Vettel: 'Wild' costs of junior categories need to be cut

Sebastian Vettel says the spiralling expense of competing in junior categories before Formula 1 needs to be slashed, because the situation has become ‘wild’.

Vettel: 'Wild' costs of junior categories need to be cut

The issue of high costs in junior categories was raised recently by Lewis Hamilton, who told Spanish publication AS that F1 had become a ‘billionaire boys’ club’.

He added: “If I were to start over from a working-class family, it would be impossible for me to be here today because the other boys would have a lot more money.

“We have to work to change that and make this an accessible sport, for the rich and for people with more humble origins.”

Vettel concurs that things have now got out of control and reckons that if he were starting his career right now, he would find it very difficult to make his way up the motor racing ladder.

“There's not a quick fix, but ultimately, the costs are too high,” explained the Aston Martin driver.

“In all honesty, if I look back to when I started, costs were lower, but they were still high.

“I mean I was very fortunate. I had [backer] Mr Gerhard Noack looking after me, who was the same man who looked after Michael [Schumacher] when he started, probably 20 years before me as a young child.

“It was already very, very expensive back then, so I think Michael was in need of help, and I was in need, because I couldn't afford it. I think the first season we did in very junior go karts, we managed sort of do half on our own and then we started to be very lucky to find people that supported and helped us.

Liam Lawson, Hitech Grand Prix and Juri Vips, Hitech Grand Prix at the start of the race

Liam Lawson, Hitech Grand Prix and Juri Vips, Hitech Grand Prix at the start of the race

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“I think since then, the world has changed. I think sponsoring has changed. And probably the readiness to invest money in young kids and motor sport has changed as well. So, in short, it has always been tricky.

“I don't think it will be a quick fix, but there are certain things that could be addressed to try and make the sport more accessible for all types of backgrounds and all children. It is an expensive hobby, no matter which way you look at it. But certainly it's gone wild in the last years, and got way too expensive.”

Read Also:

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recently said that stakeholders needed to do more to ensure that motor racing did not just become the domain of rich people.

“What I think we can do is make sure that grassroots racing becomes more affordable, so kids that haven’t got any financial background can actually be successful in the junior formulas,” he said.

“All the big Formula 1 teams [need to be] able to identify those kids, rather than making it so expensive that a good go-karting season costs $250,000, an F4 season £500,000, and an F3 season $1 million.

“That is totally absurd, [and] needs to stop, because we want to have access. I think we need to give access to kids that are interested in go-karting, the opportunity to race for much more affordable budgets.”

shares
comments

Related video

Alonso felt he was "losing time" in F1 before taking break

Previous article

Alonso felt he was "losing time" in F1 before taking break

Next article

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool
Load comments
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver Plus

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021