Vettel invests in SailGP team
By Mat Coch
Thursday 1st June, 2023 - 8:44pm
Four-time Formula 1 world drivers’ champion Sebastian Vettel has become involved in the German SailGP operation.
Vettel retired from Formula 1 at the end of last season and has kept a low profile since.
He returned to the paddock in Monaco and has now been confirmed as an investor of the German SailGP team.
First held in 2019, SailGP uses F50 boats, which are maintained and operated centrally, with technical information shared between teams.
Australia, New Zealand, Spain, the United States, and others already compete with Germany set to enter the competition for the 2023-24 season.
Vettel has invested in the German entry owned by Thomas Riedel, whose communications business has worked with FIFA, the Olympics, and Formula 1.
“I see a lot of potential as SailGP starts its fourth season and for the first time with a German team,” Vettel said.
“Parallels between sailors and Formula 1 have long existed.
“The boats are fascinating and the speeds on the water are incredibly high.
“The races are exciting and I am happy to be close to them with a motivated group of young sailors.”
Vettel championed several causes throughout his final years in Formula 1, with sustainability and environmental awareness key among them.
Those were both factors in his decision to become involved in SailGP.
“There are a lot of sports events around the world and lots of people coming to those events, but there’s a certain responsibility growing with that as well,” he said.
“I think SailGP is tackling that in a very aggressive and different way, which sets examples, and it’s exciting for me to become involved in that and to try and contribute.”
Vettel’s involvement is a boon for the competition, according to Australia skipper Tom Slingsby, whose crew won the 2021-22 competition.
“He probably wasn’t a sailor, he probably didn’t know anything about the sport of sailing a couple of years ago,” he said.
“SailGP was a start-up three years ago and the fact that we’re now getting some of the biggest sportsmen in the world is unbelievable and I think it’s a sign of where SailGP is going.”