We meet a passionate all-rounder of motorsports, Yannick Mettler, to discuss sponsorship and other struggles in the life of a racing driver.
Full name: Yannick Mettler
Date of birth: 26th of October 1989
Place of birth: Lucerne, Switzerland
What was your very first experience of motor racing?
I remember that I first sat in a rental kart when I was about 6 years old, but after that, there was a longer break since my parents wouldn’t allow me to go racing at first. Racing was definitely on my mind, and I was constantly hoping for the next shot at it. Finally, at the age of 13, I got to drive a junior class race kart. Luckily I was quick straight away, which was an important step towards the first race in national karting in 2004.
If I don’t meet my expectations at first, I think about it a lot, I analyse, I talk to people, I improve myself, and then I come back stronger next time.
How did you finance your early years?
My father was a hobby go-karter and a former motocross driver, so he had had a few connections that helped us get support. I helped where I could with cleaning, maintenance and preparation of the kart, as well as working in my father’s company after school and on holidays. I’m very thankful for the support I had from my parents, and I don’t like to complain about what I didn’t have compared to others. However, it wasn’t an easy journey at all since it was always connected to compromises and uncertainties. Sealing bigger sponsorship deals, later on, was a necessity to continue, I was aware of that from the very beginning.
One of the biggest challenges for every driver is to attract sponsorship. What is your recipe for success?
First of all, you need to get results as quickly as possible. I knew I had to deliver from the very beginning so that I would have a good reason for anybody to support me.
I aim to build a community that is part of my journey rather than focus on selling classical sponsorship with media figures. This makes sense in my case since I also work in other areas of motorsports, such as coaching and engineering. I am in a position where I can offer emotional experiences and access to the racing world from many sides.
How do you deal with the competition on the track?
I always want to succeed and I don’t like to be defeated, so it’s natural that I seek the competition. If I don’t meet my expectations at first, I think about it a lot, I analyse, I talk to people, I improve myself, and then I come back stronger next time. In that way, I managed to score at least one race win in each category I competed in so far.
What are your most important career highlights?
It’s certainly those achievements that I had to fight for the most. My personal highlight is a race win in German Formula 3, back in 2012. It was not only one of the purest race cars I got to drive so far, but also literally a dream come true. Just 5 years before I was standing on a pit wall, watching an F3 passing by for the very first time. An experience I will never forget – the power, the vibrations in the chest and the speed, just so impressive.