Even after a disappointing season so far, Sebastian Vettel is leaving his Formula 1 future open. In an interview with BILD AM SONNTAG, the now 35-year-old four-time world champion said he could not yet say whether he would be driving for Aston Martin next year. Vettel’s contract with the British team ends after this season. He has been driving for the racing team since last year.
“I haven’t thought about it yet. That will happen in the coming weeks,” said Vettel. He was asked how the process works. It was “a dynamic process,” replied Vettel: “I’m in constant contact with the team on all topics. So it happens automatically that over time you get a feeling for whether this coincides with your own ideas for the future. But I don’t sit alone in a room for five hours, rack my brains and then come out with the solution.”
The most important requirement is that he has fun. “I currently have that,” claimed Vettel, who is far from the successes of earlier times, especially at Red Bull. Vettel celebrated the last of his 53 Grand Prix victories in September 2019 in Singapore, when the native of Hesse was still driving for Ferrari. However, the Scuderia retired Vettel after six disappointing years.
They are not in Formula 1 “to get points from time to time, but to drive for victories. That’s why I ask myself various questions,” said Vettel. The Red Bull champion of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 in Spielberg was a long way from even scoring points this weekend. After finishing last in qualifying, he dropped out of the sprint race on Saturday in 19th place shortly before the end. Vettel will have to tackle the Austrian Grand Prix this Sunday (3 p.m., in the WELT sports ticker) from the rear.
Vettel’s team boss Mike Krack said two weeks ago in SPORT BILD that Vettel was “clearly Plan A” and could also drive the Aston Martin in 2023 – if he wanted to. But Vettel has not yet determined whether he is willing. “Honestly, I can’t say at the moment,” he said.
According to his own statement, he can imagine driving for another team again, but his current employer has priority for him. “Not only am I for Aston Martin Plan A, they are also for me. We’re going to start talking now,” said Vettel.
Meanwhile, in the racing series, he better not afford any more freaks out this season. He was sentenced by the race stewards to a fine of 25,000 euros on probation until the end of this world championship. The reason: Vettel had simply left the driver meeting early on Friday – without permission. He also “expressed his frustration” at the meeting, it said.
“Drivers at this level are role models for all drivers around the world and in the opinion of the race stewards, Vettel did not meet this standard in this case,” said those responsible. The fact that Vettel had visited the race director after his departure and apologized had a beneficial effect. In addition, the two had a very constructive conversation about the topics of the meeting, which Vettel had probably previously enraged.
The completely disappointing performance in qualifying shouldn’t have brightened his mood either. Vettel finished last in the Aston Martin. In the sprint race on Saturday, the world champion from 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 had to retire shortly before the end in 19th place.