Sebastian Vettel will part ways with Ferrari at the end of this season, and it took us all by surprise earlier this year. Well, it’s no longer a secret that Ferrari did not want Vettel in their squad for 2021 and they went on to sign young Carlos Sainz as a teammate for Charles Leclerc. Vettel made it clear that he wants to continue in the sport and will look for options.
The four-time Formula 1 World Champion has been looking at possible options for a drive in 2021. Speculations were high about Vettel moving to Mercedes to replace Valtteri Bottas. But the Silver Arrow made it clear that they will continue with their current driver lineup for the 2021 season. Red Bull also closed the door for the German driver and Seb was now staring at the midfield teams, which he did not want to do.
McLaren and Renault sealed the deal for the 2021 season with new recruitments. McLaren brought in Daniel Ricciardo, and Renault went on to sign two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso, who will make a return to F1 next year. So, Vettel was left with fewer or no options. Racing Point has a long-term deal with Sergio Perez, and Lance Stroll is also not going anywhere. Haas was interested to sign Vettel, but that was out of the question for the German driver.
Now, in a recent turn of events, Vettel has been offered a seat by Racing Point boss Lawrence Stroll. A report from motorsport.com states that Vettel is likely to replace Perez if the deal is sealed. But Perez has a contract for 2021 with Racing Point, and he has been with the team since 2014. Perez is also responsible for salvaging the team in 2018 when Force India could no longer afford to run the team.
So, how could Racing Point or Aston Martin, as it will be called next season ask Perez to leave if the contract is in place for 2021? Well, it is reported that there is an exit clause in Perez’s contract which allows Racing Point to terminate the contract. But the exit clause must be negotiated by the end of this month. But the question is will Racing Point ask the experienced Perez to leave to accommodate Vettel?
The Racing Point RP20 is a very strong package, and we have already seen the pace of the car in the Austrian and Styrian Grand Prix. So, the combination of Vettel and Perez might do wonders for Racing Point. On the other hand, Stroll, who is the son of Lawrence Stroll is also unlikely to lose the seat as his father has invested heavily on his F1 career.
But if Lawrence Stroll is playing the long game and wants to develop the team which will be rebranded as Aston Martin in 2021, he might have some other plans for his son. And that seems to be a logical decision considering Perez’s pace with the new RP20. With Vettel and Perez spearheading the team, Aston Martin could challenge for victories in 2021.
Vettel has already confirmed that he had “loose talks” with Racing Point but nothing is concrete yet. If Racing Point wants Vettel in the team, it’s an easy job for them as they have the car which can challenge for podium positions. For Vettel, Racing Point could be the last option if he wants to be on the front end of the field. But the contracts of Perez and Stroll makes the whole situation a bit tricky for Racing Point. Vettel too is not in a hurry to make any decisions, and he will take his time before committing to any team.