Feature image: motorsport.com
After pre-season testing concluded last week, we had a number of major talking points from the weekend: Have Red Bull outsmarted the dominant Mercedes? Have Ferrari sorted out their 2020 woes? How much have Haas and Williams improved from previous years? However, one of the biggest was Sebastian Vettel’s new lid, a new take on the four-time World Champion’s classic design which featured the German flag running through it.
It has instead been replaced with a similar design, but in several shades of pink which is in hand with the long time sponsor of ‘Team Silverstone’, BWT, who Vettel has recently partnered with as an ambassador for the brand. As well has the pink colour scheme of the helmet, a quote features on the back, ‘Change the World, sip by sip.’ The German isn’t a stranger to this attitude and has been spotted before cleaning up plastic bottles in the post-race media pen.
“The team has a history as well with BWT, it’s not just a strong partnership for the team, but I think strong technology behind, making drinkable water accessible to places that would normally struggle, and not just those places, but also any other places.” the German told journalists. “I have something, I have the technology at home. I don’t use plastic bottles any more, so you avoid plastic rubbish.”
As part as his role as Ambassador for BWT, he wants to push for more sustainable practices in and around the Paddock on race-day weekends, something that BWT has been doing for years. The Austrian water treatment company has a number of sustainability projects in the works with their main goal being to cut back on single-use plastic bottles around the world by expanding the use of water treatment facilities so more clean tap water is available.
“I think Formula 1 is pushing very hard to get rid of plastics in the paddock. I’ve been doing my best the last couple of years, so I think there’s just solutions out there and companies such as BWT delivering those type of solutions, and we all should thrive and have to thrive for a better world and better future.”
He has welcomed the change in helmet colour with open arms, referencing to the bright pink as being a good way of creating ‘awareness’ to the issue telling journalists, “I think the main thing is to create an awareness. It’s a small thing, to paint your helmet in a different colour, but it reaches quite a lot of people.”
When asked if he misses the classic German flag on top of the white helmet, the four-time champion responded with “I don’t have any pride in my way to stick to the German flag. The design is similar, and the core is still the same, but obviously the message is clear.” It’s likely that we’ll see the pink helmet quite a bit throughout the season and it really is a great way of spreading a clear message of sustainability in a sport where it is so key when looking to the future.
This message has been conveyed through the Formula 1 Management as well. Just before pre-season testing a few weeks back, Formula 1 released an outline in which they are hoping to combat waste in an attempt to become completely carbon neutral by 2030. Throughout 2021, plastic bottles will not be used anywhere near the paddock and have instead arranged for a number of water refill stations to be placed around the area instead.