Sebastian Vettel has spoken of his “huge admiration” for rally drivers and whether or not he would be ready to step into their world in the future, should the “itch” of competition return to him.
The four-time Formula 1 world champion is preparing for his first racing appearance since retiring from the sport late last year, teaming up with current Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher for Germany at the Race of Champions this year.
The 2023 edition of the ever-popular racing event takes place on snow and ice in Sweden, with many former F1 talents involved as well as current Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas.
Several rallying legends are also part of the field as teams around the world prepare for the Nations Cup and Champion of Champions events this weekend, and the track has naturally seen the former Ferrari, Red Bull and Aston driver Martin asked if he would make a foray into rallying in the future.
He has already said ‘we’ll see’ to the prospect, but was asked about it ahead of his first post-Formula 1 outing.
“I have a huge admiration for rally drivers, I think it’s an incredible skill,” Vettel told reporters at a press conference ahead of the Race of Champions.
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“It’s a very small taste of what it can be like to do a rally, but I feel like I’m coming with a screwdriver and a hammer – two tools – when they come with the whole toolbox. Whatever happens, they have the right tool.
“It’s a great sport. There’s the racing element and the skill, but it’s different in a lot of ways. I think the pilots are awesome and I don’t think they get the stardom they deserve. The rally is popular in the Nordic countries but deserves to be very popular all over the world because the skill is amazing.
“Discipline too, it’s very different as a sport. So I do not know. I think it would be a lot of work, but maybe something that after a while, if it starts to itch… It would be very different, a huge challenge.
“I always follow him closely. Not the sector division, but the rallies and the stages. There were many young children who arrived.
“I remember the time when Petter [Solberg, who is racing alongside son Oliver for Team Norway at the ROC this weekend] won and competed. It’s not like I grew up with rallying, but I’ve always admired people being so fast without curbs or track limits.
Vettel retired with 53 Formula 1 wins to his name from 299 starts, and has previously spoken of the possibility of going to university in retirement, as well as wanting to spend more time with his family as he doesn’t no longer need to travel the world. quite regularly.
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