Sebastian Vettel talks about his F1 future with no contract in place for 2023 with Aston Martin, as Mike Krack adds on the same.
Having switched from Ferrari to Aston Martin last year, Vettel had a multi-year deal with the Silverstone-based outfit which runs out at the end of the 2022 F1 season. With how the year has been so far, questions has already been raised about his future.
In recent races, Aston Martin has done a bit better but they are still a bit far off from the upper midfield teams. For Vettel too, he is not sure at the moment about his future as he waits to understand how the project pushes on in the coming few months.
“It’s a no brainer,” started Vettel. “My contract ends at the end of this season. Obviously, it’s not the year that everyone in the team hoped for, at least the start of the season, but I think it would be bad to write it off already. It’s only race four, it’s new regulations, there are so many things we are currently struggling with when it comes to performance with our car, extracting the performance… I think others have the same or similar problems.
“So lots of things that we can still understand and learn and the next weeks and months will be very important to set the direction for this year, but also for learning and knowing what to do in the next three, four years, whatever you mentioned [as the] horizon. So I feel that it would be wrong to write this season off, absolutely wrong. It’s just started.
“I only had one race and didn’t even finish that race. So plenty of things we can still improve and learn, and then in a couple of weeks and months, I think we are in a better place to judge where we really are. Because the spirit is good the team is you know willing to very willing to be at the front at the minute we’re not it’s not a secret.
“But lots of work going in. It will depend on obviously how this year goes and then take it from there,” summed up Vettel. When asked if there any remote truth in conversations with Christian Horner about a Red Bull return, the German laughed it off.
“I haven’t spoken with Christian for a while,” said Vettel. “I don’t know. So, not true. I don’t know, I mean, time will tell. At the minute I think the focus is on the now and on a mountain ahead of us that we try to climb, and we won’t climb it in the day, we won’t climate in the month, but we will choose the path that we climb, which will determine the next three to four years.
“So that’s why I feel it’s really important to focus on that. And it takes all the attention. And then, I don’t know, one day there will be a day for all of us where this journey ends and some other journey will start, whatever that might be. I am I’m not sure… I definitely won’t sit on the other side, in terms of asking questions to drivers. I don’t think that will be my strength,” summed up Vettel
The bigger question to Vettel at this stage is for how long can he continue being 34-year-old. The German isn’t dwelling as much on that at the moment as winning championships is still the goal and he has to decide on that basis rather than on physical aspect where he thinks he is still not old enough to retire.
“In all honesty, I had an amazing 15 years or so looking back, and I was in a position to win championships, win a lot of races, fight for positions, get a lot of podiums, and obviously, the taste was great,” said Vettel. “It’s not a secret that if you’re not in a position to be there that it’s a different taste. You need to find a different sort of motivation. But yeah, I think ultimately, I’m willing to be tasting the same again.
“That’s the nature of the sport. For some of the guys in the room it’s a little bit different because they’re still very early in their careers and they didn’t have a team or car yet where they were able to show what they can do. So it’s different, clearly a different position but that is, I think, one of the big deciders.
“But the team is growing, there’s a lot of things it looks very promising. The answer is time will tell. But those will be the key things that I will be looking at to see how promising is it looking in the future? And how soon, because obviously I’m not really old, I think physically I have a lot of years left, it’s not a problem at all.
“But, yeah, I think that’s ultimately the goal to win and fight for podiums and victories, which currently, we’re far away from. But, as I said, there’s plenty of work, so that that’s also very exciting, to know where we are now and to take the little steps and define the path for the future,” summed up Vettel.
Amid all the talk from Vettel, Aston Martin chief Krack is pretty open about keeping the German in their ranks. He feels it is important to have a drive like him to maintain the motivation among the team members to push on for race wins and titles.
“I’m not going to speak about contracts here but obviously, if you have a driver like Sebastian Vettel, that you can keep motivated by giving him the car that deserves the quality of his driving, I think you would be foolish not to try to retain him,” said Krack.
“But I 100% understand his comments. He wants to see progress, he wants to see the car moving forward, because he’s not a driver that wants to fight for P18 or P16 or whatever so I fully understand his comments and it’s up to us to deliver the tool that is needed for him to perform.”
Here’s Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll on scoring points