The Aston Martin driver is currently assessing his future options after announcing he will retire from Grand Prix racing at the end of this season.
Vettel has been quite vocal about his environmental concerns, and that has inevitably led some to suggest he could look into the all-electric Formula E series.
But in an interview with Germany’s Zeit newspaper this week, Vettel dismissed that idea, suggesting that Formula E’s technological path was not the right one.
Asked if he could take on an ambassadorial role for the FE, he said: “I don’t want to be a mascot and I don’t want to stick up for something I’m not entirely convinced by.”
“I don’t understand the meaning behind [Formula E]. The battery technology that is being developed has nothing to do with the technology that could be used by a normal car.
“It is not good for the environment if the batteries are not charged with renewable energy but with fossil fuels.”
Vettel’s comments prompted a response from 2016-17 FE champion and series stalwart Lucas di Grassi, who has often strongly defended the category.
The Mahindra driver claimed that Vettel was wrong to suggest that FE had no relevance on the road and said that some of the German’s environmental actions, such as cycling to race tracks and collecting rubbish left on tracks They were for show.
“If Vettel doesn’t want to come to Formula E, it’s his choice,” di Grassi wrote on Twitter.
Lucas di Grassi, Venturi Racing, Silver Arrow 02, Oliver Askew, Andretti Motorsport, BMW iFE.21, Jean-Eric Vergne, DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21
Photo by: Carl Bingham/Motorsport Images
“Although he is the second highest paid series car in the world, he is still far from a maximum F1 salary.
“Now to say that car technology is less relevant to the future of cars… [he] either you have no idea what you are talking about or you are trying to mislead the general public on purpose.
“And/or all those green things he’s been doing lately (trash picking, biking, etc.) are completely greenwashing, not what he really thinks.
“Whatever [whether] Whether you like the series or not, you should support it. That is all.”
Vettel has not yet decided what he will do next in his career, but suggested at the Dutch GP that he did not really expect to do anything.
“I think for now it may sound boring, but I’m looking forward to having time to think about everything and to have time to slow down,” he said, speaking before di Grassi’s comments surfaced.
“I mean, this is the rhythm I’ve known for as long as I can remember. And yes, I wait for a little bit of space and time, but I also know myself.”
“I know I’m motivated and usually I don’t get to sit still for long. So I’m sure something will come up.”
“But obviously I’ll see what it is. I’ve got the Race of Champions in January, a similar start and then a different year ahead of me.”