Vettel, 33 years old, four-time Formula 1 world champion, will switch from Ferrari to Aston Martin at the end of this year – He speaks of a “new adventure with a truly legendary car manufacturer”.
“It feels good to have the news out. Many questions have now been answered,” Vettel said at a press conference in Mugello on Thursday afternoon.
“I believe that what I have decided now is the best thing for me. He said he was “close” to ending his career prematurely, but now the exciting prospect of working at Aston Martin awaits him.
“I’m really looking forward to the change because I believe that things can go up.”
The team is still operating under the name Racing Point this season and, as things stand, would be a pretty good choice compared to Ferrari: the team is in fourth place, well ahead of the vastly defeated Italians.
In 2008, Vettel crossed the finish line in the inferior Toro Rosso in the rain of Monza as the youngest winner in history. Then in 2010 he became the youngest champion. He triumphed as best in the business four times in a row, but the last time he did so was in 2013 and his car was a Red Bull.
Now, we have frustration and disappointment, on both sides, neither party likes to hide it anymore.
Frustration and disappointment are great, on both sides, neither party likes to hide it anymore. “You don’t think you could do any worse, but it’s always going to be worse this year,” Vettel had recently been angry after brake failure and running through styrofoam barriers in the track run-off. The beautiful glow has long since given way to the dark gray of everyday racing – it is clear Vettel is not even really trying anymore.
In any case, the past months have been a disillusionment for both of them. Not only was Vettel unable to win this year, he also failed to make it to the podium and has not won a race for almost a year now. No, in the SF1000 he even had to fight for positions outside the points or, as recently in Monza, he did not even see the chequered flag due to a breakdown.
With just 16 world championship points, he is 13th in the overall standings. To be so far away from the title is alarmingly far from the way his team sees itself – and ultimately from his personal perception. For Vettel himself, this now only causes sarcasm. On Tuesday he sat in the Ferrari racing simulator. “At least the car isn’t breaking down,”
Ferrari had announced in mid-May that Vettel would be replaced next year by the Spaniard Carlos Sainz Junior.
Since then, the 53-time Grand Prix winner has held talks about a possible new engagement. Early retirement was also a recurring theme but rumors of Vettel’s involvement with the Silverstone team have been persistent these last few months.
Denied by Racing Point, they were further fuelled when Sergio Perez himself announced on Wednesday evening that he would be leaving the racing team after seven years.
“I can’t imagine a better driver who could help us on our way into this new era.
“Sebastian is a proven champion and has a winning mentality that matches the ambitions of Aston Martin,” said team boss Otmar Szafnauer, who immediately handed Vettel his new company car, complete with tailor-made license plate (5EB AM F1), in front of the team’s factory gate on Thursday: a grey Aston Martin Vantage AMR.
2021. We're coming for you… pic.twitter.com/F83hdB32BK
— BWT Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) September 10, 2020
In Szafnauer’s opinion, Vettel has lost none of his qualities. Instead, the message is that he has been sitting in the wrong car.
“On a Saturday or Sunday afternoon,” said Szafnauer,
“Sebastian is one of the best in the world.”
Rival Lewis Hamilton also congratulated on the change. Vettel brought everything with him to ensure a further upswing. “This is a great commitment for the team,” said Hamilton.
For Aston Martin, at any rate, he is now the much longed-for top man for which they can attempt to break into the top 3.