Sebastian Vettel was in an outgoing and flirtatious mood during the recent Race of Champions where the German teamed up with Mick Schumacher, son of the legendary Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher. The four time F1 champ says his career as a professional racing driver is not over despite retiring from the sport of Formula 1. That’s why the 35-year-old is definitely open to new things, such as rallying. The German also warns of a big Formula 1 issue.
“I admire rally drivers a lot. I think it’s an incredible skill,” Vettel said most recently during the Race of Champions. Participating in the special event in the Swedish snow, he got a glimpse of what it feels like to drive a rally.
So, in a sense, it is a rookie feeling, a flashback to long-forgotten times as a rookie, as a novice, because rallying is very different from what Vettel has done all his live. Rallying and circuit racing are both motorsport, but the demands are very different in some areas.
Vettel revealed that he had always followed the World Rally Championship with interest. “I admired the fact that you could go so fast, without kerbs or track limits,” said Vettel: “It was all about what was just next to you, whatever the terrain or conditions.”
Rally drivers are the most complete
Vettel gave a telling example for comparison with the rally greats who were also competing in Sweden at the event for motorsport stars from all disciplines. For example, he and buddy Mick Schumacher failed to beat Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich and Belgian rally star Thierry Neuville in the Nations Cup. “It feels like I arrive with a screwdriver and a hammer, so with two tools, while they arrive in turn one with the whole toolbox,” said Vettel.
Vettel praised rallying as a “great sport”, saying there was the racing element and the skill, but it was very different in many ways,” Vettel said,
“I think the drivers are great. But they don’t get the limelight they deserve.”
“Maybe I’ll get the rally itch at some point”
Could he bring more attention to the WRC in the future? By competing, for example? Vettel does not rule it out.
“I think it’s a lot of work,” Vettel said. But: “Maybe I’ll get the itch at some point. It would be something different and a new challenge,” Vettel continued.
From the German’s point of view, the fight for the environment and more sustainability, for which he already vehemently campaigned during his active career, also remains a challenge. And once again he warned of the consequences of climate change.
Vettels big warning for F1
“We love motorsport, I love it, so I am very thoughtful when it comes to the future of this sport. And I think it would be a shame if it has to be banned one day for obvious reasons,” Vettel stressed.
He used the Race of Champions as a positive example. The event introduced 100 per cent fossil-free biofuels and electric cars last year.
“It’s good to see the organisers thinking about how to move forward and have the fun in a more responsible way. I’m thinking about other cars, but also everything that comes with running an event like this,” Vettel said,
“Because it is important and inevitable for the future.”
W have to think about alternatives, Vettel says: “Otherwise, maybe we can go on like this for a few more years until we have a big problem.”