Former F1 driver Sebastian Vettel part of German SailGP team investment group

Four-time world champion partners with Olympic bronze medalist Erik Heil and team owner Thomas Riedel on sailing project.

Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel is part of the investment group behind the formation of the first Germany SailGP Team.

Confirmed:

  • Vettel is working with double Olympic sailing bronze medallist Erik Heil and team owner Thomas Riedel on the project
  • The new team is set to compete in the SailGP global racing league, which starts its fourth season on 16th to 17th June
  • Erik Heil, who won Olympic bronze medals in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, will operate the German F50

Context: The trio of Riedel, Vettel and Heil were drawn together by their shared interest in high-performance sports, cutting-edge technology, and the impact of the global sailing championship. All three have expressed their appreciation for SailGP, a rapidly growing high-tech racing series. Riedel's company also provides RF infrastructure for SailGP, connecting competitors, officials, boats, and helicopters during races.

The team was unveiled at SPOBIS 2023 in Düsseldorf, where SailGP co-founder and chief executive Sir Russell Coutts presented a symbolic yellow wheel of the F50 to Heil and Vettel.

Comment: Vettel said: “I see a lot of potential as SailGP starts its fourth season and for the first time with a German team. Parallels between sailors and Formula One 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. In addition, the series not only uses wind power, but also strives to set new standards in sustainability in sports.”

Coming next: The Germany SailGP Team, whose full lineup will be announced next month, will participate in the upcoming fourth season of the global league, which starts in Chicago. The team will include Kahena Kunze, a female German-Brazilian double Olympic champion from Rio and Tokyo, in the role of strategist.

The team will be managed by Tim Krieglstein, former senior marketing manager for Red Bull, and Anne van der Wereld, a veteran of the around-the-world Ocean Race and SailGP Team New Zealand.

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