Christian Horner has poured cold water on speculation that Red Bull are considering signing Sebastian Vettel to join Max Verstappen at Red Bull next year, a Prodigal Son story that has no legs.
Speaking to Sky F1 during FP1 of the Styrian Grand Prix weekend, the team boss was asked if there was room for their former World Champion in the energy drinks team, he replied, “That is a definite no, I’m afraid. It is not something we can accommodate.
“That is something I think that Sebastian is aware of, in fact I know he is,” said Horner suggesting here was contact but no deal for a fairytale return to the team that made him, and he rewarded with four consecutive F1 drivers’ titles.
Horner went on to reaffirm the team’s commitment to their current pairing of Verstappen and Alex Albon, and thus closing another big team door for the out of work German whose options are now scarce.
Not required at Ferrari, his place was rapidly filled by Carlos Sainz for 2021, with Daniel Ricciardo defecting from Renault to McLaren at the same time, while Fernando Alonso’s return with the French team means only Mercedes is a works outfit with a possible vacancy.
But Vettel, with 35 Grand Prix victories to his name, paired with Lewis Hamilton is a highly unlikely scenario as Valtteri Bottas is an ideal teammate and sticks all the boxes for the mighty World Champions, which ultimately leaves only Racing Point as a reasonable destination for the 33-year-old.
Next year Lawrence Stroll’s team morphs into Aston Martin, and the close ties to Mercedes maybe the only tempting alternative worthy of Vettel’s status. Other than that an enforced sabbatical is on the cards in 2021 for him, or retirement.