Sebastian Vettel on rallying: ‘I’m still missing a little bit’

Sebastian Vettel contested the Race of Champions event in Sweden alongside Mick Schumacher.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel is open to trying his hand at more off-road motorsport challenges following the Race of Champions (ROC) event in Sweden.

For the first time ever, the Race of Champions was held at Pite Havsbad and featured the unique discipline of ice racing.

Vettel flew out to Scandinavia with friend and Haas driver Mick Schumacher to compete for Team Germany, and they were set to be joined by Valtteri Bottas, but the Finn was unavoidably tied up and unable to partake in a unique edition of the winter spectacle.

The German pair underwhelmed in the team events, and Vettel found himself beaten by Formula 1 Esports driver Lucas Blakely.

However, the 34-year-old faired much better in the Champion of Champions tournament, making it to the final where he came up against nine-time rally champion Sebastien Loeb in the “battle of the Sebs” final.

Loeb won 3-1, before the four-time F1 champion was given a memorable ride by Stig Blomqvist in his 1984 rally championship-winning Audi Quattro S1.

All-in-all, the former Ferrari driver was thoroughly enthused by his experience in Sweden.

“Obviously, you saw I’m still missing a little bit. But I think I enjoy it a lot,” he said, as per the Race.

“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.

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“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.”

Further, the event proved an excellent escape from the COVID-19 pandemic that put pay to the running of ROC in both 2020 and 2021.

“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,” he explained.

The 34-year-old would love to return to the resort and do it all again one day.

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

Vettel will enter his second season with the Aston Martin team this year, and will once again be partnered by Lance Stroll.

The Silverstone-based squad will reveal the car they hope can climb above seventh in the Constructors’ Championship on 10 February.