Formula 1: Vettel criticizes the premier class, wants more progress

Vettel calls for more technical progress

Sebastian Vettel strikes out against Formula 1 for an all-round blow. Specifically, he calls for a pioneering role in high tech that protects the environment

R.Racing drivers are not exactly the environmentalists par excellence, but Sebastian Vettel (33) is currently changing from Saul to Paul. In his crisis year at Ferrari, the Heppenheimer opened his eyes to the really important things in life. And he even gets really emotional when talking about it.

In an interview with the FAZ, for example, he talks about collecting rubbish while going for a walk. “If I notice something, I bend down and look for a garbage can or take the rubbish home with me to throw it away,” reveals Vettel. “I can’t understand why people throw their stuff out the window or leave it in the woods; that they are obviously too good to walk a few meters to the garbage can. I can’t think of a convincing excuse for that. I allow myself to be disturbed by a few things, but something like that annoys me. “

The future Aston Martin driver has changed his mobility accordingly. Vettel: “I plan exactly where I can go by car or train, whether scheduled flights are available if I have to be on the move. At home, too, I try to use resources more efficiently. Try to buy what we really need and not throw anything away. If you are aware of this every day, then it also works and becomes flesh and blood. “

Why not the electric car right away? “Sometimes I am very happy to do so,” replies the Hessian. “The question that immediately arises is how the battery is charged. If I charge at home, I charge with electricity from renewable energies. This is difficult to understand on the go. Do I get energy from a coal-fired power plant? Then it would not be sustainable. Switching to electromobility is definitely an important step. But in my opinion, the greater potential lies in the development of a fuel for the 1.3 billion cars and for the ships and aircraft that does not lead to a bad CO2 balance. “

Which brings us to Vettel’s criticism of the current Formula 1. Because, in his opinion, it is not future-oriented enough.

Vettel railed against late biofuel plans

Reason: “Only from 2022 will a share of ten percent biofuel (sustainable ethanol / d. Ed.) Of the second generation be compulsory in Formula 1,” explains the former Ferrari star. “As of today, the proportion will only rise to 30 percent with a new engine regulation. That would be from 2025/2026 at the earliest. I find that very, very disappointing. Because by 2025 there will certainly be gas stations for everyone that sell gasoline from one hundred percent renewable energies. Where is the pioneering role of Formula 1 in the field of technology? “

However, it is also a fact that in the coming year the premier class will increase the sustainable share of fuel to ten percent. When the new engine regulations 2025/26 come, you want to drive with 100 percent biofuel – that’s the officially announced plan of the Formula 1 makers.


Vettel with Ferrari sports director Laurent Mekies and Charles Leclerc

© Credit: Ferrari

But Vettel also criticizes the technology itself. For example the current hybrid engine (1.6-l V6 turbo with exhaust gas and brake energy recuperation). “We drive the most efficient internal combustion engine in the world (efficiency 50 percent compared to around 30 percent for cars / d. Red.). But it doesn’t bring the world anything, because the way we drive it, it will never find its way into the series, ”said the ex-world champion. “The only thing that is transferred is the message and the brand message, because the hybrid drive is viewed much more positively for the environmental balance than the normal combustion engine.”

Vettel verbally puts his finger in the open wound: “The disappointing thing is that we don’t use our chance like this … Formula 1 could be a pioneer in technology again after a long time. I think it is precisely this pioneering role that can ensure our survival. “

Ergo, he demands more high tech in the fastest racing cars in the world.
Vettel: “We have no traction control, no anti-lock braking, no stability system, all of this is found in every newer road car today. Things that were developed on the racetrack and found in series. We have undoubtedly made great strides in the area of ​​security. But transferring today’s drive technology to series production is unrealistic because, on the one hand, the demands on the drive are very different. Full throttle is constantly being driven on the racetrack, energy has to be quickly recuperated and released again quickly. A conventional drive (for road traffic / d. Red.) Needs exactly the opposite. The technology developed (in Formula 1 / d. Red.) Is therefore unsuitable for the series. On the other hand, the road vehicles would cost ten times the current price. “

Vettel’s wish for Formula 1

The German wishes that Formula 1 “(should) channel its competitive spirit, ambition, knowledge and speed of development in such a way that relevant technologies are developed for everyone. For example, that synthetic fuels can also be bought at a gas station at a reasonable price. The decision to run on ten percent biofuel in 2022 is nothing new. Why is Formula 1 lagging behind? There is a great opportunity to authentically secure their existence. But that is ignored. “

Vettel’s request to the makers of the new Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali and FIA President Jean Todt is therefore: “We are primarily an entertainment company. But there are things that no longer fit into our time. As a global sport, we have an appropriate platform to present exemplary accents worldwide, to convey a message. So we should start moving quickly. Individual strategies of racing teams, one of which wants to produce the best battery, the other the best hybrid, are of little use. Formula 1 needs an overall strategy. I believe that we have ignored the subject of environmental technology as a development area for too long. “


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