Toto Wolff says getting into gokarts is too expensive! That’s why we are here!
Young drivers need to start somewhere, but Mercedes Formula 1 team principal Toto Wolff believes the cost of karting is too high, and that the next Lewis Hamilton risks being missed if nothing is done to tackle the problem.
Karting is the main route into motorsport for young drivers, but the extreme cost of racing, even at the entry level, sees many people turn away from their dreams before truly learning whether they are good enough.
Formula 1 has introduced a budget cap of $145million for the 2021 season onwards, but Wolff believes the financial problems needs to also be tackled at a grass roots level.
“I think where it needs to start is in go karting,” said Wolff. “I think the grass roots of motor racing, the early years of go-karting need to become much more affordable than they are today.
“To pay £100,000 for a 12-year-old to race in a proper championship, that’s simply unimaginable for most families out there, and I think we need to work on a scheme that we have a large number of kids who can actually try go-karting, that can try competing in proper kit, and then eventually they will make their way into Formula 1.
“Somebody like Lewis Hamilton that was given the opportunity in a go-kart, will always find his or her way into Formula 1, because the talent is extraordinary.
“But I am with you, every single category needs to come down in cost.”