Sebastian Vettel has continued to raise awareness over environmental issues, as he sported a new helmet design at the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.
The message behind the design relates to the oil mining in Alberta, which has one of the biggest operations around the globe.
After Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the oil sands in the Canadian province of Alberta has the fourth-largest oil reserves in the world.
Throughout the 2022 campaign, Vettel has been outspoken over several issues regarding the environment and climate change.
Speaking ahead of the race weekend in Montreal, Vettel criticised the mining operations and how they are conducted in Alberta, desiring them as a “crime”.
“I do a lot of reading on the subject because I find this… fascinating might be the wrong word, but there’s a lot going on,” Vettel said.
“And I think we live in a time and age where we are so much aware of a lot of things.
“I think what happens in Alberta is a crime because you chop down a lot of trees, and you basically destroy the place just to extract oil.
“And the manner of doing it with the tar sands, mining oil sands, mining is horrible for nature. Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions also have gone up since they started doing it.
“The site has only, I think been, as far as I read, founded like 20 years ago. I think the prime minister said that no other country would find these resources and not take them up.
“I think in principle, you know, every country and every person has their opinions and their stance.
“My personal opinion is I disagree. I think, you know, as I said, there’s so much science around the topic that fossil fuels are going to end and living in a time that we do now these things shouldn’t be allowed anymore, and they shouldn’t happen.
“So I think it’s just in principle to raise awareness of what’s going on in the first place. I think a lot of people in Canada, a lot of people around the world don’t know about it and yeah, that’s only a small gesture.”
The viewpoint was met with backlash from Alberta minister for energy Sonya Savage, who labelled Vettel’s message as hypocritical, pointing out Aston Martin’s title sponsorship deal with Saudi Arabian oil and gas company Aramco.
“I have seen a lot of hypocrisy over the years, but this one takes the cake,” she wrote on Twitter.
“A race car driver sponsored by Aston Martin, with financing from Saudi Aramco, complaining about the oilsands.
“Saudi Aramco has the largest daily oil production of all companies in the world. It is reputed to be the single largest contributor to global carbon emissions, of any company, since 1965.
“Rather than demonizing the oilsands, which is on a path to net-zero, people could look to lowering their own personal carbon footprint. Perhaps a pedal-car for Formula 1?”
Vettel has previously addressed the issue of hypocrisy, and admitted that he does ask himself questions regarding his profession while also preaching messages in relation to protecting the environment.