I don’t know whether to admire, envy or pity Indonesian youngster Sean Galael, the 13-year-old who has recently won two junior rallies in a Group N Subaru Impreza.
First, the admiration. This is a kid who, when the closest most of his peers get to rally driving is a computer game, is hurling a real-life rally car along real-life special stages. When I was 13, I still used to get a reasonable kick out of skidding my BMX along a gravel path.
Secondly, there’s envy. How come I didn’t have a national rally champion for a father (Galael’s Dad was the 2006 Indonesian rally champ) and the support of Prodrive, one of the world’s most successful rally teams?
Finally, there’s pity. In a post-Hamilton world, young talent is under scrutiny from a very early age with a closer eye than ever before, as everyone tries to pick the next motorsport star before they’ve even hit puberty. Galael is going to have to grow up in a very high pressure environment, and the teenage years are hard enough without the weight of world-championship expectation on your shoulders.