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Vettel slates motorsport's "elite" transformation

Vettel slates motorsport's "elite" transformation

Vettel slates motorsport's "elite" transformation

Vettel slates motorsport's "elite" transformation

Sebastian Vettel has claimed the extreme levels of money required to reach F1 have turned grassroots motorsport into an "elite sport".

Motor racing has always been expensive but given the escalating costs, four-time champion Vettel has conceded it is unlikely he would have made it to F1 if he was now a young driver.

Without contingencies for crashes or other issues, an F2 seat is estimated to cost $3million [£2.63m; €3.01] for a single season. In total, the path to F1 will cost in the region of $8m [£7m; €8.02m].

Given the majority of this funding, at least through karting and the early stages of the junior formulae, is through family connections, it means competing in F1 is beyond the reach of most.

Asked about the potential of there being no German driver on the grid in 2023 given his impending retirement and Mick Schumacher is out of contract with Haas and has not been offered a new deal, Vettel said: "Maybe Germans are very realistic and, you know, motorsport has gotten more and more expensive.

"If I had to start now, if I was seven again today, I'm not sure I would make it, just because you need to have the financial backing at a very, very early age.

"It has turned it into an elite sport. Hopefully, we're taking the right actions, especially through go-karts to make it more affordable."

Motorsport "too professional"

Since Liberty Media acquired F1 in 2017, the sport has seen its value increase dramatically, notably riding the downturn of the Covid pandemic.

But although there have been attempts to reduce the cost of grassroots motorsport, the greater rewards at the top of the tree have increased the levels of professionalism even on the lowest rungs of the ladder.

"There has been too much money around and too much money being thrown at the manufacturers and different dealers and teams," added Aston Martin driver Vettel.

"So it's hard to blame them, they need to make their living and survive as well.

"Maybe that's a little bit of the trouble, that overall motorsport has become too professional, and with professionalism, there's also the financial aspect.

"I mean, look at Formula 1. Now we have the budget cap to try and counter that but there was no limit before we entered that era. Teams were spending more money than they had and that's for all the teams.

"Obviously, the ones that have more spend even more. It's not an easy one to fix."

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