The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) will plant 296 trees to honour retiring four-times Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel ahead of Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix in Austin for his contributions to the sport and environmental causes.
The 296 trees represent the German’s total number of F1 starts with the first 20 saplings planted on COTA’s campus on Thursday in what will be known as ‘Vettel Grove.’
The remaining trees will be planted in a grove at a nearby park to help with floodplain restoration.
The 35-year-old father of three announced his retirement in July saying he wanted to focus on his family and other interests that have included climate change.
The Aston Martin driver says climate change made him question his job in F1 and has been spotted at tracks picking up garbage after races.
At the Miami Grand Prix in May, Vettel wore a T-shirt with the slogan “Miami 2060 – first grand prix underwater – Act Now or Swim Later” to highlight the effects of climate change.
A few weeks later at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal he arrived at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve riding a bicycle wearing a white T-shirt sporting a picture of a pipeline with “Stop Mining Tar Sands” at the top and “Canada’s Climate Crime” stencilled along the bottom.