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Vettel calls for independent body to monitor F1’s environmental targets

Aston Martin’s German driver has been vocal about his concerns for the environment and climate change

September 30, 2022 04:49 pm | Updated 10:16 pm IST - Singapore

Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin in the paddock prior to practice ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin in the paddock prior to practice ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Four-time World champion Sebastian Vettel has called for an independent body to monitor and hold Formula One accountable to meet its target of being Net Zero Carbon by the end of the decade.

Over the last few years, Vettel has been vocal about his concerns for the environment and climate change. He even admitted the conflict between his beliefs while being part of a fuel-guzzling sport was a factor in his decision to retire at the end of the year.

Though F1 has set an ambitious target, some have questioned how serious the sport is when it recently announced a 24-race calendar for 2023, which could make it the longest in F1 history, up from 22 this year.

Walk the talk!

“I think big organisations, whether it is business or sports probably need to dare to make a step to find an organisation to control them and if they don't stay within the limitations they put out, then face consequences,” said Vettel on Thursday when asked about F1’s actions that go against its stated claims.

“I think otherwise, we can put everything on a poster and a piece of paper, and it all sounds great, but if it doesn't happen, so what?

“I think the real transparent way would be to find an external independent body to police them if they achieve their goals or not. I think that is the only credible way of doing it,” said the Aston Martin Racing driver.

The 2023 calendar has come under criticism for long gaps between races in the same region with a two-week gap between the races in Bahrain (March 5) and Saudi Arabia (March 19) before going to Australia (April 2). Pre-season testing will be held February 23-25 in Bahrain.

More interest, more money

“There is more interest in F1, there's a bigger chance to make money and it's all fair and valid. But obviously, if you look at the first three races (in 2023), the easy wins would be to save on travel and flights,” the 35-year-old remarked.

The calendar also has failed to keep races in the same geography clubbed together which could have cut down on to-and-fro from Europe, where all teams are based.

“Everybody will go there (Bahrain) and come back for three weeks in a row, which is fair, because everybody's got family and life wherever they are based. You can't expect people to stay out for eight weeks at the beginning of the season,” he added.

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