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Sebastian Vettel

Vettel fears worldwide F1 ban over sustainability

The current climate crisis has led Vettel to deliver a warning over F1's future.

To news overview © XPBimages

Former F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel has warned governments across the world could look to ban F1 and other motorsports as a result of the climate crisis.

The former Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin driver led the charge for highlighting environmental awareness in the sport during his latter years, taking part in and creating a number of initiatives aimed at helping bridge the gap between sustainability and motorsport.

One such initiative has been his Race without Trace campaign, which saw him drive Nigel Mansell's title-winning FW14B at the British Grand Prix last year and Goodwood Festival of Speed this year on fully synthetic and sustainable fuel.

Vettel, who owns the car, also completed the feat with Ayrton Senna's McLaren MP4/8 up the Goodwood hill last weekend.

Fears over the effects of climate change have been realised in recent months with a number of freak weather phenomena impacting countries across the world, with some threatening to affect the F1 calendar.

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was cancelled following intensive rainfall in the region that led to local flooding, whilst wildfires in Canada left the Montreal event hanging by a thread.

Delivering his warning, Vettel told media at the Festival of Speed: “Imola got cancelled, obviously, the event [Goodwood] got cancelled [on Saturday]. I think there is a direct relation between extreme weather and the changing world, the warming world.

“So provided you are not completely looking away, I think you see the climate crisis has an impact on a lot of people already today, a lot of places around the world.

"Imola got cancelled... you had a massive drought in Italy and then all of a sudden seemingly never-ending rain and obviously the rain couldn’t get into the ground, so it was just pushed to the next place and obviously collected in a place like Imola and caused massive floods.

“You had the race in Miami this year - that was a threat, because two or three weeks prior, it was flooded and the actual track was underwater, so the race could have been cancelled if it happened three weeks [earlier].

“You had the forest fires in Canada, which, with different winds lasting a bit longer, probably Montreal would have been kicked off the calendar.

"So it is a real threat. It might be the next year, none of the races are threatened, but that’s not how it works."

Government threat

"You need to recognise that the world is changing and it does have an impact on our lives," added four-time F1 World Champion Vettel.

"It’s not so much that the threat or risk that people might glue themselves onto the track on a race day or maybe at Goodwood, I think it’s more a threat that at some point governments will be looking at things that they can cut and ban and maybe motorsport is a threat and might be one of them. That’s how far I’m thinking.

“And I don’t want that to happen, to be clear, because I think it’s a great sport. You will see a lot of people turning up, loving being here, having a blast, so it will be a shame if we would lose that because we just simply can’t afford it anymore.

“When you look at something maybe as boring as a carbon budget and you just say: OK, well, these sort of events fall off first.'”

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