Vettel denounces costs of junior categories 'gone wild'

Sebastian Vettel says the costs of going racing in the junior categories have "gone wild" and need to... The post Vettel denounces costs of junior categories 'gone wild' appeared first on F1i.com.

Vettel denounces costs of junior categories 'gone wild'

Sebastian Vettel says the costs of going racing in the junior categories have "gone wild" and need to come down, although the Aston Martin driver admitted there was no "quick fix" to the issue.

Vettel's comments echoed concerns recently expressed by Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

Hamilton believes F1 has now become a "billionaire boys' club", and says racing must become more accessible "for people with more humble origins".

"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," Hamilton said.

Wolff also recently hit out at the "absurd" costs of grassroots racing.

"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," said the Mercedes boss.

  • Read also - Hamilton: F1 now a 'billionaire boys' club' – needs diversity

Vettel followed suit on the topic but acknowledged that there was no "quick fix" to make motorsport more accessible.

"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 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.

"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," added the four-time world champion.

"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."

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Ferrari: Back-to-back poles not a reflection of 'true performance'

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto says the Scuderia's consecutive poles in Monaco and in Baku were not representative... The post Ferrari: Back-to-back poles not a reflection of 'true performance' appeared first on F1i.com.

Ferrari: Back-to-back poles not a reflection of 'true performance'

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto says the Scuderia's consecutive poles in Monaco and in Baku were not representative of the Italian outfit's true overall performance level.

Charles Leclerc took the field by storm in the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo, stealing the thunder of F1's front-runners Mercedes and Red Bull, and then repeated the feat in Baku two weeks later.

The Monegasque's race in the Principality was over before it started, while Leclerc finished fourth in Azerbaijan where he was unable to hold his own at the head of the field, ultimately crossing the line in fourth position behind Sergio Perez, Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly.

Although Binotto was hoping for a better result given Leclerc's speed in qualifying, but the Scuderia chief also admits that his team isn't racing on the same level as its Red Bull and Mercedes rivals.

"I think obviously there are two cars ahead of us which are still stronger, no doubt," Binotto said in Baku.

"It was great to have pole position both in Monaco and here in Baku, but I don’t think that is reflecting our true performance overall. I think there are two cars which are stronger.

©Ferrari

"But we are progressing. We are progressing because eventually we are learning [about] the car, we are exploiting it better compared to the start of the season. And we know that there will be some developments coming in the future.

"So overall, I think that’s where we are. [In the race] I think we were hoping for a better pace overall, seeing the qualy."

  • Read also - Sainz: Team changes 'opened my eyes' to adaptation challenges

Binotto expected both Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz to struggle at the outset in Baku on Pirelli's soft compound tyre and in the dirty air. But the Swiss was satisfied with both his driver's pace after their switch to the hard rubber.

"We knew that on the soft, we would have struggled," Binotto said.

"I think as a matter of fact, we struggled the most with the soft. On the hard tyres, when in free air, and I think Carlos in free air pace was representative, we were competitive.

"Certainly we still need to improve our pace in the race, no doubt. But I don’t think that overall, we were poor in performance when in free air.

"We were suffering in the dirty air, which both drivers mentioned, and that’s where we need to focus our analysis."

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