Sebastian Vettel, the retired Formula 1 Champion, strongly believes that going the the synthetic fuels path is the future for having sustainable motorsports.
Vettel, who retired from F1 at the end of the 2022 season, has become a vocal environmental activist, but combining his sustainability drive with his purist approach to racing and motorsport, the German has been promoting the use of sustainable fuels in racing, rather than the electrification the F1 currently pursues.
During the 2022 British Grand Prix, Vettel who owns Nigel Mansell’s Title winning 1992 Williams FW14B, did a show run in the historic car using carbon neutral to show there are responsible ways to hold on to F1’s history, something he has a passion for in addition to his great knowledge of it.
Vettel will take part of this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, where he will be driving multiple cars from his own collection including Mansell’s Williams FW14B and Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4/8 from 1993, and will be using biofuels to promote his idea of sustainability.
Vettel said: “It’s great to be coming back to Goodwood after all these years. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of some of my most memorable cars which will be running on sustainable fuel over the weekend.
“I’m a passionate racer and it’s important to me that we continue to enjoy driving iconic racing cars today and in the future, but that we do so in a responsible way,” he added.
Vettel keen to enjoy his motorsport passion responsibly
More recently and in an interview with Bild, Vettel was asked about the reason behind his Goodwood appearance, he said: “Motorsport is my passion.
“It’s important to me to show that we can drive just as well and quickly with synthetic fuel. And that already today. Synthetic fuels offer a solution to responsibly having fun. A lot of people just don’t know that yet.
“I think synthetic fuels are a bridge to the future that can already be driven on,” the quadruple F1 Champion went on. “Of course, we don’t yet know exactly what the future will look like. So we should keep an open mind. There is currently a lot to be said for electromobility, because synthetic fuels currently require too much energy to produce, which we now need for other things, for example for general electricity consumption or for heating.
“However, if we have infinite energy available, the efficiency in the production of these fuels will no longer play a dominant role. The real problem is that fossil fuels are far too cheap. But the costs for the future were never included,” he explained.
Asked if he felt any difference driving racing cars with synthetic fuels Vettel insisted: “No, not at all.”
Vettel spent 17 seasons in F1 where he amassed 53 wins, having starting from pole position 57 times. He drove for Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) in 2007 and 2008. In 2009 he was promoted to Red Bull after winning the 2008 Italian Grand Prix in the Toro Rosso. He remained with Red Bull until 2014, and dominated F1 with them between 2010 and 2013.
In 2015 he moved to Ferrari and remained their until 2020, but failed to bring Title success to Maranello, and the spent two seasons with Aston Martin (2021 and 2022) giving them their podium in Baku in 2021.