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“He has no idea what he’s talking about”– Formula E winner accuses 53 GP winner Sebastian Vettel of ‘greenwashing’

Ananya Bangera

"He has no idea what he's talking about"– Formula E winner accuses 52 GP winner Sebastian Vettel of 'greenwashing'

Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi has slammed Sebastian Vettel after the Aston Martin driver criticized the series in an interview.

The Aston Martin driver who announced his retirement recently is set to leave Formula One at the end of this season. With his contract with Aston Martin expiring, the German is currently evaluating his future options on whether he’ll continue to be involved in racing thereafter.

Given Vettel’s environmental concerns, it was believed that the future Formula One retiree may fit in well with Formula E, if not as a competitor, then perhaps as an ambassador for the all-electric series.

In a recent statement, Brazilian FE driver di Grassi affirmed that the 35-year-old would be more than welcome to give it a go when Formula E enters its Gen 3 phase for season nine later this year.

Sebastian Vettel is not convinced with Formula E

FE made its debut in 2014 to reinvent racing. The series engines are electric with all weather and durable tires. It also has a sustainability program in place to guarantee sustainable practices are carried out throughout race weekends.

In F1, a major selling point of the turbo hybrid era is that much of the technology influences the development of environmentally friendly road cars.

However, Vettel is not convinced about FE’s battery technology or environmental credentials. Given that the series uses diesel fuel on-site to power the generators that recharge FE’s cars.

In an interview with the German newspaper Zeit, he said, “I don’t understand the meaning behind [Formula E]. The battery technology that is being developed has nothing to do with the technology that a normal car could use.

“It is not good for the environment if the batteries are charged not with renewable energy but with fossil fuels.” When asked if he could serve in an ambassadorial role for FE, he responded: “I don’t want to be a mascot and I don’t want to put my face forward for something that doesn’t fully convince me.”

Some media outlets have criticized formula E for using diesel to fuel generators that would clear the smoke in the paddock. This was due to Gen2 cars’ faster charge rate.

However, the series is aiming toward a more sustainable solution to generate the electrical power it needs to be able to race.

Also read: When Sebastian Vettel triggered $90 Million loss for F1 on stock exchange

52 GP winner was accused of purposely misleading the general public

The Aston Martin driver had previously drawn criticism at the Canadian GP. When he arrived in the paddock wearing a t-shirt bearing the words “Stop Mining Tar Sands” and “Canada’s Climate Crime”.

Sonya Savage, Alberta’s Energy Minister, took offence to this and referred to Vettel as a “hypocrite,”. Claiming that “a race car driver sponsored by Aston Martin, with financing from Saudi Aramco” should not be complaining about the oilsands in Canada.

Meanwhile, Di Grassi raced in F1 in 2010 with Virgin. He seems to have taken a similar approach in his message to Vettel. He indicated that FE being less lucrative than Formula 1 might be why Vettel would have declined a spot in the electric series.

“If Vettel doesn’t want to come to Formula E, it is his choice,” di Grassi wrote on Twitter. “Although it is the second highest paid series single-seater in the world, still far away from a top F1 salary.

“Now to say that the technology of the cars are less relevant to the future of automobiles…. [he] either has no idea of what he is talking about or is trying to mislead the general public on purpose.

“And/or all that green stuff he has been doing lately – collecting trash, riding bicycles, etc – is completely greenwashing, not what he truly believes.”

Also read: Max Verstappen can beat Sebastian Vettel’s 9-year-old record that was thought to be unbreakable

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