British racing driver Oliver Rowland says he gets “p*ssed off” with drivers like Lewis Hamilton complaining about junior racing costs, but doing nothing to help.
The six-time World Champion has been vocal in the past about the escalating costs of navigating through junior racing into Formula 1, believing it stops talented young drivers from making it to the pinnacle of motorsport.
His rival over at Ferrari Sebastian Vettel has also made similar complaints in the past.
But such comments irritate Rowland who has himself paid to help young drivers move up the ladder, and he feels that prominent figures such as Hamilton who have a lot more money than him should stop talking and take action.
Speaking as part of the Inside Electric podcast, he said: “I know first-hand how much it costs to run a karting team.
“People say you should get rid of teams because they bring out more costs. But then at the same time, as a team we provide a package for the driver to develop much quicker than if he was on his own. Especially in Britain we have really good grassroots karting and they tend to get really good really quickly. So it’s very difficult.
“I myself sponsor, or I’ve helped pay for, a couple of drivers, or I’ve helped in certain ways that I can.
“I’m not on the same level as the top F1 guys, but I put my hand in my pocket to help people who I think deserve it and probably couldn’t go to the next level without that help. I notice that the people saying it in the press and things like that, maybe they could do the same.
“It pisses me off a little bit sometimes when I hear people complaining about it, but then actually they’re not really doing much themselves. For example Lewis said a couple of months ago that people need motorsport grass roots and all this sort of stuff.
“Even if he was to put his name against three or four drivers that were doing exceptionally well, that would help draw in sponsorship for them. And that wouldn’t actually cost him anything. But it would just be a way for them to then generate a bit of sponsorship for themselves.
“Just to have him backing somebody, he could go to sponsors, he could even go to meetings with them. He’d generate a hundred thousand karting budget very quickly. Whereas without him it’s really difficult for anybody to get anything.”