Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel explained his protest t-shirt at the Miami Grand Prix opening ceremony.
The Miami street circuit is the first of two visits to the United States this season, but the coastal location is predicted to be underwater by the end of century according to some scientists, who point to the melting ice caps associated with climate change.
The sport of Formula One has been making moves to be carbon neutral over recent years but still transports huge amounts of equipment across the world.
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Lewis Hamilton has been at the forefront of social issue causes in the last few years and now the 34-year-old erstwhile rival of the Mercedes driver has made his own stand.
Taking to the stage for the opening ceremony, he wore a t-shirt with the slogan: “MIAMI: 1ST GRAND PRIX UNDER WATER: ACT NOW OR SWIM LATER”.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Vettel explained the decision, saying: “It’s not a political message, I don’t want to be political. I think it’s a very human message.
“I think it’s great that we have a race here, and great we have people here, this coming weekend.
“But I find it alarming and, I’m surprised that we go to a place that is not going to be here in 50 years, and everyone acts as if it’s business as usual. That’s very disturbing to me and I think that the situation is very serious, and obviously I want to express my feelings with that t-shirt.”
He continued: “Rather than drawing a dark cloud with a bad scenario I’d do it in a way that people would understand and can maybe relate to. It’s really just what I feel, I’m not trying to take a political stand.
"Sometimes the truth isn’t nice but it’s worth spreading and it will impact so many people, and maybe some can’t afford to start over anew. We’re in trouble and need to act now otherwise there will be a lot of suffering.”
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