Sebastian Vettel made it clear that he is not in Formula 1 to make up the numbers, for now keeping the faith in Aston Martin, but will that be the case come end of the 2022 season, or will he quit?
Aston Martin will have to put a “performing structure” in place to convince four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel to stay on beyond the end of the season, the squad’s new team principal Mike Krack said.
Vettel, a 53-time race winner who joined the team from Ferrari in 2021, is out of contract at the end of the year and has said his future would depend on whether Aston Martin’s 2022 challenger can return him to winning ways.
“It´s clear that a guy like Sebastian, a four-time F1 world champion, he does not want to be 15th or 12th or eighth,” Krack, formerly BMW’s motorsport head who replaced Otmar Szafnauer, told reporters in his first media briefing.
Vettel is a clever guy
“It is our task to deliver a performing car, or say, a performing structure because I think Sebastian is a clever guy.
“He will not be focusing just on this year´s car or whatever but focusing more on what is happening and if he sees the potential. And if we can offer him this we have a chance to keep him for longer.” he told the online briefing.
“I have not spoken to him about it. It is our task to deliver the right package and then Sebastian will [want to] stay and other drivers would like to join,” the Aston Martin team principal insisted.
Krack worked with Vettel at BMW-Sauber, with which Vettel made his Formula 1 race debut in 2007 and was also Vettel’s engineer when the German made his first appearance at a grand prix weekend driving for the Switzerland-based team in Friday practice at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix.
Vettel has since won four titles, chalked up in succession with Red Bull from 2010-2013. His haul of wins puts him behind only Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher. However, he hasn’t won since the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix when he was still at Ferrari.
Five-year plans do not always come to success
Aston Martin finished seventh of the 10 teams in the overall standings last year but the team’s billionaire owner, Lawrence Stroll, has big ambitions and has set out a five-year plan to take it to championship success.
The 2022 season, which will feature F1’s biggest rules overhaul in decades, is the second year of that plan. Krack acknowledged that such plans aren’t always successful.
“I agree that five-year plans do not always come to success,” he said. “There can only be one winner. And very often you have a disruption – like this year with a new set of regulations – where you have to readjust.
But he cited Aston Martin’s lean management structure, which includes former McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh as chief executive at the top, as a strength.
The team had to avoid falling into a “corporate” way of working, he said, and added: “The way we have split the tasks at the moment, we are quick, we are flexible and we can react quicker than others.
Krack admitted he had no list of names he was planning on getting on board, and said: “It is more important to see what structure we have here. There are really good people here. It is more like if we need to fill a role and we know someone from my network, I will make a suggestion and push to have the right people in.
“But it is not at all like I would like to get people exchanged for people I know, not at all,” he insisted. ” At this stage we have everything that we need.(Reporting by Abhishek Takle, Additional reporting by Grandprix247)