"I want to have fun and win"

He was one of the most talented racing drivers in Switzerland and won five Swiss championship titles with his go-kart. Now 21-year-old Shaun Vogel from Zurich is making a new attempt at the Formula V Championships. He is not prepared to compromise.

Very fast, very ambitious: Shaun Vogel

What are your goals in the Challenge races for the Swiss championship?  

I want to have fun - and I want to win. There is no other goal.

Where do you get the confidence from?

My first runs on the virtual circuit of Monza went very well. With a lap time of 1:21 I was the second fastest of all drivers.

You drive for the first sponsored team, "Allfina". How is the team set up?

It is the team of my employer, the Allfina Group. Just now I am the only driver, but we want to hire two more pilots. The Formula V Championship is an attractive PR opportunity for us. We want to show that we support people, achieve goals and present ourselves as a modern company with a broad horizon.

In every race, 5,000 francs are set aside for victory. What role does the financial side play?

That's a proud sum. And the economic incentive is a nice side aspect. But for me personally, the sporting challenge and the joy of racing are more important.

You were a successful go-kart pilot. Why didn't you gain a foothold in a higher category?

I didn't have the sponsors. We simply didn't have the money to drive my career forward. At some point I had to make up my mind: Am I waiting for a sponsor or am I betting on my profession? I made the decision of reason. Today, as Managing Director, I have both feet on the ground in my professional life.

Ten years ago the "Zürichsee Zeitung" called you "Little Schumi". What do you think about it today?

Beautiful memories come up. My time as a racing driver shaped me - and also brought me a lot for my professional life. I became self-employed early on, learned to take on responsibility and fight for a goal. In sport you learn discipline, assertiveness and risk management.

You also have experience in Formula 4. Can racing in a simulator be compared to a real race?

Definitely. Apart from the G forces, the driving feeling can be simulated practically 1:1. When I think back to my experience with the Formula 4 car, I can say that the Formula V simulator is extremely close to reality.

Have you really finished with your racing plans - or are these thoughts still buzzing somewhere in the back of your head?

Of course, racing is always present in my life. But you also have to be realistic. However, if the Formula V would give me the opportunity to sit in a racing car again, that would be a big deal.

Interview: Thomas Renggli