Four-time world champion Vettel has advocated several environmental initiatives and spoken regularly about his concerns about the climate.
When asked if his activism made him a hypocrite while he continued to race in F1, Vettel replied: “It does. There’s questions I ask myself every day. I’m not a saint.”
The German retired from the sport at the end of 2022.
“I love motorsport and I’m very careful when it comes to the future,” Vettel told Corriere dello Sport during last weekend’s Race of Champions event in Sweden.
“We have young drivers, and I have children, and I think it’s really a privilege to experience the world of motorsports as I have.
“It would be a shame if this were one day banned for obvious reasons.”
Vettel continued: “I think that for the future, if we want to continue practicing this sport and cultivate our passion for racing, we have to think of alternatives.
“Or we can continue to do things as we are used to for another couple of years before we end up with a really big problem.
“So it’s good to see that people are caring about that. Of course it depends on the type of racing, but the movement exists, people are considering how to create a sustainable future.”
Vettel was knocked out of the Race of Champions by close friend Mick Schumacher, who went on to finish runner-up in the Champion of Champions Grand Final.