Sebastian Vettel has thrown open speculations talking about Renault, Red Bull Racing and Racing Point amid F1 future talks as Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t see bad treatment from Ferrari.
Ever since the departure from Ferrari was announced, lots of scenarios has been played around regarding the future of Vettel in F1. The immediate link was with the likes of Mercedes, Renault, Red Bull and even to the extent of Racing Point.
There were murmurs about Haas and Alfa Romeo Racing too but not so much. In the case of Renault, it is a done deal for them as Fernando Alonso is confirmed to return but Vettel admitted to have held talks, even though it never stretched into a deal-like situation.
With regards to Mercedes, it is an unknown. The German manufacturer have played along but at the same time have kept Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in front along with George Russell. This leaves Red Bull and Racing Point as front-runners, so to say.
Both have maintained their stance in front of the public but whats happening behind the scenes, only they will know. Red Bull has Max Verstappen in its pocket while Alexander Albon has so far shown resilience with scope of solid fight with improvements.
Christian Horner and Dr. Helmut Marko are fond of Vettel, so is the Red Bull team but they insist that they never expected him to be in the market, which makes it a tricky situation. At the same time, Racing Point had earlier denied chances of the German.
However, with the 2020 F1 start, Otmar Szafnauer has sung praises for Vettel. The team has done well despite the resounding ‘pink Mercedes’ rhetoric. They will become a Red Bull-like outfit with the involvement of Aston Martin from 2021 onward.
And having a world champion will be huge coup. There is a but, though, with Sergio Perez having a deal until 2022 F1 season, while chances of Lance Stroll getting dropped is not likely. It is slim chance for Vettel anywhere but he has kept his cards open.
“I think there’s no news as I said I think last week, I don’t know yet what is going to happen,” said Vettel to permanent media group including Racefans.net, Motorsport Network, The Race, AMuS & co. “The race is now extremely important for myself, and then we will see in the next couple of weeks, months what is happening, what opportunities there might be, etc.
“Independent from that, I think Racing Point made a very strong impression, and are certainly in a god place for this year. I know part of the team, I know some members of the team quite well from my past and for a long time. It’s obviously a good opportunity for them this year to have a good car to fight with and try and improve from there.
“Regarding Renault, as I’ve been such a long time in the paddock that I know a couple of people. Yes I did, but obviously at no point concrete enough, or fundamental talks or real talks. As you’ve seen as well, they’ve gone a different direction. As I said earlier, it doesn’t change much for me. It really depends on my decision, which I’m not pressured to take in the next couple of days. I want to take the time that I need to decide.”
Adding about taking up Red Bull contract if they offer and or take a sabbatical, Vettel stated: “I think generally I’m of the conviction that if you want to win, you have to be happy to take on anyone. I don’t think that is a question of your potential team-mate, no matter where you find yourself.
“I know the team very, very well from my past, so of course I’m still in contact with a lot of the people there, whether it’s Christian, Helmut, or others. The appearance on ServusTV had nothing to do with that or potential future. Red Bull has a winning car, I believe so, they are a very strong team, I know how strong they are from the past, obviously a part of the team is not the same anymore and the team has evolved.
“So it’s not fair to say I know the team inside out, because it also has changed and moved on. I know why they were strong back then, and they are still a contender. It’s a car that you can win races in, so for sure that would be interesting. It’s a winning car, and as I said earlier, I’m here to compete and here to win, so probably the answer would be yes [if they offer a contract to me for 2021].
“As for a sabbatical, as I said, I haven’t at this stage made a decision yet. I’m not taking any pressure. We’ve all seen that Fernando is coming back, which I think is good for F1. We’ll see how he gets on. But independent of that, looking at myself, I’ll take the time that I need to take a decision for myself first.
“Everything is an option at the moment, carry on, have a break, or retire. But as I said, I haven’t made the decision yet. It depends on what sort of options are around. It’s not a secret that I am competitive. I have achieved so much in this sport, and I’m interested in achieving more, not just taking part. We’ll see what happens, and then take it from there,” summed up Vettel.
Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo’s Raikkonen has defended Ferrari amid furor about the handling of Vettel ouster. The Finn feels that media is making things sound much bad than it really is, adding that it was similar situation with him when his deal ran out.
“Honestly, I spoke to him last weekend, quickly when we saw each other, I think it was before the start, and that’s all that I know,” said Raikkonen. “I don’t know what is going on there, it’s none of my business. I think it’s unfair to comment if someone is treated badly or not, because I don’t know what is going on.
“I doubt that they have as bad relationship as people are making out. Obviously sometimes it goes this way, that you leave the team, or choose to leave, whichever way it is. We’ll see what happens in his future. You need to ask from him.
“I wouldn’t put too much saying how difficult it is right now after one race. And no, I’m certain that they get exactly the same treatment, both of them. It’s in their benefit to try to get the best result on both cars, so I don’t see why they would do anything else.”
Here’s F1 teams lobbying for FIA/Ferrari deal
Here’s Toto Wolff tired of Mattia Binotto’s comments
Here’s Sebastian Vettel on ServusTV
Here’s Mattia Binotto on decision to drop Sebastian Vettel
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