Mugello, Italy: Former world champion Sebastian Vettel has signed for the renamed Aston Martin staff for the 2021 season “and beyond”, the formidable British Formula One outfit introduced Thursday.
The 33-year-old German gained 4 consecutive titles from 2010 to 2013 with Red Bull earlier than becoming a member of Ferrari, however the Italian staff has not renewed his contract.
Signing Vettel was “a clear signal” to the racing world, mentioned Racing Point, which can take the Aston Martin identify subsequent yr after Canadian billionaire proprietor Lawrence Stroll’s funding within the British model.
Vettel will drive alongside Stroll’s son Lance and exchange Mexican driver Sergio Perez who introduced on Wednesday he’ll go away Racing Point on the finish of the season.
“It’s a new adventure for me with a truly legendary car company. I have been impressed with the results the team has achieved this year and I believe the future looks even brighter,” mentioned Vettel.
“The energy and commitment of Lawrence to the sport is inspiring and I believe we can build something very special together.”
Vettel has spent six seasons with the Italian staff with out repeating his title-winning heroics at Red Bull.
This time period has proved significantly tough with Vettel sinking to thirteenth within the championship forward of Sunday’s Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello in Italy as Ferrari have suffered a depressing season.
The final of Vettel’s 53 victories — the third most in F1 historical past — got here on the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix. Only Michael Schumacher (91) and Lewis Hamilton (89) have gained extra races, whereas he has additionally completed on the rostrum an additional 67 occasions.
When requested if he was near retiring when Ferrari determined to not preserve him on, he replied: “Is there a measure of how close you can get?”
“I’ve spent the last weeks and months thinking quite a lot about my future… What is the best thing to do? This felt like the right thing to do.”
Racing Point staff principal Otmar Szafnauer mentioned: “Everybody at Silverstone is hugely excited by this news. Sebastian is a proven champion and brings a winning mentality that matches our own ambitions for the future as Aston Martin F1 Team.”
“On a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, Sebastian is one of the best in the world, and I can’t think of a better driver to help take us into this new era. He will play a significant role in taking this team to the next level.”
Racing Point’s present season has been marred by controversy with accusations that they had copied Mercedes’ brake ducts.
On Sunday, Racing Point dropped their enchantment in opposition to a 15-point deduction and 400,000-euro ($472,000) wonderful.
Vettel’s arrival signifies that the staff will dispense with the favored Perez, a reliable and quick racer who performed a distinguished position in saving the previous Force India staff throughout a monetary disaster two years in the past earlier than it was taken over by the consortium that renamed it Racing Point.
“It hurts a bit as I bet on the team during very rough times; we managed to overcome obstacles and I am very proud of saving jobs of several my teammates,” Perez mentioned on Twitter.
Vettel was knowledgeable brusquely by Ferrari in May, previous to the launch of the coronavirus-hit 2020 season, that his contract was not being renewed.
His identify was linked instantly with Racing Point forward of most different groups, notably as a result of they made a powerful begin this yr with the so-called “pink Mercedes” automobile, claimed to be basically a replica of final yr’s title-winning Mercedes.
Vettel helped rebuild Ferrari into title contenders in 2017 and 2018 however the staff fell brief each years, partly because of driver errors.
He was then outshone by the highly-rated Charles Leclerc final season, ending fifth total, 173 factors behind championship winner Hamilton.
Ferrari, set to rejoice their 1,000th race on the Tuscan Grand Prix, are the game’s most profitable staff however their 2020 stoop hit a brand new low final weekend once they didn’t qualify no less than one automobile within the prime 10 on dwelling soil for the Italian Grand Prix for the primary time since 1984.