Will Aston Martin call in Vettel to replace Stroll?

Will Aston Martin call in Vettel to replace Stroll?

Aston Martin have to think about a replacement for injured driver Lance Stroll ahead of next week’s Formula 1 season opener in Bahrain. Will Sebastian Vettel be the answer?

Lance Stroll had a bike accident ahead of F1’s pre-season testing in Bahrain, and as a result, he had to skip the test for what Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack called “precautionary” reasons.

During the test, Aston Martin put their reserve driver and 2022 Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich some time in the AMR23 on the first day (Thursday) and the final one (Saturday).

With so little details emerging regarding Stroll’s injuries, speculation in increasing in the F1 community whether he could be fit to drive in the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, the season opener on March 5.

Enter Sebastian Vettel, the four-time F1 Champion who retired from the sport at the end of last season after a two-year stint with Aston Martin.

Krack was speaking to Sky Sports F1 during the Bahrain pre-season test, and was coy about the details of phone calls he had with Vettel when quizzed whether that was regarding a possible return for the German to replace his injured former teammate.

“I have had a couple of phone calls with Sebastian,” Krack revealed. “But this has been also last year, and this will continue in the future.”

Vettel return very hypothetical

Pushed to clarify if there was any chance Vettel would make a comeback, he replied: “I will not tell you.”

“I mean, this is very, very hypothetical,” he added on the prospect of their former driver stepping in. “First of all, our plan is to have Lance in the car.

“And then we continue to see because we have Bahrain first before we speak about Jeddah. We have not made the final decision. That’s the point.

“Don’t forget one thing. He [Vettel] had a very, very thorough plan in mind for his retirement. And, you know, I think this is also something that you have to respect. So let’s see what’s happening,” the Aston Martin boss pointed out.

However, Krack admits he has no assurance that Stroll will be fit to drive in Bahrain next weekend; he said: “I honestly don’t know at this point.

“He’s our Plan A obviously, we want to have Lance back in the car, but we have to wait, what he says and what the doctors are saying in the right moment,” he insisted.

“There are certain delays or certain limits that you have to give to the FIA, and then we will respect this. We’ll have to see how the situation is developing over the next day. It’s like in football, you have players that are a little bit injured, and you wait for the last moment, and then you decide if they can play or not.

“The Plan B we have to decide. We have some Plan Bs, but we have to decide the Plan B when the Plan A not possible. It’s very simple. Can he drive or can he not drive?” Krack concluded.