Former F1 driver Sebastian Vettel says he is not in favour of banning petrol cars.
Some of his fellow environmentalists are pushing hard for restrictions on things like plane and car travel in the name of climate change.
Vettel, 35, agrees that some aspects of life must change going forwards.
“Without wanting to restrict freedom, do you have to fly to New York for three days?” he said. “Yes, there are actually people for whom this is necessary. But just for fun?
“I’m the last person who wants to ban anyone from anything. But you also have to be aware of the bigger picture and know how many people are already suffering from climate change.”
The German, who is in his first year of post-F1 life, admits that one of his hobbies is riding petrol-powered motorbikes.
“That still gives me a lot of pleasure,” he said. “On the other hand, I understand people who see the climate catastrophe as an existential threat to themselves.
“Again, I think it’s important not to talk about bans, but to emphasise the alternatives. Motorbikes can be operated with synthetic fuels.”
Vettel also operates some old F1 cars that run on sustainable fuel.
“I’m not a fan of biofuels,” he admitted. “Land is used to grow fodder to produce fuel – not so great. We can do better.
“But cars and motorcycles are cultural assets. A lot of good has come of it. We should not abolish them, but keep them alive.”
Another way things can improve, Vettel said, is for cities to become “more liveable”.
“If I imagine that public transport will be more fluid, like rail being better than it is today, then the question of car or plane may no longer arise.
“As soon as the offer is right, the majority will go along with it. Many lack the vision of improvement. Change scares them at first. It takes imagination.”