Sebastian Vettel, who ended his Formula 1 career at the end of the 2022 season, acknowledged that making the switch to a career in competitive rallying would be a “huge challenge,” but he didn’t completely rule out a future move to WRC.
The four-time F1 World Champion was speaking ahead of the Race of Champions, returning to Sweden’s snow and Ice track this weekend.
Vettel finished runner-up behind rally legend Sebastian Loeb in 2022 and he outperformed his competitors that had more off-road racing experience, over the weekend.
“I have a huge admiration for rally drivers I think it’s an incredible skill, Vettel said, speaking to media on Friday.
“Obviously, this is a tiny glimpse of what it might feel [like] to do a rally. But it feels like I arrive with a screwdriver and a hammer, like two tools. Whereas they arrive to turn 1 with the whole toolbox, set equipped for whatever might happen, they have the right fitting tool.
“So, I think it’s a great sport, there is the racing element and the skill but it’s very different in many ways.”
Vettel responded to questions linking him with a possible move to WRC and added that he believes that rally drivers don’t get the credit they deserve as F1 increasingly grabs the attention of the audiences globally.
“I think the drivers are great; they don’t get the limelight they deserve. F1 like I said before is very popular, rallying is popular but maybe more in the Nordic countries but [rallying] deserves to be more popular around the world because the skill is incredible and the discipline as well, it’s very different as a sport.
“So, I don’t know I think it would be a lot of work but maybe something after a while, if it starts to itch, it would be very different, it would be a huge challenge.”
“I always did [follow WRC] a little bit, not the sector spit, but usually the rallies and the stages and there has obviously been a lot of young kids coming up. I remember the days when Petter [Solberg] was winning and competing. So yeah, it’s not like I grew up with rallying but somehow, I always did.
“I always admire the fact you go so fast without curbs and track limits and just whatever is next to you doesn’t matter, whatever the terrain, whatever the conditions. So it’s a huge fascination.”
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