Drivers refuse to replace Vettel

Sebastian Vettel revealed to the world today that he would be retiring from Formula One. This is no surprise to TJ13 who have been reporting a chaotic culture at Aston Martin since the winter break. Perhaps not surprisingly there aren’t many current experienced drivers rushing to sign up with the team, some of which refuse to be an option publically during a press conference.

Employees of Aston Martin contacted TJ13 with stories of a “bullying” culture and chaos in the ongoing efforts to design and produce the 2022 car. The public demeanour of 4 times world champion Vettel never gave an indication of the woes in the Silverstone factory though again TJ13 reported in April the German would quit at the end of this season.

READ MORE ON THIS STORY: Aston Martin crisis rumours proving true

READ MORE ON THIS STORY: Vettel retirement imminent

Now the scramble will be on for team boss Lawrence Stroll to replace Vettel but finding a driver of Seb’s calibre to lead the team will not be easy. Stroll in a statement issued shortly after Vettel’s announcement admitted as much:

“He [Sebastian] has driven some fantastic races for us, and, behind the scenes, his experience and expertise with our engineers have been extremely valuable,

“He is one of the all-time greats of Formula 1, and it has been a privilege to have been able to work with him.”


Several drivers have already ruled out joining Aston Martin when asked in today’s press conference by Sky’s David Croft ahead of the Hungarian GP.

Daniel Ricciardo replied, “Did you hear any of my interviews last week Crofty? Obviously, it’s nothing against them but, as I said last week, my future is clear and it’s here [at McLaren].” 


Next up was Williams driver Alex Albon who joked with Crofty over the question

“Amazing, amazing question as always from Crofty, [But] no, obviously Aston Martin, they’re a great team. They’re clearly expanding as a team as well but, you know, the focus right now has to be on this year and I will leave it at that.”



Esteban Ocon of course raced for the team when they were called Racing Point informing Crofty of the fact obliquely.

“Well I’ve been [there] already,” the Frenchman pointed out. “If you look at my Twitter account from 2018, it says Aston Martin Aramco, whatever. So I’ve been racing for the team basically back then,

“I’m good at where I am at Alpine at the moment but I know the team very well and I know what they’re capable of.”


Kevin Magnussen who was dropped alongside Romain Grosjean for Mick Schumacher and Russian driver Nikita Mazapin merely stated he was very happy to return to the Haas fold and Valterri Bottas whose was repeatedly the topic of job security speculation when at Mercedes joked: “I Never believed I can say I have a contract – so I’m good,” he joked.


So what are the options for Aston Martin?

Fernando Alonso is out of contract at the end of this season, but Alpine and the Spanish driver are believed to be close to completing negotiating a new 2 year (or 1 plus 1) contract. Alonso struggled at the start of the season with a fair bit of bad luck that saw his team mate Esteban Ocon eclipse him scoring points.



Yet over the past few races it has been Alonso leading the charge for Alpine whilst Ocon has struggled in qualifying failing to make it out of Q1 at Silverstone and Q2 at last weeks French GP.

The Alfa Tauri drivers appear content where they are and Gasly still believes he’ll get another shot at the Big Bull seat when Perez retires.

Mick Schumacher is the pundits favourite to take the Aston seat. He has been nurtured by the Ferrari driver academy though there is no near term hope he would get a seat in Maranello.

Yet Mick has been in F1 for 18 months and is only now starting to look comfortable, whether Aston Martin could promote Lance Stroll, who is erratic to team leader, and bring in a driver like Schumacher who will not help driver the team forward from an engineering stance – is questionable.

This would also rule out many people’s next favourite to join the F1 grid, Oscar Piastri.

If Aston want experience, something Haas have clearly benefitted from with the return of Magnussen, they could try and prise Romain Grosjean out of IndyCar with an offer, though the Frenchman has now moved his family to the States and repeatedly tells the media his has never been happier than he is right now.



Nico Hulkenberg is Aston’s best bet if they want to recruit experience. Hulkenberg is the current reserve driver for the Silverstone team.

Aston were hoping Vettel would stay for another season if only for the fact other experienced drivers’ contracts expire at the end of 2023. 

Lawrence Stroll revealed, “We made it clear to him that we wanted him to continue with us next year, but in the end he has done what he feels is right for himself and his family, and of course we respect that.”

Keeping Vettel for another year would’ve given the team another season to prove they can mix it with McLaren and Alpine and then be a more attractive proposition for an F1 driver who wants an up front midfield team.

Whoever Aston Martin recruit, they wil have a weaker lineup than the one which includes Sebastian Vettel.

READ MORE: Verstappen’s Announcement




12 responses to “Drivers refuse to replace Vettel

  1. The best bet to have a strong driver line-up at Aston Martin would be the Knighted 7X WDC. He can show the world what magic he can do with a lower team, helping them to develop the car.
    If he wins in Aston Martin, he can also wipe off the bad reputation that he wins only because of the car and he is not a great driver. Therefore, in order to establish that he is indeed the GOUT, he has to take this challenge. Otherwise his credentials as a driver will always be under a cloud.
    GO Lesbastaliar.

      • You may feel offended by Vijay’s choice of words but he has a point. To take the GOAT title from Schumacher, LH must become wdc with different teams. Especially with a team that is not a clear winner already with any driver.
        If he does that, even I will re-evaluate my opinion about LH.

        • But Duckey, when LH went to Mercedes, they hadn’t won a game yet. So your story is a little off here. And according to your own story would put LH on the same level as MS.

          • Good point Dre, but not quite true. Mercedes was indeed not a winning team before LH. But the results came almost immediately after his arrival. His influence on that can therefore be neglected. Mercedes had the strongest car from the start of lh’s career there. Therefore I do not equal it to what MS did with Benetton and Ferrari.

            Maybe,, to give some leeway to the LH=GOAT fanatics…we should introduce the title GOHG.: Greatest of his Generation. Shared with Alonso, I could live with that.

          • I think you will find that it is widely regarded in the paddock, that his performances in the MP4/24 in 2009, specifically the wins in Hungary and Singapore, are very highly regarded

  2. “TJ13 reported in April the German would quit at the end of this season.”

    Actually, you added further speculation to someone else’s, already speculators statement…. quite different from reporting a fact

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