(GMM) Aston Martin would like to keep Sebastian Vettel at the team beyond 2022.
That is despite the fact that the quadruple world champion is obviously disappointed with the Silverstone-based team’s new car, which he described at Imola as “not quick”.
He didn’t even rule out a return to the scene of his four titles – Red Bull.
“I haven’t spoken with Christian (Horner) for a while, so 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.”
The 34-year-old is clearly not ready to start talking about a new Aston Martin contract, even though the Lawrence Stroll-owned team rescued his career after the low of his Ferrari demise.
Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack is also not ready to start talking contracts.
“I’m not going to speak about contracts here,” he said at Imola.
“But obviously if you have a driver like Sebastian Vettel that you can keep motivated by giving him the car that he deserves, I think you would be foolish not to try to retain him.
“I understand his comments 100 percent. He wants to see progress, he wants to see the car moving forward. He’s not a driver that wants to fight for P18 or P16 so I fully understand his comments.
“It’s up to us to deliver the tool that is needed for him to perform,” added Krack.
April 24, 2022
“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,” Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack said.
“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.”
“He has a very, very competitive approach, despite the big success that he was always already having. He has a very high work ethic that I really share and that I really appreciate.
“There is no time of the day where it’s too late to work or to have some input so from that point of view, it’s a pleasure to work with him, because, first of all, he’s what I described already.
“But then also he’s a nice guy, he’s a nice fellow and he understands where our limitations are at the moment, but he doesn’t stop pushing, and he is realistic about what we do.
“So it’s a matter of trying to merge what we think we have to do, what he thinks we have to do and be open, transparent, have good conversations and move on.”
The Aston Martin car is so bad, after dropping from ninth on the grid to 13th at the flag on Saturday’s Imola sprint event, Vettel admitted that it was impossible to keep quicker cars behind with the car he now has.
“It was a shame that there was a whole train behind me,” he said when asked about his race by Autosport. “So it was one after the other in the end, and I struggled with the tire. So we got eaten up.
“There are obviously our limitations that we know. And we understand fairly well by now. But yes, still, every lap helps. So, we see what we can do tomorrow. We’re not far from the points. Who knows what the weather brings? So, we need to be sharp.”
April 22, 2022
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel has not denied swirling speculation about his future in Formula 1.
Some, including his old boss and mentor at Red Bull, Dr Helmut Marko, are even wondering if the quadruple world champion may quit the struggling Aston Martin team before the 2022 season is even out.
Vettel, 34, stopped short of issuing a denial.
“We’re going to see what will happen in the coming weeks and months and how much progress we can make,” the German, who missed the opening two grands prix with covid and then endured a horror Melbourne weekend, told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
“Then we’ll see what the future will bring, or not. I don’t think about it too much just yet,” Vettel said.
“There has been a time before now when I have thought about these kinds of things, but it’s just part of the situation. If I’d won the first three races of the season, I wouldn’t have been asked these questions in the first place.”
He admits that, as a 53-time grand prix winner, grappling with an uncompetitive car that it difficult to drive is not exactly fun.
“I’m not going to lie about it,” said Vettel. “I have experienced what it is like to win and that is what sport is ultimately about.
“If you’re second, you’re basically a loser already. It’s that hard. But even if it’s not always easy, I still love racing.
“I also feel a certain responsibility to find my way back up again with the team.”
Vettel, however, has no sympathy for current world champion Max Verstappen’s situation, as he the Dutchman even trails his teammate Sergio Perez after a poor start to 2022.
“In Max’s situation, you have no reason not to be motivated,” the quadruple world champion insists.
“The season is still so long. And how old is Max – 24? At that age, you don’t need a secret. You just look at it from race to race.”
As for his old team Ferrari, who ousted Vettel after early title challenges led to a slump, the German stopped short of saying he is happy for the Maranello team amid its current dominance.
“I hope they can enjoy the success longer than they did when we fought Lewis Hamilton,” he smiled.