Why There Are No Young WRC Champions

Sebastian Vettel became the F1 World Champion after spending just 23 years and 134 days on this planet. The youngest WRC Champion was way past his 27th birthday. His name was Colin McRae, and he started at the age of sixteen with a Mini Cooper.


Autocar went out to hoon Citroën's roughly 300 horsepower DS3 WRC before Kris Meeke gets it muddy at the Welsh Rally GB starting tomorrow.

While modern WRC cars might be lacking some of the theater of earlier times, the series has never been faster. Those 300 horses come with loads of torque, fantastic tires, clever dampers and all-wheel drive systems that can cheat the laws of physics.


But no matter how capable their car is, WRC drivers still need years of experience even before they can score their first stage win, let alone the Championship. This is no circuit racing, WRC comes down to how well you know the roads and the car you have to slide around in those woods.

A challenging game of patience at full opposite lock.

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Sebastian Vettel was karting at three years old. No one is going to put a three year old in a mini rally car.