In a career-reviving move, Sebastian Vettel has signed a deal with Racing Point Formula One team, which is set to be rebranded as Aston Martin Racing in 2021.
The official statement by Racing Point did not include the length of the deal, the team, however, said that the 33-year-old has joined for “2021 and beyond.”
Earlier this year, Ferrari and Vettel announced that they had mutually parted ways and the F1 2020 season would be their last final assignment together, as a team. Vettel moved from Red Bull to Ferrari ahead of the 2015 campaign.
After claiming four consecutive drivers’ titles between 2010 and 2013 as a Red Bull driver, Vettel did not replicate the success with the Prancing Horses. From four full seasons, Vettel has managed to win only 14 races. In fact, the 33-year-old bagged just one victory out of the 21 races in 2019, where he had finished on podium nine times and failed to finish the race in at the U.S. and Russia Grand Prix. He has been outdone by his younger teammate Charles Leclerc on many occasions and as a result, Ferrari decided to retain Leclerc and not the former champion. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz will replace Vettel as Leclerc’s partner at Ferrari in 2021.
Since the Ferrari announcement in May, Vettel has repeatedly said that he would like to take his time to explore options whether in the sport or not. The German is set to replace Sergio Perez, who has announced he will be leaving the team at the end of the season. Initially, Vettel’s move to Lawrence Stroll’s team looked doubtful considering Perez’s current deal was until the end of 2022 and the other driver was Stroll’s son Lance. Perez has shocked the F1 fraternity by parting ways with Racing Point with no backup plan in place.
In an interview with Racing Point’s official website, Vettel expressed his delight for joining a “legendary car company”.
“I am pleased to finally share this exciting news about my future. I’m extremely proud to say that I will become an Aston Martin driver in 2021. 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,” said Vettel in the interview.
The German driver also hailed Lawrence Stroll for his commitment to the sport. “The energy and commitment of Lawrence [Stroll] to the sport is inspiring and I believe we can build something very special together. I still have so much love for Formula 1 and my only motivation is to race at the front of the grid. To do so with Aston Martin will be a huge privilege,” Vettel further added.