Taking a retrospective look at the early stages of his career and comparing it to the actual spendings required in motorsports, Sebastian Vettel admitted wanting to see changes as he thinks costs are getting “wild” and making the sport unreachable for some.
Vettel had a pretty ‘usual’ career scheme for a young motorsport talent, starting his career young in karting before slowly climbing the stairs and trying to make himself a path towards his Formula One dream that he finally reached in 2006 after 11 years of racing.
Nonetheless, it is not a secret for anybody that getting involved in motorsports is at your own risk, especially in terms of finances. The costs for driving a full season in motorsports keep getting higher as drivers are evolving and they never earn money in promotion classes like Formula 4,3 or 2 but rather see their savings rush relentlessly into the sport.
Some Formula 2 drivers mentioned having to spend more than a million pounds to be able to drive a single season in Formula 2, which is of course an unreachable amount for 99% of the world’s population. This is why sponsors have such an important role in racing.
Talking about sponsors, Vettel pointed out that he was extremely thankful that he was supported by wealthier people who let him make himself a name in motorsports thanks to financial support.
The four-time world champion emphasized that costs were already tremendously high when he was young but as spendings are rising with the years, Vettel wants to see changes as he thinks things are getting out of control and that motorsport is about to become a closed sport, reserved for the hyper high social categories.
“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,” Vettel said.
“There’s not a quick fix, but ultimately, the costs are too high.”
“In all honesty, if I look back to when I started, costs were lower, but they were still high.”
“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.”
“I mean I was very fortunate. I had 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 since then, the world has changed. I think sponsoring has changed. And probably the readiness to invest money in young kids and motorsport has changed as well.”
“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.”