is contributing globally.

In 2019, F1 launched their first-ever sustainability strategy, with an ambitious target to be a net-zero carbon sport by 2030, have 100% renewably powered offices, facilities, and factories, and ultra-efficient and low-zero carbon logistics and travel.

F1 is looking into biofuels, fuel that is made from plant or algae material or animal waste, pledging it will run sustainably made fuels from 2030 onwards as they look to become pioneers in sustainability in the sport.

But, F1 is getting bigger, as the championship visits 23 locations in 2022, across 22 different countries.

To take a stand against racism and inequality, Formula One also introduced its ‘We Race As One’ campaign, with Lewis Hamilton leading anti-racism pre-race demonstrations.

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But despite pledges to do better, Vettel believes there is plenty more that could be done if they had the courage to do so.

“To the outside world, Formula 1 always wants to come across as nice and open in its communications. But frankly, internally it lacks that courage,” he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

“More is already happening than ten years ago, but so much more could be done. There is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to possible reforms.

“Our sport is fast and progressive in many ways, for example in terms of technology and the innovations that go with it.

“But in terms of thinking, we are not exactly pioneers. That’s because it’s easy to hang on to old things: ‘we’re doing so well, everything is good as it is!’

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“Change is often associated with fear that something good might disappear. That people in Formula 1 also see change as an opportunity for the future is something I don’t experience very often.”

With a bumper calendar in 2022, there are some problems with the setup geographically. For example, there is almost 9,000km between Azerbaijan and Canada, yet they are placed back-to-back in the line-up this season.

Vettel continued: “This [last] year, Formula One flew from Mexico City to São Paulo and then to Qatar within three weeks. That travel plan was not smart,” he said.

“We should not fly from east to west or north to south, but look at locations that are close to each other.”

In four years’ time, Formula One hope to have incentives and tools to offer every fan a greener way to reach the race, meaning public transport, bikes, or by foot with sustainable materials with all waste re-used, recycled, or composted, ie. to cut down on the plastic, something Vettel supported.

“Banning plastic in the stands and the paddock can also make a big difference,” he said.

“Of course, that is not going to save the world. But it is about setting an example and showing that things can be done differently.”

The four-time world champion was pictured litter picking at the end of the British Grand Prix as he urged fans to take their rubbish home or bin it.

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