Vettel ‘happy to look at’ more off-road racing

Jon Wilde
Sebastian Vettel walks past fans at the Race of Champions. Pitea February 2022.

Sebastian Vettel walks past the fans at the Race of Champions in Sweden. Pitea February 2022.

Sebastian Vettel is open to tackling more off-road racing after a Race of Champions weekend that improved considerably after an inauspicious start.

The four-time former F1 World Champion has been a long-time enthusiast of this event, having won the Nations Cup element seven times – six of them in succession with Michael Schumacher – for Germany and the individual title in 2015.

The 34-year-old joined Schumacher’s son and F1 friend and rival Mick in the German line-up on a snow and ice track in northern Sweden this time, and found himself beaten by eSports racer Lucas Blakeley in his opening Nations Cup heat and lost three of his four Saturday contests.

But Vettel was much more of a force on Sunday when he made it all the way through to the final, handling a selection of four different vehicles in admirable style before going down to Sebastien Loeb, the nine-time World Rally Champion – which was absolutely no disgrace.

Sebastian Vettel chatting to Sebastien Loeb. Pitea February 2022.
Sebastian Vettel chatting to Sebastien Loeb at the Race of Champions in Sweden. Pitea February 2022.

So could we see the Aston Martin F1 driver following Loeb into something like the Extreme E series in future, or perhaps the Dakar Rally? He is not ruling it out.

“Obviously, you saw I’m still missing a little bit,” said, quoted by The Race. “But I think I enjoy it a lot.

“Very much like Formula 1 or any category, there’s a lot of work behind the scenes, doing your pace notes and getting all the information you can, the same with us preparing the race and the analysis after.

“The sport progresses and there’s more to it than just driving, which is also a challenge. So for sure it’s not easy to just jump into it and be very good at it.

“You need the time and experience, but if someone is willing to give me a shot and a chance and has a lot of time, I’m happy to look at it.”

 

Vettel enjoyed the whole Race of Champions experience at a very different venue to where it has been held in the past – three of his eight previous team and individual victories came in London, two in Dusseldorf and one each in Beijing, Bangkok and Miami.

“After missing the Race of Champions the last two years and having the pandemic around the world, it was great to be back and great to have a sense of normality as well, as much as it was possible,” added the 34-year-old.

“It was a very, very great comeback, and I would really like to come back to a place like this on snow and ice.”