Former Formula 1 driver
The impact of CO2 emissions knocked Sebastian Vettel out of his socks
Last year, the German turned his back on Formula 1 racing. Now the 36-year-old offers insight into how he changed his behavior so dramatically.
In 2022 Vettel ended his active career.
20 minutes / Melchior’s call
Sebastian Vettel talks about his final year in Formula 1.
Germany has significantly reduced its carbon dioxide emissions in recent years.
The 36-year-old only traveled to the races by car or train.
When Sebastian Vettel started measuring his carbon footprint a few years ago, the former Formula 1 driver was in for a nasty surprise. In an interview with Red Notice, the 36-year-old German revealed his findings at the time – and what caused them. He wrote car kilometers, every trip, every overnight stay. He said, “Seeing that number compared to the average Joe blew my socks off!”
When asked, he explained: “I started with 400t – just as far as F1 is concerned. In the end, I got to 60t.” According to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, the per capita carbon dioxide content in Germany was 10.5 tons at the beginning of this year.
Only by car or train
Vettel confirmed that he had taken measures at the time to reduce the value of the 400t. He is known to have traveled to the races by car and train in the later years of his career.
“Most of the reduction was due to the cancellation of flights,” he said in an interview. “I don’t want to dictate anything to anyone or portray myself as an angel, but that’s how I started myself. This step didn’t want to be taken for granted, but it made perfect sense—like all the other smaller steps I took in parallel. It felt very fulfilling.” He also enjoyed seeing things he would have missed on the plane: “I noticed that a supposed loss of time is not actually a loss.”
More family time
Vettel has been known for years to support causes such as human rights, equality, sustainability and environmental protection. As an old Formula 1 driver who won the world championship four times, among other things, he was always accompanied by criticism. He ended his career after the 2022 season, mainly because he wanted to spend more time with his family. Vettel has three children with his wife and lives on a former farm in Switzerland.
When asked if he wanted to make the world a better place, Vettel replied: “In general, I’m looking forward to the future. It comes from my time in the sport: how can we develop? I’m too young to go and save the world, and the world is too big for that.” .But I find tasks that inspire me.”
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