Sebastian Vettel’s answer is somewhat surprising. A lot has happened in Formula 1 this week in terms of occupying the cockpits for the coming season. On Monday, Alfa Romeo announced the commitment of Valtteri Bottas, on Tuesday Mercedes introduced George Russell as his successor. The 23-year-old Briton at Williams will be replaced by Red Bull reserve driver Alex Albon, which was made public on Wednesday. AlphaTauri also extended the contracts of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda. It is taken for granted that Mick Schumacher and Nikita Masepin will stay with Haas. All other drivers are tied for a longer period anyway. The only open question would be who will be Bottas’ future teammate. Or not?
“No news from my side. I think we will say more about that very soon,” said Vettel when asked about his future in Formula 1 before the Monza Grand Prix. “I’ve never talked much about contracts. Sorry, I can’t give you any details.” Talks between him and Aston Martin would continue.
There was no official announcement during the term of the contract, but it is said to have been concluded over a period of several years. When Lewis Hamilton extended at Mercedes until 2023 in July, Aston Martin tweeted: “Two more years of Sewis“, another two years for Sebastian and Lewis. So is it just a matter of little things, adjustments? Or is the 34-year-old father of three even considering retiring his career and the matter has therefore not been resolved long ago?
Vettel has nothing to do with the title fight this year either
The question of saying goodbye already centered around him in 2020. Vettel drove for Ferrari for six seasons. The liaison that had once started so promisingly with the aim of becoming world champions together was shattered in the end. The separation was uneasy and unpleasant. After much speculation, Vettel announced a year ago, just before the celebrations on the occasion of the 1000th Scuderia Grand Prix in Mugello, that he would drive for Aston Martin – at that time still Racing Point. “I still have so much love for Formula 1 in me, and my only motivation is to drive at the front of the field,” he said at the time.
Only Vettel cannot do that consistently in the AMR21. In Monaco, Baku and Spa he showed strong performances in fifth, second and fifth. In the overall ranking, however, the Heppenheimer is only twelfth with 35 points before the Grand Prix on Sunday (3 p.m., Sky / RTL). World Championship leader Max Verstappen has 226.5 points in the Red Bull, while Vettel’s once biggest title competitor Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) has collected 221.5 points. In 2008, Vettel won a Formula 1 race with Red Bull for the first time in Monza, making him the youngest Grand Prix winner at the age of 21 years and 73 days. Now it’s about him to at least get into the points – he will start in eleventh place.
As vague as he was about the future, he also emphasizes that he is not worried: “I really like working with the team. The atmosphere is good.” In addition to a competitive car, when he switched from Ferrari to Aston Martin it was also about: finally feeling at home in a team again in order to be able to call up his best performance. In addition, there are the upcoming changes to the regulations in 2022, which, in combination with the upper budget limit, may reshuffle the balance of power.
As a four-time world champion, Vettel has remained one of the central figures of Formula 1 even with the recent lack of success in red and green, as such he has developed and established himself this year. In addition to Hamilton, he positions himself most clearly in terms of social policy and underpins his statements with actions.
He now flies line instead of charter, Vettel usually comes to the route by bike. All in one mirrors-Interview he announced that he would vote for the Greens in this year’s general election. In Austria, Vettel built a bee hotel with school children, in Silverstone he and his helpers collected rubbish from the stands after the Grand Prix. In Monza, he says that he was in Iceland this week to open a carbon dioxide filter plant: “It captures CO2 from the air and stores it in the earth. I think that in order to move forward we need solutions like these. Me I am very interested in this area and would like to be part of it. “
In addition to sustainability and the environment, like Hamilton, human rights and equality are important to him. In Budapest he wore rainbow colors on his shoes, helmet, mask and T-shirt in protest against the Hungarian government’s anti-LGBTQ + censorship law and said: “I find it embarrassing for a country that is in the EU to have such laws or above to vote. “
Hamilton draws his great motivation to continue from being able to become champion for the eighth time. Nobody has done that in the premier class before him. Vettel may want to show again that there is more to him than middle class. And he knows that his charisma as a Formula 1 driver is much greater than after the end of his career.