The Mercedes driver’s eco-credentials came under the spotlight last week, when he posted a series of messages on Instagram, urging followers to go vegan and criticising the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industry. He said that they were a reaction to watching a documentary.
“Honestly, I feel like giving up on everything,” he wrote. “Shut down completely. Why bother when the world is such a mess and people don’t seem to care.”
He faced heavy criticism for his comments, largely because of the jet-setting requirements of F1. But he said that he was doing everything that he could, which included pressing F1 and Mercedes to make the sport and the car industry more eco-friendly.
“Yes we are travelling around the world, yes we are racing F1 cars,” he said. “Our carbon footprint is larger than the average homeowner [but] you shouldn’t be afraid to speak out for something that can be a positive change.
“I’m trying to fly less through the year and mostly flying commercial. That has been a big change in my habits… I’ve gone to stay at Bedfordshire with the family instead of flying everywhere.
“Obviously I’ve changed my diet [to become vegan] which is quite a drastic difference.
“I have a new Smart electric car at home; I’ve sold several of my cars.” In addition to the Smart, Hamilton revealed that he is replacing the three Mercedes he has in America with electric Mercedes EQC SUVs.
He said that the Mercedes F1 team was moving to become carbon neutral, and that he was working with them to reduce the amount of plastic used in the canteen.