F1 drivers and team personnel at Buzzin' Corner, Suzuka, 2023

F1 drivers join Vettel’s initiative to build insect habitats at tracks worldwide

Formula 1

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Formula 1 drivers joined an initiative by Sebastian Vettel to build insect habitats at racing circuits around the world, starting at the scene of this weekend’s round at Suzuka.

The four-times world champion chose to launch his biodiversity initiative at Suzuka, his favourite circuit. Vettel won four times at the track during his career, including his first visit to it in 2009, and clinched his second world title there two years later.

This weekend Vettel has arranged for a group of ‘insect hotels’ to be set up at the inside of turn two. This is part of an initiative called Buzzin’ Corner which he plans to extend to other circuits around the world.

To draw attention to the scheme, the apex kerb at turn two has been repainted black and yellow. Drivers from all 10 teams and other F1 figures were invited to decorate the habitats.

Since retiring from F1 at the end of last year Vettel has used his fame to draw attention to environmental issues. He has appeared at the Nurburgring Nordschleife and Goodwood Festival of Speed driving sustainably-fuelled F1 cars.

Lewis Hamilton said no driver has done more than Vettel to use the success he’s enjoyed within the series to bring about positive change outside it.

“It’s great to have Seb back this weekend,” said Hamilton. “He sat down and told all the drivers of his plans. It was great to see that he’s found his purpose and to be honest, in the history of the sport, I don’t know any other driver who’s ever been so outspoken and showing real compassion for the world outside of this little world that we’re living in.

“It’s really great that he’s utilising his platform. I always just hope that with the things that he’s doing, for example, that he inspires the other drivers to do something, maybe in their own lane.”

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Pictures: Vettel and F1 drivers paint bee hotels

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “F1 drivers join Vettel’s initiative to build insect habitats at tracks worldwide”

  1. “When I get out of the car, of course I’m thinking as well ‘Is this something that we should do, travel the world, wasting resources?’”

    He retired from F1 only to travel the world and waste resources! Vettel is a monumental hypocrite.

    1. If the alternative is to stay home and do nothing, then wasting resources to promote fixes for environmental issues is preferrable. Not at all hypocritical but exemplary.

      1. No. The alternative is to live in your home country (not Switzerland), to pay all the taxes and to not plane or boat travel AT ALL. Put your words where your mouth is. You can build thousands of bee houses in your own country, minimising your carbon footprint. Travelling all the way to Japan, emitting TONS OF CO2, just to do something you can do 100% remotely from Europe, is a massive hypocrisy and Vettel has to be called out by the whole F1 community!

      2. No, the alternative is to practise what you preach. That’s the best you can do, and if you can’t do it, you can’t be asking of me to do it. It’s that simple. I wouldn’t accept anything less myself, and I wonder why should you…

    2. It makes me laugh when I see people accusing others of being hypocrites and thinking they’ve scored a massive moral and intellectual point by getting that word into the argument. You know, most soldiers want to live in a safe and peaceful world, but they carry guns and shoot people. Does that mean all soldiers are hypocrites? Please try to think through the argument before you casually accuse people of hypocrisy.

      1. And what’s your argument? Do you think it’s fine Vettel emitted tons of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by plane travelling to Japan, just to launch some frickin’ bee houses?

        1. @armchairexpert you should be ranting at Red Bull then, because they were the ones who sent him out to Japan in the first place.

          It seems that Vettel was in Japan because Red Bull wanted him to undertake advertising work for them in Japan, given he is employed by them as a brand ambassador. However, since he was being sent to Japan by Red Bull, he seems to have decided to launch this event in Suzuka because he would be there anyway.

    3. Haha! Love the thought process or rather lack of.

      You fail to see the big picture so it’s ok.

  2. So that’s how the words ‘buzzing’ & ‘corner’ are written in kanji.
    Of course, an actual speaker had to print that part on the banner.
    I like the mix & recognized the first letter in the corner word because I’ve seen that in a manga-anime franchise title logo – otherwise, good paintings by drivers & several viable images for Caption Competition posts.

    1. For those actually interested, the banner says 「生物多様性というゴールに向かって」(seibutsu tayōsei to iu gōru ni mukatte), or something along the lines of “aiming at the goal of biodiversity”.
      “Buzzing Corner” would be 「バジング・コーナー」(bajingu kōnā) or if you wanted to preserve the n’ at the end of the word, “Buzzin’ Corner”「バジン・コーナー」(bajin kōnā).
      Those two dots change コ (ko) into ゴ (go).
      P.S.: I fancy how Buzzin’ Corner is a nod to Jordan’s Buzzin’ Hornets livery.

  3. I hope he builds one at Maggotts.

    1. Haha! Very good!

  4. As usual, the subject here has been taken over by troll accounts, talking to himself. But it’s a nice initiative, bringing the importance of insects to people’s attention. I’m hoping that Max is eventually grow into this wider kind of awareness, to go with his driving, as he becomes a superstar. Or even, in order to become a true superstar?

    1. The sheet amount of personal offense people take to environmental issues will never seize to astonish and puzzle me. Maybe it’s a guilty conscience, maybe it’s genuine disregard for wanting any positive change due to personal fears. It’s clearly not disinterest, because a disinterested person wouldn’t be taking personal offense to some bee houses existing, but still here we are where some people are losing their minds about this one person trying to create just a bit of awareness on an environmental issue as if he’s taking a wee against their front door.

      Baffling, honestly.

      1. Seb isn’t at fault, he’s a good guy and if he puts up some beehives I don’t see any problem with that per se. Bees are great and Seb is trying to do a good thing, that’s all well and fine.

        I would tend to think when people take “personal offense” it’s not because of any “guilty conscience” because of the environment. I think it’s just that many people can’t afford to travel at all and their own carbon footprint is microscopic.

        To then be lectured… when you are skint yourself because your rent went up, your taxes went up, maybe you got laid off, you had to sell your own car and you can’t afford another one…

        I would think things like that are why people get on edge when they then get lectured about the climate. There isn’t really all that much any single regular Joe can do on a personal level.

        What, exactly, is a general average Joe supposed to do? Buy a Tesla? Install solar panels in “your property” … errr…. when you live in a flat-share with three other people because the rent is so extortionate that you can’t afford anything else, and it keeps going up-up-up… but your wages don’t?

        That’s why I think people get a bit annoyed at times.
        Am I wrong? I’d really like to be wrong.

        1. There isn’t really all that much any single regular Joe can do on a personal level.

          If each person does what they can, it matters.
          It’s surprising how much one person can do, be it muscle or brain involvement, in furthering conservation projects.
          No maps of a local woodland internal pathways? Read books on centuries old surveying/mapping techniques, make the basic tools and spend days/weeks collecting data to hand draw a map. (Computing being more capable now than the 80s, it would be plotted there now)
          That was Forestry Commission land, now it’s Community woodland. Dormice discovered along the way. A gravel company wanted to rip up the ground that had been wooded, in some way, since the ice age. Pretty sure the dormice wouldn’t have survived that.

          Seb is the famous front, promoting the work and actions of many, many little anonymous people.
          BTW. Has anyone noted that Seb also spends time promoting sustainable fuel use?

          1. I’m happy that the dormice didn’t get evicted.

            At the same time, there are people out there who have been less lucky than dormice. Some have ended up homeless through no fault of their own. It happens. Just saying.

            So, personally I would think issues like homelessness are a tiny bit more pressing than the climate. I guess living in tents in the forest is environmentally friendly, maybe…

            And while I somewhat support Seb’s bee houses, at the same time I hope not too many bees end up getting splattered onto cars during the Grand Prix.

      2. @sjaakfoo what do you expect when your “Armchair Expert” has defined himself in terms of angry opposition? It is only in anger and bitterness that he seems to find any identity for himself.

  5. The fact that every broadcast the world over will mention this at least once during qualifying and the race is proof enough that it’s a worthwhile initiative. Tens of millions of people will be made aware that (certain) insects are important to the natural environment, and that it’s not that hard to do something to contribute to that, even in urban areas.

    Sure, the vast majority will not do anything with it, and ‘awareness’ as such is not going to change anything. But this is the point of working with large numbers and using a platform as huge as F1 to spread this message. Even if only 1 in a 10,000 people does anything meaningful with this, that’s still a large number.

  6. Sebastian was always my favourite driver. What a solid guy.

  7. Anything for that sweet, sweet publicity!

  8. This feels absurd. I can’t see what good this does, sure it bring some awareness but there are much better ways Seb can use to actually impact the environment.

  9. Fantastic! Good on them. It’s about time biodiversity’s plight gets some recognition. So much environmental talk has focussed on climate and emissions that they’ve become the go-to initiatives. Meanwhile, biodiversity is suffering globally. I encourage everyone everywhere to get involved with a local environmental friends group and make a real impact. The frustrating thing in this space is we have the knowledge to turn things around, we just don’t have the resources or the investment because there’s no immediate income to be derived. It’s amazing what can be achieved with the help of volunteers.

    1. I would like to know more specifically what you are envisioning for the future. What does this “real impact” look like?
      For example, what sort of housing will people have, say 15-20 years from now?

      1. It seems my question re. housing for people was too difficult.

  10. Coventry Climax
    22nd September 2023, 2:23

    Picture 9, subtitled Lewis Hamilton.
    Boy, has he changed! He even spells his initals NH now.

  11. Steven Williamson
    22nd September 2023, 5:48

    So I guess the cars are going to need bug deflectors just like you used to see on cars in the 70s when there used to be big clouds of bugs at sundown.

    1. So I guess the cars are going to need bug deflectors just like you used to see on cars in the 70s when there used to be big clouds of bugs at sundown.

      Would drivers get grid penalties or reprimands for arriving at the pit with an endangered species pasted on the screen?
      As an aside: What’s the last thing that goes through a bee’s mind when it hits that screen?

      1. I hope I’m not hitting B flat?

        Nevertheless every apex deserves an apiary.

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