Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel believes Formula 1 “should do more” as a global sport to send a “much stronger message” about environmental issues. 

Vettel’s comments came in response to a question about the backlash Lewis Hamilton received over social media posts asking people to consider veganism to help do more to protect the planet. 

Hamilton responded to the criticism during the FIA drivers’ press conference ahead of this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix and was supported by F1 rival and four-time world champion Vettel. 

“I think you would be ignorant if you wouldn’t look at it,” Vettel said. 

“As Lewis mentioned, it’s very difficult in a way for us to get acceptance from the outside because we don’t have the smallest footprint because the races happen all over the world and we do have to travel. So it’s part of our jobs. 

“But I think in general, Formula 1 should do more. It’s a worldwide operating platform. I think we should send a much stronger message regarding this subject and I think everybody can do something and contribute a little bit. 

“If the whole world would act like that then it would make a huge difference. I think it’s inevitable that change is coming and hopefully rather sooner than later.

“I think it’s about supporting the planet when you are talking about the environment,” he added. “I think politics in a way have failed in the past and at the moment we’ve seen that it’s critical. 

“Hopefully they will get their act together and succeed in trying to find solutions that will help our planet and help other problems that we have among ourselves as human beings, to try and improve the situation. 

“In that regard, I’m a supporter of the planet. As I said I think change is coming and it’s up to us to embrace it, rather than ignore it before it’s probably too late.” 

Home-favourite Sergio Perez highlighted the importance of F1 drivers “raising our voices” about the subject. 

“A lot of people hear us – especially for someone like Lewis. It’s very important,” the Racing Point driver explained. 

“I see the messages that he sends often on his social media are good. A lot of people are following him, so if we can impact the world, if we can help a bit, I think we are obliged to do so. I don’t see anything wrong with that.”

Alexander Albon also supported Hamilton’s stance, adding: “What Lewis said was really good. Just because we are in F1 doesn't mean we can't care about the environment.”

But Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen said: “The environment is very important but F1 has been around for a long time and I don’t think we should overreact or be a drama queen about it. 

“Just get on with it. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”