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Sebastian Vettel

Canadian Minister criticises 'hypocrite' Vettel over t-shirt

Sebastian Vettel's latest climate-related fashion statement has drawn the ire of Alberta's energy tsar.

Sebastian Vettel
To news overview © XPB

A Canadian politician has accused Sebastian Vettel of hypocrisy, after the German wore a t-shirt denouncing the extraction of oil in the Canadian state of Alberta.

Alberta's Energy Minister Sonya Savage took to Twitter to criticise Vettel, after the four-time World Champion arrived at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix wearing a t-shirt bearing the words "Stop Mining Tar Sands" and "Canada's Climate Crime".

Savage took issue with Vettel's message, claiming that Aston Martin's title sponsor Aramco is the world's biggest producer of oil.

"I have seen a lot of hypocrisy over the years, but this one takes the cake," read Savage's tweet.

"A race car driver sponsored by Aston Martin, with financing from Saudi Aramco, complaining about the oilsands.

"Saudi Aramco has the largest daily oil production of all companies in the world.

"It is reputed to be the single largest contributor to global carbon emissions, of any company, since 1965.

"Rather than demonizing the oilsands, which is on a path to net-zero, people could look to lowering their own personal carbon footprint. Perhaps a pedal-car for Formula 1?"

Vettel increasing his climate activism

This is not the first time that Vettel has used his profile to draw attention to climate-related issues.

Ahead of F1's inaugural Miami Grand Prix in May, Vettel was seen wearing a t-shirt saying "Miami 2060 – 1st Grand Prix Underwater – Act Now or Swim Later", in a reference to rising sea levels threatening to submerge that city.

The following week, the German appeared on the BBC programme Question Time, where he acknowledged that campaigning for climate issues while serving as an active F1 driver made him a hypocrite.

Alberta's oil and gas sector has previously come in for celebrity criticism, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Neil Young, Jane Fonda and Bill Nye among those to have condemned the state's oilsands and pipeline development.

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