Sebastian Vettel has responded to a Canadian politician denouncing him as a hypocrite, stating: "Yes, I am." Vettel had arrived at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix wearing a t-shirt bearing the words "Stop Mining Tar Sands" and "Canada's Climate Crime". His choice of outfit drew the ire of Alberta's Energy Minister Sonya Savage, who took to Twitter to criticise the four-time World Champion. "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." In response, Vettel agreed with Savage's assertion, but added that personal attacks such as hers diminish the "bigger picture" of the climate crisis. "Yes, I am a hypocrite, doing what I do for a living or doing what I love," Vettel was quoted as saying by RaceFans . "I'm a little bit disappointed that politicians jump on a personal level because it's not at all about me, it's about the bigger picture. "What's really important is the message that we need to make the switch and get out of fossil [fuels] and start to base our whole lifestyle on renewables."
Vettel increasing his climate activism
This is not the first time in recent months 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 again acknowledged that campaigning for climate issues while serving as an active F1 driver made him a hypocrite.