NAfter Sebastian Vettel’s protest about the so-called tar sand mining in Canada, the environment ministers of the state concerned publicly defended themselves and, for their part, found clear words for the German Formula 1 driver. “I’ve seen a lot of hypocrisy over the years, but this is the crowning glory,” Alberta’s Energy Secretary Sonya Savage wrote on Twitter in an article detailing Vettel’s statements ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.
“A Saudi Aramco-financed Aston Martin driver complains about oil sands,” wrote the politicians, referring to the team’s main sponsor. Aramco is considered the largest oil production company in the world, the company comes from Saudi Arabia.
Vettel once said before the season that it was obvious “that the oil companies as a whole have to ask themselves how they want and need to shape the future. I think this can be an opportunity, hopefully to make a little impact to change things a little bit for the better.”
In Montréal, Vettel followed up his T-shirt campaign – it bore the inscription “Stop tar sand mining – Canada’s climate crime” – in the official press conference before the ninth race of the season. What is happening in Alberta is a crime. “It’s a horror for nature. Something like that shouldn’t be allowed,” emphasized the soon to be 35-year-old four-time world champion.
Instead of demonizing the oil sands, which, according to the politician, are on the way to climate neutrality, people could reduce their own CO2 footprint. “Maybe with pedal cars for Formula 1?” Wrote the politician.
According to Greenpeace, the extraction of oil from the clay and sand mixture differs massively from the conventional extraction of crude oil. The oil sand layer is therefore about 30 meters deep. To get there, Canada’s primeval forests have been cleared and the topsoil removed. Only then can the mixture of sand, clay and tar-like oil be lifted out of the ground.
Vettel is very conscious of his actions as a racing driver. “I am aware that my job is not good for the environmental balance,” he once said in a FAZ interview. Nevertheless, he is considered to be environmentally conscious. Among other things, he travels to some races in Europe by train, and he comes to the paddock in Melbourne by bike.