Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2019

“It’s about time”: Vettel praises F1’s “ambitious” net-zero carbon target

2019 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel gave strong backing to Formula 1’s recently announced sustainability strategy, saying “it’s a great message and it’s about time”.

The sport has set itself the goal of reducing its carbon emissions to “net zero” by 2030 through root-and-branch changes to how the sport moves around the globe, fuels its cars and more.

“It’s good to see that people who can make decisions and can make a change are thinking of making a change,” said Vettel.

“I think it is an ambitious target. Equally, I would like to see a lot of the goals that are set out to be achieved sooner because I think it is a must in our times and we can’t afford to wait. So I think it’s definitely going in the right direction.”

Vettel says F1’s attempt to reduce its emissions does not mean it needs to “hide” it character. “Obviously the sport that we love is is called motor sport because we have an engine in our car. So it comes with maybe some things that people jump on and would like to criticise and say it’s all a fraud.

“But I think in general we should not try and highlight the things that maybe people are not doing or you think [they] should do differently. I think we should focus on things that we actually can do differently in order to make a change. This is both for every individual, but also for us as a sport.

“So I think the challenge is quite clear. It’s to obviously improve our sport, enhance the show, grow passion based on the values that we share for such a long time. But make them sustainable. I think that is an incredible challenge. But as I said, it’s about time.”

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19 comments on ““It’s about time”: Vettel praises F1’s “ambitious” net-zero carbon target”

  1. What happened to “Bring back the V12s”, Seb?

    1. @phylyp Come on mate, really? :)

    2. @phylyp

      To be fair they could go back to simple V12s and ask their sponsors to stop shipping their products from China and save more carbon.
      How about a Ferrari V12 with ‘Shop Locally’ as a sponsor ?

      BTW Seb is a 2-stroke motorcycle fan

      1. ask their sponsors to stop shipping their products from China

        And give up that sweet sweet profit margin? Pffft, @bigjoe ;)

        @milansson – couldn’t resist, man, low-hanging fruit and all that :)

        1. @phylyp

          Yep that’s my point. F1 can’t be carbon friendly if it’s sponsored by dirty money. Oil, ICE engine cars and luxury goods made in China.

          So becoming more aware F1 would take a massive hit on income. yet they could go back to simple cheap V12s or V8s with that lesser income.
          They could reduce the races by say 5 laps to help with actual pollution. Maybe also scrap qually and they start as they finished in the previous race which would surely mix things up a bit for entertainment.

          1. the entire race (all 20 cars) uses about as much fuel as one of the half-dozen 747s they need to move from one county to the next does just to take off.

  2. @phylyp damn it, i get it.. it was right there :)

  3. It’s good that the sport has these ambition. But I think the discussion is too often about the cars and fuel. This is just a very small part of the foorprint compared to all logistics.

    I think it’s fair to say the Champions Leauge i.e. has a much bigger impact than F1 but you never hear anyone about it

    1. @anunaki

      But I think the discussion is too often about the cars and fuel

      Only people behind the times talk about that these days. Formula E is making a statement. I think people are now beyond like for like comparisons.

      Champions League money comes from people like Sony with Sponsorship for their PS4 shipped over from China, where does F1’s money come from? Bio fuel food? Bio food? Fairtrade ads?

  4. Hmm let’s estimate: 22 racecars driving maybe 30000 km in a year makes 660.000 km. Testing etc. However 20.000+ fans driving from holland to Austria.. Let say 5000 cars about 1200km each is… 6.000.000 km. So F1 cars by themselfs really have no significant impact on the environment or climate.

      1. So millions and millions travelling to all sorts of events bring much more polution than the event itself. Think big.

        1. I miss the days of huge turbos and fuel so toxic, just the exhaust fumes would put you down. Times change.

  5. The real deal here is not the fact that F1 cars or the fans cars produce less carbon print or whatever…

    It is actually about how much research and innovation and millions of dollars will go into producing that kind of new technology, considering how creative and intelligent the F1 teams are.

    And then that technology will help cars all over the world just like F1 has helped the automotive world in the past decades, so then we can see that this kind of change indeed brings a monumental effect :)

    1. @redbullf1

      You mean like letting Tesla and Chinese start-ups overtake them?

      You realise Mercedes and BMW literally ran around falling over themselves when they saw the pre-orders for the Tesla Model 3 ? It was heading towards half a million cars with $1k deposit. In perspective the new E-MINi has 45,000 pre orders.
      Renault and Mercedes have only recently started to invest in Battery tech. Tesla is building its 4th Gigafactory. Not least the new one being on Mercedes’ home turf.

      As for Ferrari, FIAT stated a few years ago they weren’t interested.
      The Chinese also have a nice head start on small motorcycles and scooters.

  6. Net-zero = burn fuel and plant enough trees to balance it out ;-) No need for expensive technology

  7. First they must require the most polluting countries to lower their carbon rates.
    An alternative for F1 is to use fuels such as ethanol.
    The internal combustion engines and F1 are one.

  8. The Dakar website states (2018) that 15 thousand tons of carbon dioxide are generated directly …
    In 2014 the carbon footprint reached 12,811 t and in 2015 it reached 17,445 t, making a total of 30,256 t, these data did not take into account the motorized of the competitors.

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