The introduction of the Germany SailGP Team is set to ‘bring a whole new market’ to the global racing league of SailGP, chief executive Russell Coutts has said.
Germany was recently unveiled as the latest nation to join SailGP’s world class line-up of racing talent and will begin its campaign for the Season 4 title at the Rolex United States Sail Grand Prix in Chicago later this month.
Reacting to the news, Coutts said the addition of the new team will ‘create a lot of interest’ in Germany, and ‘hopefully’ result in the country hosting a SailGP event in the future.
The German team was announced by owner Thomas Riedel and co-investor and F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel. It will be driven by double Olympic sailing bronze medallist Erik Heil with German-Brazilian double Olympic champion Kahena Kunze in the role of strategist.
Coutts said Vettel’s involvement could prove crucial to the fledgling team as it looks to find a competitive edge in its opening season.
“Clearly Formula 1 is a highly technical sport and with SailGP, all of the data is in the open - so I should imagine that [Vettel] will bring a lot of perspectives on how to use technology.”
The chances of Germany rising through the ranks of the SailGP fleet to pick up race and event wins are ‘very good’ in the ‘long term’, Coutts added, pointing to the ‘huge talent in Germany’.
However, the challenging nature of the F50 means the team must meet a steep learning curve in order to succeed.
“We made [the F50] difficult so that the top sailors in the world would be tested, and they are,” Coutts said. “I think it will take some time for [the German team] to realize their potential - perhaps one season - but we’ll see, they are a very talented crew”.