Four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel has always been vocal about social issues and environmental issues that he's passionate about. Whether he is kneeling beside the 7-time world champion Lewis Hamilton showing solidarity, working towards saving the bees, or cleaning up after fans at the British GP, the 34-year-old German driver isn’t afraid to speak up. During the press conference for the Dutch GP, Vettel was asked about the group Extinction Rebellion who plans to protest during the race weekend.
Sebastian Vettel not only acknowledged the protest group Extinction Rebellion but he showed support for their cause.
“I think in general we are living in a time where it is important to raise attention and I think that’s what they’re doing,” he said. “So I think that’s good.”
When talking about F1 and it's progress concerning environmental issues, the Aston Martin driver proclaims that while he thinks it's good that they are taking steps in the right direction, ultimately it's not enough.
“If you ask me what I would respond with Formula 1 is doing, I think there’s a lot of things that Formula 1 is planning to do, some small things that Formula 1 is taking action on, which is good. But is it enough? No, it’s not enough.
Vettel also warns that as a society we must understand what is at stake with these environmental concerns or else there will be no future.
“Is it enough what we are doing as a society? Obviously it’s very different in every single country and some countries are further along than others. Some people are further along in their heads addressing this topic than others. But as a whole of humanity, are we doing enough? Probably not.
“So I think it is vital that we understand what is at stake and if we don’t get it, then I think there is no future. It sounds very dark, but equally on the bright side, there’s a lot of things that we can do.
“And I believe there’s a place for Formula 1, providing Formula 1 is addressing the right things and making the right moves. Now, as I said, there can always be more that is done. The small things that are taken action on is good is a first step, but not more than the first step yet.”
Lewis Hamilton who frequently uses his platform to promote his social and environmental concerns was also asked about the Extinction Rebellion group. The British driver responded in a more matter-of-fact way while holding the F1 organization accountable for implementing these environmental changes in the future by 2030.
“Ultimately it’s not my responsibility to go and do a presentation to them telling them what Formula 1 is doing. But Formula 1 has already expressed the steps in which they want to take by 2030.
“Naturally things don’t change overnight and I think it’s great that Formula 1 are accepting and holding themselves responsible and realising that they do need to make changes moving forwards. And then ultimately us drivers we rely on Formula 1 and the organisers to make sure that we’re trying to have as positive an impact on the places we go to.”