Vettel open to idea of racing spec-cars against F1 rivals

Sebastian Vettel would relish the opportunity to race his Formula 1 rivals in a saloon car race, but fears the times of drivers trying out different cars are "gone"

Vettel open to idea of racing spec-cars against F1 rivals

F1 will return to the Nurburgring for the Eifel Grand Prix next weekend, but has no single-seater support races currently scheduled, with F2 not returning until Bahrain and the F3 season having concluded at Mugello.

Races for the Renault Clio Cup and Touring Car Legends series are on the schedule, but it is otherwise sparse.

To mark the opening of the new track, the Nurburgring famously held a race in 1984 featuring 10 F1 world champions and a number of other grand prix drivers, all of whom raced in Mercedes 190 E cars.

The race was won by then-British F3 champion Ayrton Senna, marking the Brazilian out as a future star three weeks before his maiden F1 podium finish at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Since then F1 has not held a similar event pitting its drivers up against each other in identical machinery, but four-time world champion Vettel was open to the idea.

"That would be fun, I would be up for it," Vettel said.

"If we had the chance in touring cars or something, where we could race each other hard, I don't know if that would maybe jeopardise the show of the F1 race following after that too much.

"I think it would be fun. This is a long time ago, but nowadays, we are doing so many F1 races, but it would be nice to do other races as well in other cars.

"Back then you had much more of a change in terms of drivers driving in Formula 1, Formula 2, anything really, week in, week out.

"Now obviously the level is really, really high, and you focus on one thing. I think for us drivers it would be fun to have the ability to mix and do other cars and other categories as well.

"I can see also then it would take some of your focus away, and then it would start a whole package of arguments. I guess those days are gone."

Brendon Hartley and Fernando Alonso are the only recent F1 drivers to have balanced duties in the series with another category, racing in the World Endurance Championship in 2017 and 2018-19 respectively.

McLaren's Carlos Sainz Jr thought it would be interesting to see how F1 drivers fared in equal machinery, but would only want to do so in grand prix machinery.

"I want to compete in nearly the same conditions to them in a Formula 1 car," Sainz told Autosport about the equal machinery race idea.

"I don't mind about anything else. As a driver, you always want to see where you are on the fastest car in the world, and that is a Formula 1 car.

"I wish one day we could all have the same Formula 1 car and see who's the fastest. That would the best or the most fair test. That is impossible to have I think.

"In the end, F2, F3, rally, or anything else, is different to what we are professionals from. We are professional Formula 1 drivers and we are experts at driving the fastest cars in the world.

"So what I would like to compare against the other 19, is to just get the same Formula 1 car and see who can adapt quickest and see who's the fastest."

shares
comments
Why Honda's latest Formula 1 exit means it may never come back

Previous article

Why Honda's latest Formula 1 exit means it may never come back

Next article

FIA and F1 drivers air views with "good conclusions" on safety car restarts

FIA and F1 drivers air views with "good conclusions" on safety car restarts
Load comments
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021