F1: Vettel, Wolff back Hamilton over racing costs

(GMM) Sebastian Vettel and Toto Wolff have backed Lewis Hamilton’s sentiment after the seven time world champion described modern Formula 1 as a “billionaire kids’ club”.

Hamilton suggested the exploding costs of becoming a professional racing driver is locking out youngsters from more modest backgrounds – and ramping up the representation of drivers with extremely wealthy fathers.

His Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, agrees.

“We need to do something so that children without this sort of financial background can also be successful in the junior categories,” he is quoted by RTL.

“At the moment, a good karting season costs 250,000 euros, a Formula 4 season costs 500,000 and it’s a million for a season in Formula 3.

“That is totally absurd and has to stop,” said Wolff.

Quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel also recognizes the problem, insisting that the motorsport industry must try harder so that “children from all walks of life” are able to aim for a career in racing.

Sebastian Vettel.

“It has always been an expensive hobby,” said the Aston Martin driver, whose teammate is Lance Stroll, son of billionaire team owner Lawrence.

“Michael (Schumacher) needed help, I needed help. You were able to make it about half the way – after that it got difficult,” Vettel explained. “I was lucky enough to get support.

“But more recently it has developed in a wild direction,” said the German. “It’s not easy to fix, either – the costs are simply too high.”

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