Sebastian Vettel’s criticism of Canada’s exploitation of the Alberta tar sands has drawn a fierce response from the region’s minister of energy.

The Aston Martin driver is sporting a new helmet this weekend bearing the slogans “Stop mining tar sands” and “Canada’s climate crime.

Alberta’s minister for energy Sonya Savage, a member of the United Conservative Party of Alberta and supporter of oil pipeline construction, slated Vettel’s stance in a series of posts on social media.

“I have seen a lot of hypocrisy over the years, but this one takes the cake,” Savage wrote, pointing out Saudi Aramco is a title sponsor of Vettel’s Aston Martin team.

“Saudi Aramco has the largest daily oil production of all companies in the world. It is reputed to be the single largest contributor to global carbon emissions, of any company, since 1965.

“Rather than demonising the oil sands, which is on a path to net-zero, people could look to lowering their own personal carbon footprint. Perhaps a pedal-car for Formula 1?”

“Obviously Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions have gone up since they started doing it. The site has only been, as far as I read, found like 20 years ago.

“There’s so much science around the topic that fossil fuels are going to end. Living in a time that we do now these things shouldn’t be allowed anymore and they shouldn’t happen.

“So it’s just in principle to raise awareness of what’s going on in the first place. I think a lot of people in Canada, a lot of people around the world don’t know about it.”

“It’s just to think about future generations and the world we leave in their hands once they’re old enough to carry on to take care of it,” he added. “I think it’s only fair to to look after it and not destroy it.”