Sebastian Vettel says karting is way too expensive and unaffordable for most. If he was a kid starting in the sport today, he reckons his career “would stop fairly soon because we simply wouldn’t have the pocket money to do it.”
In the Thursday press conference at the German Grand Prix, the Ferrari driver (and fellow German Nico Hulkenberg) was asked the question “there is a lot of interest for Mick Schumacher in Formula 2 but beyond him there doesn’t seem to be many German young talents – do you think it is because Formula 1 is not as inspiring as it was when you guys were growing?”
Vettel’s answer was that he thought young Germans still very much have an appetite for racing, but look at the bigger picture.
“Germans are quite straightforward with the way they spend their money and unfortunately junior racing, starting from karting and through the series after that are – I think – way too expensive” he said.
“Giving us the same chance today, I think our career would stop fairly soon because we simply wouldn’t have the pocket money to do it.
“So, I think overall, to allow more kids – boys and girls – to start racing, the sport would need to be a lot cheaper, as currently I think it’s way too expensive and unaffordable for most.”
And who can deny that?
In our recent reader poll, affordability was clearly the most pressing issue that’s preventing karters from racing.
Most families cannot just go and dump the best part of 10 grand on new gear just to see if their kid enjoys racing, never mind the running costs of chasing the big events to be good at it.