Aston Martin: Vettel helped us lift our game

Krack: Vettel very gentleman-like, congratulated us after Bahrain

Aston Martin: Vettel helped us lift our game

Mike Krack revealed that retired four-time Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel, was every bit the gentleman he is, congratulating him after Aston Martin’s podium in Bahrain.

Sebastian Vettel left Aston Martin at the end of the 2022 F1 season, at a time when the team was still toiling around in the back end of the midfield, and fast forward a few months, Fernando Alonso, the driver who replaced the German at the team, delivered a podium in Bahrain on his debut.

It was the team’s second podium as Vettel himself delivered the first in Baku in 2021, while another in Hungary that year was taken away for a fuel irregularity on his car. The third podium followed soon in Jeddah when Alonso delivered another third place.

However, at the start of the 2023 season, when Lance Stroll injured himself in a cycling accident that sidelined him from pre-season testing, and with his ability to race in the season opener was in doubt, many thought or “hoped” that Vettel would be called to fill in the Canadian’s place.

That however did not happen, and Stroll drove tenaciously while still not fully recovered, but Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack admitted – speaking to Formula 1‘s “F1 Nation Podcast” – they were tempted to call Vettel in.

“Tempted? Yes, 100%. But we didn’t do it, because we have such a high respect for Sebastian and his decision that he made at the time,” he said when asked if Vettel was considered.

“I think it would not have been correct even to ask. We wanted to respect the way he was, and we didn’t want to put him in any difficult position,” Krack added.

Vettel has no regrets

He added that their former driver even congratulated them on their early season success expressing no regrets at all for retiring just before the team became successful.

“We have been in touch. We were in touch for the New Year, obviously. But then also Sebastian was Sebastian-like, congratulating us, very gentleman-like, after our first podium in Bahrain,” he revealed.

“I always said to him this is also your merit, because he brought us really one step up over the previous two years. He brought us up in a lot of areas, where we have learned a lot and progressed a lot.

“He has certainly [played] his part in where we are now. But he’s comfortable with that; he was not in any kind of regretting [frame of mind] or whatever, because he was very conscious about his decision when he made it.

“I think the respect between himself and the team, or the respect between himself and myself, [was] really shown by this great moment of congratulating us.

“That was really, really appreciated and also I relayed it to the whole team,” the Aston Martin boss concluded.

Aston Martin are now getting ready to contest the third race of the 2023 F1 season, in Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit this weekend, as they look to consolidate their position as the closest team Red Bull who seem to be the runaway Champions this season, while Alonso will be targeting his 33rd career win, his first since 2013 when he won the Spanish Grand Prix for Ferrari.