Sebastian Vettel was booed during the drivers’ parade at the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday. The Aston Martin driver will start at P17, ahead of teammate Lance Stroll. 

While there is no definitive reason behind spectators booing the four-time world champion, his opinions on climate change issues around the world could be playing a role. 

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At the Miami Grand Prix, Vettel arrived at the track wearing a T-shirt bearing the message “Stop mining tar sands – Canada’s climate crime.”

The 34-year-old highlighted a 2019 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which warned that Miami will be under water by 2060 due to rising sea levels. He also pointed out at Canada’s controversial use of oil sands in Alberta – described as the world’s biggest industrial project.

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In the Friday press conference, Vettel went on to describe the issue as ‘Canada’s climate crime’. 

“I find this – fascinating might be the wrong word – but there’s a lot going on. We live in a time and age where we are so much aware of a lot of things. I think what happens in Alberta is a crime because you chop down a lot of trees and you basically destroy the place just to extract oil and the manner of doing it with the tar sands mining, oil sands mining is horrible for nature,” the Aston Martin racer said. 

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“Obviously Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions have gone up since they started doing it. The site has only been, as far as I read, found like 20 years ago. The prime minister said that no other country would find these resources and not pick them up; I think in principle every country and every person has their opinions and their stance. My personal opinion is I disagree,” Sebastian Vettel further added.