The former world champion is already being discussed as a replacement, although Sebastian Vettel has not yet decided. However, questions are rising as to what the Formula 1 driver plans for his future. The 34-year-old is already ruling out at least one role for himself.
The ‘ridiculous season’ in Formula 1 usually peaks only during the summer holidays. But as one of the sport’s greatest drivers is nearing the end of his career, questions about the future tend to be asked a few weeks earlier. Sebastian Vettel is linked to Aston Martin until the end of this season, and recent comments from the 53-time Grand Prix winner suggest he is seriously considering saying goodbye at the final race in Abu Dhabi.
“I have not made a decision yet,” Vettel told AFP. However, the sentences he uttered before and after seem more telling. “I want to win,” said the 34-year-old, who has only seen the checkered flag in one of five races this season. As a result of his infection with Corona, he missed the opening dates in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and upon his return to Australia, he drove his AMR22 to the track barrier with dire consequences. At Imola, there were no fewer than four world championship points for eighth place before the next disappointment in Miami: Mick Schumacher acquitted his mentor until he had to park his car in the garage, which he can no longer drive.
The fact that Vettel is still ahead of teammate Lance Stroll (two world championship points) in the drivers’ standings illustrates a disastrous start for Aston Martin to the season. High hopes for senior positions have already waned during poor driving experiences, but no one expected things to look so bleak. In the previous year, weaker results are still acceptable in order to be able to devote more resources to developing the 2022 car – with the goal of using the massive changes in the rules to at least score points regularly. Vettel, who has avoided making a clear post-season commitment, said: “Finishing outside the top ten is not what I’m here for. It depends on how the year goes.” A statement that increases pressure on the ambitious racing team.
What is happening in Barcelona?
However, returning to the “silly season”, Aston Martin should already be considering alternatives to Vettel. Because if something changes in the driver’s coupling, then it’s on his side of the garage. Because as much as Lance Stroll is trying to leave the image as a driven driver – the fact that the Canadian has been driving in Formula 1 since 2017, despite occasional respectable driving performances, is also largely due to the fact that father Lawrence Stroll left his car and went on to his son who Fits the first class with a funding program worth millions, funded there and bought Team Force India in 2018, which, after changing its name to Aston Martin, will fight for race victories and world championship titles in a mid-term.
Four-time champion Vettel brought the necessary experience with him, but strong results were not achieved except for the surprise podium finish last year in Azerbaijan. Instead, it was recently said, very speculatively, that Fernando Alonso could enter Aston Martin from 2023. The Spaniard is the oldest driver on the field at almost 41 years old, but said he wants to stay “for a few more years”. Not only has he surpassed Kimi Raikkonen’s record of 349 grand prix but has also expanded it exponentially. Despite his advanced age, Alonso’s dismissal remains undisputed. His contract with Alpine also expires at the end of the season, and Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is said to be thinking heavily of the 2005 and 2006 world champions.
Although his future as a decision maker on the British racing team is not as clear as it was a few months ago. The imminent entry of Porsche and Audi into Formula 1 keeps Aston Martin busy, with its new plant currently being built, and intended to represent an important intermediate step on the planned track to the top of the field. However, there are frequent reports of talks between Audi and Aston Martin. Cooperation appears to be possible, especially since the Ingolstadt-based company has already begun developing its own Formula 1 engine. Volkswagen chief Herbert Diess recently made it clear that entering the group would also mean hiring German drivers if possible. However, this entry was planned for 2026, presumably too late for Vettel.
Instead, Aston Martin is looking to make the AMR22 more competitive once again at the Spanish Grand Prix (Sunday, May 22) with major updates. According to Auto Motor und Sport, the Vettel racing team is planning massive changes for the race weekend in Barcelona. The only question is whether the new parts will be ready for use in times of downturn in international supply chains. However, since cars are completely new developments, there is at least a lot of potential for improvement. However, this applies to each of the 10 racing teams, all of which are hoping to find the styles the competition has been searching for so far to no avail.
doubt your own behavior
But it’s not just the sporting situation that puts Vettel’s future into question. He was born in Hesse, the loudest in the circuit for more environmental protection, collecting garbage in the grand stands with fans at the British Grand Prix last year after the end of the race, and in Austria he opened a bee hotel with schoolchildren, to name just two examples. He loves his sport, “But when I get out of the car, of course I also think: Is this something we should do — travel the world and waste resources?” Even the 34-year-old shows understanding for people who consider him a hypocrite because of this apparent division.
“We must ensure that we live on a planet that will be as happy tomorrow as it is today,” Vettel told the BBC. Time and time again he uses the Formula 1 stage to draw attention to the climate crisis and demand changes. In his private life, he relies on renewable energies, produces his own electricity using the photovoltaic system, and prefers traveling by train or electric car to fly. In interviews, he emphasized that he did not want to appear as a missionary, but simply to deal with his habits first. The driving force behind this is likely the three children that Vettel, like his entire private life, is depriving of the public eye.
“In the end, it all depends on how I feel,” the Aston Martin driver ultimately gives a little bit of insight into the actual decision-making process. Since his debut at the 2007 US Grand Prix, Formula 1 has changed, the world has changed and so has Vettel himself. Only Lewis Hamilton (103) and Michael Schumacher (93) have won more than the German (53), who was also the youngest world champion since winning his first title in 2010. Previous successes, he freely admits, make it difficult for him to endure the chase. However, Vettel will not quit racing entirely, even if his career ends. “That’s what I love,” said the exceptional driver who imagines staying in another role. However, he has already ruled out a role that many would like to see: “I wouldn’t be a TV expert.”