Make zero out of two? That would be the horror scenario for German motorsport fans. Nico Hülkenberg lost his Formula 1 cockpit at the end of last year. Now Sebastian Vettel also threatens to fall through the grate.
Or not? The chances of the Heppenheimer are currently difficult to see through. That is why we go through the different variants here point by point for you.
F1-Insider.com analyzes Vettel’s options:
Mercedes: In the Silver Arrow, the Hesse would clearly have chances for further victories, maybe even for the world title. Even more: he could complete Michael Schumacher’s story. Schumacher is Vettel’s great idol. If he can’t emulate him at Ferrari, why not bring in success at Mercedes, which Schumacher was denied in his late years?
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is, however, not very open to negotiations with the German. Loyalty to his current pilots is important to him, explains the Austrian. That means: For Wolff it is primarily between Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes junior George Russell about the place next to superstar Lewis Hamilton.
However: It remains questionable whether Wolff will continue to play an operative role at Mercedes in 2021. The 30 percent shareholder confirms that there are discussions about the future. Wolff on ORF: “It’s not just about whether I extend my contract as a team principal, but also what we are going to do with this joint company (Mercedes-F1 works team).”
It is obvious that the Viennese has no longer has a carte blanche as in the days of Källenius’ predecessor Dieter Zetsche. It is possible that Källenius decides for himself when it comes to driver questions and chooses for the great marketing effect that a Vettel obligation would trigger in addition to the sporting aspect.
One thing is certain: the Bottas management has doubts that there will still be a future at Mercedes in 2021. As Motorsport-total reports, Bottas manager Didier Coton has already contacted Renault. F1-Insider.com found out: Coton also invited Red Bull team boss Christian Horner for dinner for the same reason.
Aston Martin: This is the name of the current Team Racing Point from 2021, which the Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll bought so that his son Lance can continue to play in Formula 1. Stroll jr. is set accordingly, Sergio Perez has also signed a long-term contract until 2022. Vettel as a teacher for Stroll junior in a team that currently only drives in midfield – this idea is excluded. The fact that experts like David Coulthard Vettel still connect with Aston Martin is due to the fact that Aston Martin board member Lawrence Stroll is rumoured to take over the current Mercedes factory team, which could then be renamed Aston Martin.
Red Bull: Many fans dream of Vettel’s return to the team with which he won four World Championships between 2010 and 2014. But Red Bull chief consultant Helmut Marko ends all dreams: “Of course I called Sebastian after he split up with Ferrari,” he says to F1-Insider.com. “But at Red Bull there is no chance for him. We have existing contracts with Max Verstappen and Alex Albon.” Back in the spring, Marko had already excluded a team consisting of the two V’s, Vettel and Verstappen. “We cannot and do not want to afford two top stars.”
Renault: There’s still one cockpit available at Renault. According to information from F1-Insider.com, however, ex-champion Fernando Alonso squeezes into the field next to Esteban Ocon. Also questionable whether Renault stays in Formula 1 at all. The group has applied for a government loan of five billion euros. A multi-million dollar engagement in the premier class doesn’t really fit into that. But: Apparently there is no buyer. And the French don’t want to shut down their team just like that either. Still: There is no place for Vettel.
Retirememt: Does Vettel stop entirely? Insiders can also imagine that. Since the introduction of the hybrid engines, the German has lacked great fun in F1. Some experts fear that the German leave Formula 1 completely if he does not find a competitive cockpit. Nick Heidfeld said to F1-Insider.com: “With four titles, he actually achieved everything. It would not be surprising if he now puts the family with his three children in the foreground. On the other hand, a racing driver needs exactly this racing to be happy.” Vettel seems to agree. In an interview with the DPA, he said during the winter: “I have no plans to step down in the foreseeable future. I really enjoy racing. ”
Now he only needs a winning arrow …
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