Four-times Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel and Canadian Lance Stroll, son of the owner, will race for Aston Martin next season in an unchanged driver line-up, the team confirmed on Thursday.
Vettel, who won his titles with Red Bull between 2010-13, joined at the end of last year from Ferrari. Executive chairman Lawrence Stroll had assured reporters this week that the German was set to stay after media speculation he might not.
Stroll senior said also that he saw Lance, 22, as a potential champion.
The Mercedes-powered team are building a new factory at Silverstone and hiring staff with the aim of positioning themselves as title contenders within three to five years.
Stroll will be starting his sixth season in F1 next year after making his debut with former champions Williams in 2017.
Lawrence Stroll said the line-up blended youth and experience while team principal Otmar Szafnauer hailed Lance as “one of the most gifted drivers in modern F1” and Vettel as “a massive asset”.
“Next year we expect both of them to race well in what will be a very different formula from the current one,” added Szafnauer.
F1 faces a major shake-up in 2022, with new aerodynamic rules aimed at making racing more competitive.
Aston Martin, the renamed Racing Point team that was previously Force India and started out as Jordan in 1991, are currently seventh of 10 in the constructors’ standings.
They finished fourth last year, despite being docked 15 points that would have put them ahead of McLaren, but have been less competitive this year due to regulation changes over the winter.
Vettel, disqualified from second place in Hungary in August for not having enough fuel left in his car, has scored 35 points from 14 races and Stroll 24 although the Canadian has had more top 10 finishes.
“I am really looking forward to racing the new generation of F1 cars. Their look is very different and the new technical regulations should give us cars that can race much more closely than recently,” said Vettel. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)
Aston Martin Press Release:
Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team is pleased to confirm an unchanged driver line-up for 2022: Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel.
Lance Stroll “Next season I will be embarking on my sixth year in Formula One, alongside my team-mate Sebastian. We started this Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team campaign together and I greatly look forward to continuing the journey with him next year. We have not achieved what we set out to do this year, but that has only amplified our hunger and drive for success next season. Now, with the prestige and support of Aston Martin, and the brilliant new sponsor-partners that such a prestigious brand has attracted, we are well-positioned to improve our performance in 2022.”
Sebastian Vettel “I am really looking forward to racing the new generation of Formula One cars. Their look is very different and the new technical regulations should give us cars that can race much more closely than recently. More exciting racing will be great for the drivers as well as for the fans. The changes are so big that every team will be starting from a new beginning, so it will be a great opportunity for us at Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team. I believe in the strength of our new growing team, so I am already looking forward to 2022.”
Lawrence Stroll, Executive Chairman, Aston Martin Lagonda and Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team: “The first-ever season for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team got off to a disappointing start, owing to the regulatory changes over the winter that disadvantaged the two teams whose cars utilise a low-rake aero philosophy. But we have made good progress over the past few months, and both Lance and Sebastian have delivered some excellent performances. They have had more than their fair share of bad luck, but in 2022 we are delighted to be continuing with such an excellent blend of youthful talent and experienced expertise.”
Otmar Szafnauer, CEO and Team Principal, said: “Lance is one of the most gifted drivers in modern Formula One, and to that raw talent he is now adding serious racecraft. A four-time world champion, having driven 271 Grands Prix, of which he has won 53, Sebastian is also a massive asset to our team, and next year we expect both of them to race well in what will be a very different formula from the current one. We never under-estimate our opposition, so we do not intend to over-promise, but we know that Lance and Sebastian will get the very best from the tools we will put at their disposal.”
Brian Humphries, Chief Executive Officer, Cognizant, said: “With our focus on scaling Cognizant’s brand globally, this strategic partnership with Aston Martin has provided us with greater access to a C-suite of clients while boosting our recruiting efforts. Lance and Sebastian are brilliant drivers and we have been impressed by the way they have represented Cognizant on the world stage. We look forward to continuing to apply our full portfolio of digital capabilities to support Aston Martin’s IT operations and to make a valuable contribution to Seb’s and Lance’s performances on the track.”